If you missed it, catch up on Part 1

Why I hate The Open

Its Open Day! Tonight the first workout in nearly a year and a half gets announced! For so many in the CrossFit world, it’s an exciting time. Showcases! Castro’s Clues! Leaderboards! The anticipation of each workout is like the night before Christmas!

For an owner, it can be less so. 

3 Reasons why I Hate The Open

STRESS– Behind every awesome event is a lot of work. As fun and enjoyable as the work might be, it’s a bit of a stressful time. There is a number of logistics that goes with the party we have on Saturdays. Tracking down people to input their scores, making sure we got all the equipment needed, arranging for judges to be ready. This particular year comes with its own challenges, such as extra cleaning and keeping the spectators safe and healthy.

MY EXPECTATIONS– Purely from an athlete perspective, 2020 was a big setback for me. I worked really hard to continue moving for my own mental health and to release stress and to hang out with my friends. But it was not the time for me to make huge gains in strength or stringing dozens of pullups together. I told myself at the end of the last Open that this would be the time to really dedicate to those dang pullups. But it didn’t happen. So, in some ways, seeing The Open come around again is a bit frustrating since I didn’t accomplish what I wanted to (again, as an athlete). 

PRESSURE – This is just what other people think about me (or our gym). No matter what other people think, I think more. Or I think I know what they are thinking and then attempt to use that to define me. When I tell someone that I’m a gym owner, I assume they are thinking how I should be able to do unbroken MUs or that we’re making gobs of money. Since neither of those are true, I struggle with feelings of failure and not living up to their (potentially imaginary) expectations. All of those internal feelings I have become magnified in The Open. 

(Side note: I intellectually understand that the “other” person is probably not thinking that, and even if they were, I shouldn’t define my value by their opinions. The only one who gives me my worth is my God and that relationship is always growing. But I certainly don’t “have it all together”. It’s a constant work in progress and one I’m happy to talk about with anyone. If you’d like to hear more, reach out!)

3 Reasons Why I Love The Open

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. 

MAGIC – Every single year I’ve participated in the Open, something magical has happened. Maybe it’s someone doing something they’ve never done before. One year it was me overcoming some internal fear and learning more about myself. Another time it’s watching hard work pay off, like when someone practiced DU for 11 months and then getting to crush a previous workout. Maybe it’s family participating together, creating new memories for all time. Every. Single. Year. And I’m so stinking excited to see what this year’s magic will be!

STRATEGY – I really miss playing basketball. I was never the best athlete, but I was decent. Where I made a difference was with my head. I’m good at strategy and knowing the plays and breaking down a defense. My smarts made up for any lack of physical skills. Most workouts during the year, my performance is pretty cut and dried. Can you pick up the bar, yes or no? Can you climb the rope, yes or not? During The Open, I get to use those brains again. The strategy of when to take a rest, how to break up a workout, where to arrange the equipment … I really really enjoy those conversations.

COMMUNITY – Again, we all know that 2020 was a hell of a year. And one HUGE aspect that helped keep me, and a lot of other people, mentally healthy was the community of the gym. Having people to connect with, to sweat together in socially distanced areas, to share stories and laugh with has been a saving grace. I’ve been in every Open since 2014. The fact that we GET to have The Open is a blessing, a little bit of a return to normalcy for me. Even more, I look at it as a 3 week tribute to a global community that has been a part of keeping me going. Not only during these last 12 months but during previous challenging times in my life.

Final thoughts

Sure there are tough parts of being in The Open. Like most experiences as an adult, there is risk before you get to the reward. This 2021 Open might not come at the perfect time, but here it is! 

At the risk of plagiarism … what I hate most about The Open is that I don’t hate it. Not even a little bit, not even at all.