by Julie Warren
I don't remember where I read this, but it motivated me to do my first CrossFit Open.
It was in 2015. I signed up for the Open two weeks after I started CrossFit. And by "started", I don't mean I had finished Foundations and been doing regular CrossFit for two weeks. I literally walked into the box for the first time two weeks before.
The first workout, 15.1, had a clean and jerk lift for your maximum weight. I hadn't yet learned any of the Olympic lifts, and I didn't know what a clean and jerk was. I decided to complete 15.1 in class with the support of the coaches. It was exhilarating to learn the movement and lift 85 pounds. How 85 pounds compared to anyone else was irrelevant to me.
The second workout (15.2) was a week later. The workout included overhead squats and chest-to-bar pull-ups. The scaled version was regular pull-ups, which I still couldn't do. I scaled my workout further and did banded pull-ups.
Scaling down allowed me to complete the workout, but it was a bit discouraging not being able to score in. Looking back; however, it's the memorable moments in the early days of CrossFit that have allowed me to really see how far I've come.
The real turning point for me; the moment that I became irrevocably hooked, was the next workout.
My friend was a member of the box where Friday Night Lights for 15.3 would be. He convinced me to be a part of it. The workout was a 14 minute AMRAP of 50 wall balls and 200 single unders (scaled version). It was an incredibly boring workout. I loved it!
It was the Friday Night Lights. The community of people turned the workout into an event, and it was a blast! I finished the 2015 Open completing my workouts at Friday Night Lights, and I even placed in the 15.5 event in the scaled division.
2018 will be my 4th year competing in the CrossFit Open, and I can definitely say CrossFit is an exponential journey. In the beginning it seems like you are hitting personal records (PR) every time you pick up the barbell. Eventually the gains stop coming as easily, and your training has to become more deliberate.
The Open coaxes you to give it your best, and ends up really revealing how far you've come in the previous year.
Going into the 2016 Open was a completely different mindset for me than the previous year. I had gained strength, learned the Olympic lifts, and improved in my skills. I was eager to see the progress I had made.
It was the first year of the Rhema Open League, Friday Night Lights were back, and everyone was jazzed.
I crushed my banded pull-ups from the year before with 53 chest-to-bar pull-ups, and my year of hard work showed up over and over again in each workout.
The 2017 Open brought new challenges for me because I was competing with a shoulder injury. But at this point I wanted to participate despite being injured because I love the Open and especially love the Rhema League.
The workouts were filled with overhead movements that challenged the strength of my shoulder, and prevented me from doing my best. Even so, I surprised myself when I beat an old score... and also when I completely fell on my face attempting my last handstand push up! (See, isn't the Open fun?)
If you’re unsure about signing up for whatever reason, I promise you will not regret it. You may not realize it until you see all your progress next year but you will be glad you did it. It is the best display of community all year and isn’t that what we love most about CrossFit anyway?
Fitness shouldn't feel boring or intimidating. At CrossFit Rhema we believe in more than just training. We're a community of people passionate about doing life together and pursuing a healthier lifestyle. Every workout is different and designed to be scaled to meet you exactly where you are in your fitness routine. From beginners, to kids, to lifelong athletes there's something at CrossFit Rhema specifically for you.
If you have an experience that you would like to share about CrossFit in your life email firstname.lastname@example.org.