7 Reasons Why YOU Should Do the CrossFit Games Open (Yes, YOU!)
by Niki, 5 Flat Tires
I’m publishing this post on February 26, which means we are exactly 8 days away from the start of the 2013 CrossFit Games Open. This also means you only have 5 days left to register for the CrossFit Games Open. Registration ends on Sunday, March 3. Here’s the link, you can go register for the Games right now. The competition consists of 5 different workouts spread out over 5 weeks. It’s only $20 to sign up, I’ll wait right here…
You haven’t registered yet? Why not? Don’t tell me you have some whiny excuse about how you can’t do pullups yet, or you hate burpees or you’re afraid of box jumps. Yeah yeah yeah, I’ve heard that one before. And here’s the thing about all your excuses: they are ALL really lame. Seriously, you really just need to go sign up for the CrossFit Games Open. There’s NO good excuse not to.
Even though it’s extremely unlikely you will win the CrossFit Games Open, you should still absolutely sign up to compete. I could think of a thousand reasons why you should do the CrossFit Games Open, but I’m just going to explain the top 7 reasons you should do this event.
1. You might learn something new about CrossFit.
When I did the CrossFit Games Open in 2012, week 2 of the competition included some silly snatch workout. You had to do sets of 30 snatches, with 4 different, increasing weights, within the 10 minute time limit. So of course that was the week I decided to learn how to snatch properly. Before that games workout came out, I really hadn’t cared much about learning proper snatch technique. My particular box gym didn’t program the snatch very often, so I never went out of my way to learn it. But then when that competition workout came out, I suddenly cared about learning how to do a proper snatch. I was suddenly nagging my coach to watch my form and give me feedback, pronto. Within two days, I learned a lot about how to snatch. I was by no means an expert, but at least I knew how and where to grip the bar properly.
Which is reason #1 to sign up for the Games. Because when you sign up for a real honest to goodness competition, your motivation level to learn suddenly increases 200%. Suddenly, you might pay closer attention in class, you might actually go watch some videos online, and you might get someone to videotape your technique. Because suddenly, your form really matters. When someone is going to time your workout, and your results are going to get published online, you want to at least make sure you are using proper technique during the workout.
When you find yourself in a real competition, you’re instantly motivated to learn everything you can, as fast as you can.
2. You might learn something about yourself. About what you’re really capable of.
During that same snatch workout from 2012, I started the workout in a panic. While I had learned the basics of the snatch, I really didn’t know how much weight I could consistently lift. 10 minutes is not a very long time, and I didn’t have a lot of muscle memory to rely on. I predicted I would get tired very quickly, and I had no idea how many repetitions I could do in 10 minutes.
The first set of the workout required all women to snatch 45 pounds, 30 times. I cruised through that pretty easily, in less than 3 minutes. Then I had to snatch 75 pounds. I still remember how badly I screwed up my first few lifts. I just couldn’t do it. I literally failed 5 times in a row trying to snatch 75 pounds. I stared at my friends and they stared back at me. For a moment I was afraid I just wouldn’t be able to snatch 75 pounds. But my coach was giving me feedback and I corrected my form, and I refused to give in to my panic. I told myself I had to get at least one lift at 75 pounds.
And then on the 6th try, I got it. And I got the 7th try and then the 8th. And with each consecutive lift, I was learning how to do the snatch a little bit better. I was getting more consistent, and then I was repeatedly snatching 75 pounds.
Suddenly I realized I had done 15 snatches, and then 20. I only had 10 left to go, of the 30 reps with 75 pounds. Time was running out, but I pushed through my fatigue because 30 reps was now in sight. I was so close I could taste it. I still remember the last minute of the workout, because I wanted to rest SO BADLY, but I also wanted to get all 30 reps done before time ran out. My friends were screaming at me, and all my attention narrowed to just the barbell and the clock. All I cared about in the entire world was getting all 30 reps done.
And with just 5 seconds left to go, I finished that 30th rep. I did it. I had done far better than I had predicted. I never would have guessed I could get 60 snatches done in 10 minutes, but I did. And that was one highlight of the competition for me, simply because I learned I could improve my technique in real time. After missing 5 attempts with 75 pounds, I went on to finish 30 snatches. And that feeling was pure awesome.
Which is why you should do the Games. Because when the clock is running out and your friends are all screaming at you, and the judge is writing on your scoresheet, you will find out just exactly how much you can do without passing out.
I guarantee, you are capable of more than you think. And when you sign up for the Games, you’re bound to find out just exactly how much more you can accomplish before the clock runs out.
3. You might surprise yourself.
During the first week of the 2012 Games, the workout consisted of 7 minutes of burpees. If you’ve ever done 7 minutes of straight burpees, you’ll remember that experience. That horrible memory will probably never leave your mind, because it’s just that traumatic.
And there’s no way to sugarcoat this, but I sucked at that workout. I’ve never done well at any CrossFit workout that consists of only 1 movement. So yeah, I sucked, I think I only finished 85 burpees that week. My memory is hazy, but that put me near the bottom of the rankings. The act of doing 7 minutes of burpees was horrible, and my results were also horrible.
