What to Expect During the Open

by Sarah on February 25th, 2015

Why am I doing the Open?  Because it's a chance to test my fitness.  I've worked really hard to build my work capacity, either by building skills, embracing the suck, recovering from injury, or learning to strategize nearly every day for the past five years.  Each year, the Open presents an opportunity to see where I stack up against myself, and against friends I've made on the leaderboard and in person throughout the CrossFit community.  Just like everyone else, I fear maybe I've gotten worse, and everyone else has gotten better.  I fear I will disappoint myself, and fall short of the goals I've set for myself.  But, in the end, I want to be true to why I started this in the first place: I want to be better.  If I'm not willing to put myself out there, to try my best, to actually test my fitness, I think I fall short of what I could become.

In 2010 I competed in Sectionals (the 2010 version of the Open) despite having started CrossFit only a few months before (Rob and Julian made me do it), and managed to make Regionals.  I had no idea what a big deal that was, and completely took it for granted, but had a blast building new friendships at my gym and in the broader community.  At Regionals I spent nearly 15 minutes trying to get a second muscle up.  My judge thought I was crying because I couldn't do it, but actually it was because I bashed myself in the eye with my ring.  I got better at muscle ups after that.

In 2011, I entered the Open despite having broken my elbow and undergone surgery less than three months before.  I was simultaneously intending to do the best I could under the circumstances, and not so secretly under delusions of earning a spot on our affiliate team, but those hopes were dashed when I was unable to bend my elbow enough to catch a 110 lb clean to stay in the competition.  That year, through being excluded, I learned how much CrossFit really meant to me.

In 2012, I started the Open in 215th place (in the NorCal Region) after being able to complete only 100 burpees in 7 minutes.  I clawed my way back to a qualifying spot for Regionals, but the scare resulted in me getting a whole lot better at burpees.  That same year at Regionals I nearly got cut from the Snatch Ladder event at 115 lbs because I missed my double unders so many times, yet figured it out and went on to set the best score for that workout across all of the regions.  That's when I finally decided to put in the work and get consistent with double unders.

In 2013, I managed to finish 8th in the Open (in the NorCal Region) which in hindsight was quite possibly one of the most proud moments in my athletic career, although at the time I took it for granted.  The Open workouts hadn't been an area of strength for me in the past because they test such a wide variety of skill, generally involve pretty high reps (exposing my ridiculously long range of motion), and stay pretty light (preventing me from being able to really use my strengths).  Over the course of that Open season I realized that consistent effort applied over time really is a good strategy - I had gotten to the point I could even compete in an online competition that specifially played to my weaknesses.  That year at Regionals I went on to miss qualifying for the CF Games by 1 point - a point I could have made up by going a second faster in a workout where I had to redo my last box jump, or getting one more rep in a workout when I failed to complete the dip portion of two different muscle ups.  That year I gained a lot of self-confidence and re-gained the joy of just wanting to CrossFit.  If you're relatively good at everything, you get back to a place where you need to improve at everything, which in my mind is what's fun about CrossFit in the first place.

In 2014, I essentially sat out of the Open because I needed to close the chapter on my Olympic Games ambition through one last attempt in the sport of Weightlifting.  That year I realized that just being a CrossFitter, just doing your best, and making the best of your own unique circumstances, is a really cool thing in and of itself.

Apart from CF Games ambitions, Regionals are an awesome accomplishment.  Completing the Open is an awesome accomplishment.  Even just entering the Open is an act of faith that requires a level of courage.  Back to the beginning, the Open is a chance to see if you are better.  You'll never arrive, but you also can't fail.  You get to put yourself out there, see where you stand, and learn something about yourself that you probably wouldn't know if you didn't try.  This year I'm doing the Open because I love it.  I know I am fitter than I've ever been, but I also know I still have weaknesses.  I really hope this is the year I make the CF Games, but I also couldn't be happier to just be a real part of it again.

Important logistical information:

The Open starts this Thursday, February 26, and continues through Monday, March 30.  During these five weeks there are some notable items for our members:

Thursdays, 5pm - Live Open Workout Announcements.  
These will take place at 5 predetermined locations, and will feature top-level CF Games athletes going head-to-head against each other.  We will live stream the announcements upstairs at Arena Ready for anyone who wants to share the anxiety with AR friends.

Thursdays, 7pm - Gladiator Test Run.  
This is a time intended for people who are approaching the Open as a competitive event to pre-test the workout.  If you'd like to participate, but don't typically attend Gladiator classes, please speak with a coach prior to attending.

Saturdays, 8am, 9am, 10am, 11am - Open Workouts during class.  
These classes will be of a slightly different format than our typical Saturday classes, and similar to what we've done for the past two years.  Athletes will be asked to sign-up for a specific class time, and once at class, to sign-up on the board for a specific heat time.  We'll provide a self-directed warm-up, you'll have a chance to complete the workout, and then have a chance to judge/count for a classmate.  If you're interested in completing the Online Judges Course that would be much appreciated, but it is not required.

Sundays - Possible Gladiator Competition.  
Due to the deadline for workout submissions, it may be optimal for our Masters athletes and Regionals hopefuls to compete at a more last-chance time.  If you'd like to help cheer our athletes on to the next level, check the AR private Facebook group for details.

Mondays, 5pm - Open Workout Submission Deadline.  
All workouts must be completed, and all scores must be submitted by this time, no exceptions.  We can't submit your scores for you, so please make sure you get them in!

You can still register for The Open through the CrossFit Games website here (registration cost is $20):

When registering yourself please be sure to select Arena Ready CrossFit as BOTH your affiliate and your team, so that your profile appears on our team roster.  There are a couple of you who have already signed-up and are currently registered under our affiliate but not under our team - so please double-check!

WOD for 02-26-15:

Strict Press:


For Time:
Run 600m
21 Hand-Release Push-up
21 AbMat Sit-up
Run 400m
15 Hand-Release Push-up
15 AbMat Sit-up
Run 200m
9 Hand-Release Push-up
9 AbMat Sit-up

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