The Open is here!
If you follow me with any regularity, you'll know that the Open is one of my FAVORITE times of year, and talking about it fires me the fuck up (or, makes me choke up, one or the other).
Now I want to make something clear: I don't get all electrified and emo about the Open because I love double unders that much. Or because I even love CrossFit that much. No.
There's something else at play here that pulls at my heart strings and ignites what I feel is my mission here ("here" in both this little place on the internet, and also "here" as in this little planet we call home).
Tackling the Open, for most people, is terrifying. And when those people, who are paralyzed by the thought of having a room full of people watch them in a moment of weakness, who are putting themselves on the line and being vulnerable, who are often at odds with their own confidence in themselves and their bodies and their strength-- when THOSE PEOPLE chalk up, walk right up to their screaming, scary fears, look them dead in the eye and say, "I'm here and I'm. Not. Moving", THAT is the shit I live for.
It simply comes down to fear facing, belief in our own damn self, and a golden mindset, and those are the basic tenants of my purpose here.
Yes, it's just a fun little exercise competition, but for a lot of us, this can be symbolic of a much more powerful triumph, and watching people experience that is just... well, magic.
I have written and spoken extensively on the Open here, so if you still need convincing, check these out:
But today I wanted to distill things down to a simple, 10 point manifesto, if you will. Something you can keep in your back pocket (literally, if you want!), to help be sure you're enjoying yourself, doing your best, and feeling proud of everything you're doing.
THE CROSSFIT OPEN: A MANIFESTO
1. I will take care of my body, and eat, train, recover, mobilize and rest like an athlete. My body is working hard for me and I will respect and tend to it every way I can.
2. I will set an intention before each workout, and find something important and personal that I want to focus on, regardless of what everyone else is doing around me, to remind myself that my journey is my own.
3. I will check in with myself after each workout and find something that went RIGHT to remind myself why I am here and why I'm already better for what I'm doing.
4. I fully embrace where I am today; not where I used to be, or perhaps wish I were, but where I stand today in my life, in my body, and I will be happy with whatever my current 100% effort looks like.
5. I will stop defining myself in relative terms (stronger, weaker, slower, etc), and focus only on my own shit. I will remember I'm not here to WIN (relative), I'm here to improve myself-- which comes in many different forms, lessons, and challenges, which I will embrace.
6. I will find a way to push myself and question or destroy my self-imposed limitations, and celebrate even the tiniest of triumphs. I will remember how far I've come and feel grateful for my body and abilities.
7. I will support my teammates as they face their own demons, and help remind them how strong they are. I will speak to myself the same way I speak to them.
8. I will watch excuses, comparison, and self doubt float through my mind and recognize it as fear, and remember that I'm bigger than that; the only difference between fun and fury is my perspective. I will keep my mind calm, clear, and confident.
9. I will feel proud of myself for even showing up; for being brave enough to walk into the arena. I will remember that THIS SHIT IS HARD. I will take this opportunity to square up against my own fears seriously, to show them that I'm here and I mean business.
10. I will not take this too seriously, because it is competitive exercising, and nothing is on the line. I am crystal clear that a time on a workout does not define my worth as a coach, as an athlete, or as a human, and that this is supposed to be FUN.
And lastly, when I'm in the midst of the chaos, adrenaline, and attempting something big, and I feel consumed with anxiety, frustration, or worried about everyone seeing me flail, I will keep my chin high and remember this:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
― Theodore Roosevelt
YOU'RE HERE. YOU SHOWED UP. YOU ARE CAPABLE. YOU SHOULD BE PROUD AS FUCK.
Get out there and show yourself what you're made of, you strong, brave human, you! Remember if it's not fun, you're doing it wrong.
May the WODs be ever in your favor.