The CrossFit Open is a worldwide affair.
It’s a time for athletes from different countries, backgrounds and abilities to come together for five workouts — one per week from the end of February through the last week of March. Each workout is announced on a Thursday night and athletes have until Monday to complete it and report their score online.
Sound intimidating? It’s supposed to. But for athletes at CrossFit Repo, it’s really about coming together as a community on Friday nights to share in the sweat, successes and food.
Friday, February 23 marked the first Open workout at Repo. For first-time Open athletes, taking part in the competition was something they chose to do for themselves.
“Being involved in Crossfit means stepping out of my comfort zone and the Open is very much out of my comfort zone,” said Tim Suby. “Also, it will give me a solid annual benchmark for me to judge my progress. The workouts will be different every year, but I will be able to gauge my progress both on a physical level and the mental strength needed to complete the workouts.”
For other first-timers, it was a nerve-inducing experience.
“I didn’t sleep a wink Thursday night and all day I was so nervous,” said Megan Anderson. “I had texted (Coach) Corey (Streich), ‘I don’t know if I want to throw up or start crying.’ He said that was normal.”
Last week’s workout was a 20-minute APRAP, consisting of toes-to-bar, dumbbell clean and jerks and rowing. Once the workout was underway, athletes say the nerves faded away.
“All my nervous jitters pretty much went out the window once the workout started and I was able to zone out and just go,” Anderson said. “And I didn’t think that would happen. I was able to push myself harder than I ever have and just kept telling myself, ‘Don’t stop, just keep going.’”
For those returning to the Open as veterans, it serves as a way to measure their progress from the previous year. This year, Chrissy Kieffer was able to RX her first Open workout.
“Last year was my first year doing the Open,” Kieffer said. “I had been working out at Repo for about seven months. I knew I would probably have to scale all workouts, but that did not bother me one bit. I thought, ‘This is my first time, so every single workout I do will be my best so far.’ I remember thinking that I am going to stick with Crossfit l and next year I will be able to measure my progress to see how much I have improved.”
For coaches, the experience of seeing athletes grow in confidence and abilities is a rewarding one.
“My favorite thing about the Open is how it brings the community together and the surprise from first-timers when they realize it wasn’t as bad as they thought,” Streich said. “My advice for first-timers is always just have fun. This is just another workout like any other day. Enjoy the cheers and the atmosphere around you.”
Tonight, Repo athletes will take on Open workout 18.2 at 6 p.m. at CrossFit Repo.