WODAPALOOZA Reflections & Why You Should do the Open
I have been immersed in the CrossFit community for over 10 years now. I am not one to be a part of something I am not interested in, this community captured my attention the moment I started and I fall in love with it more and more as the years tick by. Last weekend, I was lucky enough to experience yet another example of all of the incredible love, support, and joy that this community can provide. I am here to tell you a bit about my time down there and try to convince you to sign up for the 2017 Open!
When the phrase “CrossFit competition” is uttered, it tends to conjure up one of two images for most people, either a local competition where people are taking their first go at competing or the CrossFit Games where the most elite of the sport go through a grueling week of fitness challenges and perform seemingly super human feats of strength. WZA brings all of that into one place with endless divisions and thousands of athletes competing. From three youth divisions, to four masters divisions, from elite individuals to scaled teams and four adaptive divisions, anyone with the desire to compete could find a group for him or her at this event. That is a huge part of what makes this event so special and is also a cornerstone of the Open. Anyone, anywhere in the world can compete in the Open. You may not be able to do every movement and workout as prescribed, but you will be competing with the entire CrossFit community.
While the community competing around me filled me with inspiration all weekend long, my community back home was sending me endless support that I could feel from afar. I cannot thank everyone enough for cheering me on, watching the leaderboard, and sending me messages of congratulations. It means the world to me to have a group of people in my life who are so supportive of what I do. Every Friday during the Open, we all have this same opportunity to cheer one another on and celebrate amazing performances. On top of that, most of us know someone else who does CrossFit at another gym somewhere else in the world. With this competition, you have a way to compare yourself to those friends from afar and make friendly wagers on who will come out on top after 5 weeks. I am a very competitive person so that is enough to get me fired up about the Open, but I understand if that is not you. Keep reading.
Back in October, I did heavy Grace at 155 pounds as part of our Barbells for Boobs event. It took me about six and a half minutes. They announced about 10 days before Wodapalooza that one of our workouts would be heavy Grace 155 pounds with a 6:00 time cap. I was nervous and tried it again before leaving for Miami and improved my time to 5:13 in practice. My coach knew I had more in me and gave me a plan to pace the workout for my own abilities and I improved my time once again, this time down to 4:02. I surprised myself like this all weekend long by having a game plan and sticking to it instead of trying to work off of what the people around me were doing. I had one of my best competitive performances of my life down at Wodapalooza. For those of you who weren’t following along closely (or at all), I finished 9th place in the elite women’s division (for some perspective, I finished in 29th place last year and 5 of the girls ahead of me this year were CrossFit Games veterans).
This is my favorite part of the CrossFit Open, the surprises. Every single year, athletes surprise themselves with their own abilities. The slightly more competitive environment pushes people to a place they do not normally go and they find new limits to what they are capable of. An athlete may set a PR in a lift, perform a first muscle up or double under, finish a workout as prescribed for the first time, or finish higher on the leaderboard than they could have ever imagined. It is truly magical to watch and share in the joy of these moments. How often do we have opportunities like this in our adult lifetime to truly be pushed outside of our comfort zone? The Open provides a special atmosphere that cannot be easily replicated on a normal day in the gym, it is in those moments that we discover our true limits.
So go do it. Now. Sign up for the Open and find discover your limits! Not sure how? It is super easy. Click this link, follow the steps, and get ready to crush it come February 24th.