A while ago I wrote a post about what I love (and don’t love) about CrossFit, and I took some serious heat for it. However, despite some of my reservations, I dived into the CrossFit world and recently competed in the 2014 “Open”. The Open is a global competition where everyone in the world is invited to compete in five workouts over five weeks, posting their scores online in real time. This year, almost 180,000 athletes competed in the Open! I was one of those, and here’s what I learnt:
1. Whatever your thoughts on CrossFit are, competing in the Open is a lot of fun.
2. I am a much more competitive person than I realised. And comparing your scores to others on the world stage is addictive.
3. Rich Froning is not human.
4. “Thrusters” suck. (If you don’t know what a thruster is, don’t find out!)
5. I am so grateful for my years of gymnastics training. Gymnastics gives you an incredible base of fitness, flexibility, strength, balance and agility, which helps in just about all other sports, including CrossFit.
6. Something about Dave Castro (the guy who designs the Open workouts) is not right. And by not right, I mean evil.
7. Whether you are an elite athlete, or just getting back in shape, setting yourself a challenge (whether that’s running a race, or competing in the Open) will stretch you, motivate you, and build your confidence.
8. I am capable of far more than I think I am. We all are.
9. The Reebok/CrossFit marketing monster is pretty ferocious. And very very clever.
10. Gymnasts are not heavy lifters.
11. Pushing pasts your limits and surviving makes you stronger. It’s the only way to grow.
12. The “cult” of CrossFit is alive and well, and to be honest, doing the Open workouts with others cheering you on is a real community experience.
13. Talking extensively about CrossFit to your wife is not cool. They get over your hour-long-workout-debriefs apparently. I learnt this the hard way.