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POSTED ON March 23, 2016

I’m A Mediocre CrossFit Athlete, But I LOVE The CrossFit Open

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I feel the need to preface this with a statement letting you know this may be a bit underwhelming. I have no stories about CrossFit aiding me to overcome major obstacles or physical challenges. I’ve gained confidence and found an outlet for my (overly) competitive spirit. More than anything, I’ve been reintroduced with the poor sport I have inside me…the one that hates losing but is too lazy to work harder than I have to.

On my best day, I am a mediocre CrossFit athlete. It makes me cringe to say I have been involved with the sport for about three years.  I feel like I should have accomplished more by now and, with three years under my belt, my coaches expect more from me too.  I began CrossFit for something new and different and I stayed because of the people…the coaches, the environment, the community. I was a competitive athlete growing up and throughout college and had spent so much time in the gym that, after college, I swore myself into a break that lasted about three years.  I had ailments, injuries and to be honest just a straight lack of motivation. Then I was introduced to CrossFit.

The first year I signed up for The Open because my coach and my husband talked me into it. I had only been doing CrossFit for about a year at that point but thought what the heck. Plus, I’m easily persuaded when there is a free t-shirt involved.

I struggled through it that year, not being able to complete many of the workouts and a lot of the movements. But I was still proud. Proud I had the nerves to sign up, proud I gave it my all, and proud I stuck with it through the end. That was enough satisfaction for me to consider it again the following year. The best part of year one was that I was too naïve to be nervous about the workouts and my expectations were low. I can’t say the same for the following games.

Year two I was a little better vetted when The Open came around. I was definitely stronger and excited about the work outs. With the option to scale the workouts I still chose to Rx and that made me proud! I was looking forward to seeing what I could accomplish versus the previous year and I was pumped to ACTUALLY be able to compete with some of the other females at the box. But holy crap was I nervous.  Maybe I was worried to fall short of personal goals or to fail on weights and movements… or maybe just the anticipation of feeling like death one minute into each movement is what had my stomach turning, I’m truly not sure. I lost sleep the night before I was going to do each work out, overthinking each movement and reading every strategic article written by coaches across the country. The idea of the Open became less fun and more anxiety-ridden.

So here I am, signed up and competing in my third Open. I stand around, shaking before each work out, stomach turning, wondering why I am signed up again. I’ll never make Regionals, I don’t care to make Regionals, and no one scrolls long enough to see what place I am actually in.

With all the said, I LOVE THE OPEN.  I love the thrill of it, the competition, getting my ass kicked and trying all over again. Knowing I can start and finish something, knowing I can complete most of the movements, and knowing I can hit new PRs.  I live for Thursdays. ABC’s TGIT gets DVRed this time of year because the workout release takes precedence. I can’t wait to watch the best of the best go head to head and I can’t wait to see my coaches do the same.

So why do I sign up for The Open? I am not certain I have an answer.  I can’t say that CrossFit as changed my life but so many others can and that’s an amazing thing. I am proud to be a part of that. I am proud to be a part of a community that welcomes everyone, all the time. I am proud to be part of a community that forces people to test their limits and push boundaries in order to achieve personal growth. I am proud to be a part of a community that is proud of me right back, even when I am 108,867 in the world.

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