To those of you who are aware of the Open and what happens – you’re probably familiar with the following information. But for everyone else – here’s the scoop! In a nutshell, it’s a Worldwide Competition to find the “Fittest Man and Woman on Earth” and yes – WE get to take part!! It starts on February 21st and runs for 5 weeks. Every week, whether you’re signed up or not we will be doing the Workouts assigned to everyone competing all over the world, during regular CrossFit classes. For extra fun value though, at E.A. we hold what’s fondly known of as “Friday Night Lights” every Friday evening, where whoever wants to, can do the assigned workout in a fun atmosphere with lots of support from fellow EA’ers and their families.
If you’re not sure about how this all goes down, here’s an “interview” with Kirsten and Johnathan on their thoughts of taking part in the Open for the first time last year to give you an insight.
How long was it when you finished On-Ramp Training to when you signed up for The Open?
Kirsten – I had completed my on-ramp training a couple of years before I participated in my first Open, but I had taken some time off from CrossFit and had been back for about a year before participating. When I came back to CrossFit it was almost like starting from scratch again as fitness was not a priority for me while I was away.
Johnathan – 11 months
Why did you decide to take part in The Open and Friday Night Lights?
Kirsten – I didn’t quite understand what The Open was at first or why a person would want to participate if they weren’t trying to qualify for the Games. However, it turns out I have an arm made of rubber and between Dustin and Kim was “talked into” participating. They took away every excuse I could think of and left me no other option but to sign up. I’m glad that I did take part in the Open and Friday Night Lights as it is much more than just a qualifier for the Games.
Johnathan The Open is a good judge of progress. I compared my percentile placing for my age group. The first year I was about 75% and last year I was in the top 50 pecentile. Friday Night Lights is a great atmosphere and very supportive.
What was the absolute worst part?
Kirsten – In hindsight there really wasn’t anything horrible about The Open. For me the worst part was anticipating that I was going to be working out in front of an audience. Logically, I know that these are friends and are there for moral support, but the thought of doing the WOD in front of them was intimidating. I found that once I started doing the workout I was so focused on what I was doing I completely shut out the crowd, but every now and then I would hear my name being shouted encouraging me on.
Johnathon – I tried to do some Rx weights last year, and Rx felt really heavy.
What was the best part of doing the Open and Friday Night Lights?
Kirsten – Oddly, the best part was also the worst part. Once I got over my apprehension of the audience, the encouragement from them is unparalleled. When you hear your friends shouting your name, especially towards the end when you’re almost spent, it gives you that extra little burst of energy to keep moving. The community that is fostered with the Open is truly amazing.
Johnathon – The Open gives you a reason to push yourself – every rep and every second counts. It’s cool seeing everyone doing a first pull-up, first Open, or getting to that new max.
Would you sign up again?
Kirsten – Without a doubt YES.
Johnathon – Yes. Thank goodness it’s only once a year.
What can you do at CrossFit now that you couldn’t do a year ago?
Kirsten – I still need bands to do pull ups but I don’t need as many bands to do them.
Johnathon – I’m definitely stronger overall, my lifting technique is better, and I can start double-unders on the first jump every time.