Let me start by saying that I am not competing in the Open because I have any hope of winning or doing particularly well by any external measure. I will certainly not place in the top 10 or even close to the top 100. I might adapt movements or skip them all together because I am still working through injuries.
But I am competing anyway. And I can’t wait!
The CrossFit Open is so much more than a three-week competition (although it’s definitely that as well). It is the entire process. It’s watching the announcement and trying to guess the workouts, followed by equal levels of excitement and anxiety because I know how hard it will feel. It is showing up with my community and doing it together.
The Open shows us we are so much stronger than we think, that we are capable of so much more.
I love the Open because it pushes me to challenge myself beyond my normal range. Doing the workout that everyone around the world is doing—even if I end up doing it at home, in my second bedroom, alone at 5am—brings a level of give-a-f*ck that I normally don’t tap into. Because I know that my score matters, really matters!
But it’s even bigger than that. I love watching seasoned athletes workout alongside those tackling it for the first time, and then they cheer on the new athletes who are giving it their best shot.
It’s about seeing people who thought they couldn’t do it come out and try their hardest. Then they become cheerleaders for friends who also thought they might fail. We become more than we were when we began the workout. And we leave as better people because of it.
For me, the Open is much more than a weekly test of fitness. The Open is a chance to give to our community more than we take for ourselves, to cheer on our friends, and show up for each other when we need it the most. I am proud to be part of a community that has not let this tough year dictate how they show up.
The Open shows us what we are capable of—that it’s okay to push outside our comfort zone, knowing that this is where growth happens, and that through everything that has happened we are a community striving for a better tomorrow.
Seizing the Day
The Open is a chance for something more, and that is why we do it. Because it is our opportunity to push our limits, to walk out of the gym (or living room) stronger than when we walked in. We know that we saw the challenge and faced it head on.
We show up, do something uncomfortable, and because of that we know that we can embrace the rest of our day with courage. How you show up to your workout, just like how you show up to your day, is your choice—and the Open is our chance to make the choice to push for something more.
This year has been anything but normal, and every day that you enter the ring you make a choice to be better. You are choosing to take control of the things you have control over, to let go of the things you don’t, and to leave it all on the table knowing that you gave it your best.
And that is why I do the Open. Because how I show up to this challenge is how I show up to it all. Ready to be uncomfortable, ready for the possibility that I will lose, ready to put everything into something where the outcome is uncertain. Because at the end of the day I know I did my best. And for me, that will always be enough.
A Strategy for Long Term Success
The secret to seeing real and sustainable long-term changes in your body is this: strive to be consistently imperfect!
We, your coaches, are asking you to ditch the idea that you need to be perfect in order to see results. Hear us when we say that being consistently imperfect over time is infinitely better than being absolutely perfect for the next thirty days.
We are asking you to be consistent most of the time, for a long time. Be consistent in your habits and understand that changes in body composition doesn’t happen after a seven-day juice cleanse or a 30-day detox. The changes you want won’t happen by cutting out alcohol, caffeine, or carbs for a week. They happen slowly, over months and years from small but steady changes in certain habits.
Where the Magic Happens
Creating good habits could include having a drink a few times a month rather than a few each night. Or try eating healthy, real food six and a half out of seven days a week, and working out for 20-30 minutes most days.
And you can’t beat prioritizing your sleep even when things are crazy, hectic and stressful, instead of staying up late to binge watch Netflix or cram in extra work.
When we have established habits to fall back on, the ones we do day in and day out, you will really see changes. That’s where the magic is.
So when you think of the abs you want, or the muscles you know are there but aren’t quite visible to the world yet, understand that it is time to forget the idea of being perfect, of being “all in.” Understand that what you do for seven, 15, or 30 days isn’t going to move the needle over the course of your life.
It’s what you do day in and day out over the next few years that will set you up for the you that you are working so hard to see.
And KEEP GOING
So when I say I want you to be consistently imperfect, think of it as a weight being lifted, as a welcomed reality check that you don’t need to be perfect every day. You just need to keep at it. Focus on making minor changes that you can hold on to for one, two, maybe even three years before you really see the difference.
Let go of the idea that results should come right away and find value and comfort in the process. Overnight results are fleeting, and the ones that take time are the ones we hold on to. Let’s adjust our timeline, refocus our intentions, and find joy in the journey.
Forget about being perfect! Strive to be consistent—to be imperfectly moving in the right direction, and to find success along the way.
It’s been a long and challenging eight months, hasn’t it? The pandemic has been unpredictable, frustrating, and discouraging. And on top of everything going on in your world, sometimes it’s been too much.
And then the gym opened! You were feeling ready to get back in until you realized that all of a sudden it’s been eight months since you:
* Consistently used a barbell or practiced your pull ups.
* Ditto for being motivated to eat well and prioritize your sleep.
And you have long since realized that additional stress has crept its way into your daily vibe and you no longer feel quite like yourself.
If this sounds familiar, don’t worry, it does for me too.
And here we find ourselves in a tough position. The thing that helped you manage your stress, motivated you to eat well, and prioritize yourself more—the elements that brought you closer to feeling your best—now feels like it is receding, or is just too far away. It’s like you are starting all over again.
But here’s a secret: all that work you did way back when has, believe it or not, made you very well equipped to handle these challenges.
You know what it feels like to walk into the gym for the first time, not knowing if you are ready.
You know exactly what it feels like to have the people around you seem so much stronger and fitter than you are. And you know what it feels like to look in the mirror and believe you are far away from the person you want to be.
But you didn’t give into those fears. And that means you also know what it feels like to be welcomed by complete strangers who want nothing more than to share space with you and help you succeed.
It means that you also know what it’s like to discover you are already infinitely stronger and fitter than you ever thought possible! And you know the joy of finding out that the changes you committed to are finally starting to add up. You realize you are getting in the best shape of your life.
So I want to remind you that you have been here before. You’ve done this, and I promise you can do it again. And if it feels too big or that too much time has passed, just remember what brought you through the door the first time.
To those who think they can’t: you can. You’ve already proven it. Just Keep Going.