But then week 3 came along. YEAH for week 3! The week 3 workout included box jumps, push press, and toes to bar. Woo hoo! Now THAT was my kind of workout. I wasn’t going to win that week, but I wasn’t going to finish at the bottom. Sure enough, when all my friends got together to do that workout, I didn’t stink. I cruised through that workout with probably my best finish of the Games.
After completely sucking at burpees, I surprised myself with the box jump/push press/toes to bar combo. I redeemed myself! And so can you. I guarantee it.
And that’s the thing about a competition that is 5 weeks along – the chances are good that you’ll do well during at least 1 of the workouts! It’s a statistical probability that you are good at SOMETHING!
So sign up for the Games, so you can surprise yourself with whatever movement or skill you happen to be good at. Everyone is good at something, and you just might surprise yourself one of the weeks and beat your own expectations.
4. You might meet some new cool people you want to hang out with.
If you are tempted to skip the CrossFit Games and stay home on the couch instead, you aren’t likely to find any new cool crazy friends. Because the last time I checked there weren’t any cool crazy people hanging out on your couch watching TV and eating Doritos.
Nope, the cool crazy people are hanging out – and working out – in their garage gym or their local CrossFit box doing burpees and pullups and pushups.
Many research studies have shown we tend to mimic the qualities of the 5 people we spend the most time with. And if your couch is the person you spend the most time with, then you are probably soft and plump and maybe lumpy. Which is just not cool.
Especially when you could just as easily spend your Saturday morning doing burpees and pullups and pushups with some badass people. Who are also likely to cheer for you when you get your first pullup or when you finish your 7 minutes of burpees.
If you sign up for the CrossFit Games, then you’ll find out who else in your neighborhood is committed to getting stronger and more fit. And then you can spend more time with those people, because it’s always fun to hang out with motivated people who are up for doing something crazy like 7 minutes of burpees.
5. You might get inspired.
When a bunch of my girlfriends and I got together last year to do the Games workouts together on Saturday mornings, my friend Holly usually brought her kids to watch. All 6 of them. Yes they kept themselves entertained and they watched us do our competition workouts together.
Holly was my friend newest to CrossFit, our brand new CrossFit convert. And she struggled with some of the competition workouts. Many of the movements were still new to her. But you know what?
Holly did all the workouts. She did all the workouts while her 6 kids watched her. She was – right then and there – setting an example of how to be an extraordinary role model. She didn’t quit, she didn’t walk away, she just kept doing each and every workout. No matter how discouraged she was, she didn’t give up.
She showed her kids, and all of her friends, what it means to have courage and to persevere. Holly was my friend newest to CrossFit and yet she was the person who inspired me the most during the 2012 CrossFit Games.
When you sign up to compete in the CrossFit Games, you will probably find someone around you, in your gym or in your new group of friends, who inspires you. It might be the mom with the 6 kids, or it might be the 60 year old grandpa, or it might be the 17 year old high school kid (Hi Parker!) who comes to the gym before school every day.
I guarantee you’ll meet someone during the CrossFit Games Open who demonstrates courage and tenacity, someone who makes you proud to workout next to them. You’ll meet someone who inspires you.
And if you’d like, I’ll be happy to introduce you to Holly.
6. You might inspire others.
Then again, you might BE Holly. You might be the brand new CrossFitter who just joined the gym last month, who still uses a band to help you do pullups. If you are that person, I think you are awesome. Because to sign up for new challenge like the CrossFit Games demonstrates guts and determination and more than a little bit of faith. Faith in yourself that you are up for a solid challenge.
You just might be the person who inspires your kids, or your spouse, or your coworkers or your neighbors. You just never know who is paying attention to what you do. But when you sign up to compete, you are showing everyone you aren’t afraid of a few burpees.
Congratulations on being the type of person willing to inspire others.
If you are new to CrossFit then I ESPECIALLY encourage you to sign up for the CrossFit Games this year. Because this competition will give you a baseline of your current capabilities. Then a year from now you can look back at your results and see how much you’ve improved.
And if you’ve been doing CrossFit for even a couple months, then this will give you a great opportunity to test yourself. There’s absolutely no downside to competing, all you will lose is $20 from your wallet. And maybe a couple pounds of sweat. But what you gain in inspiration and pride will be worth far more than $20.
7. You just might kick some ass.
I guarantee if you sign up for the CrossFit Games, you will have at least one moment during the 5 weeks where you feel totally and completely awesome. That moment of awesome might happen right before you collapse onto the gym floor, or it might be the second right before the workout starts. Then again, it might be when you watch your friend get her first muscle-up or it might be when you snatch more weight than you’ve ever snatched before.
When you sign up for the CrossFit Games, you are essentially agreeing to experience something extraordinary.
When you sign up, you are agreeing to do something to amaze yourself. Because during the 5 weeks of the competition you WILL do something amazing. But only if you sign up.
Have You Signed Up Yet?
Runners have the marathon. Cyclists have the century ride. Triathletes have the Ironman. All those events set the stage for personal and memorable victories. In all those events, every finish line is a victory, and every athlete has a personal story to tell about their journey.
CrossFit doesn’t have any finish line. All we have is the timer clock that eventually runs down to zero.
But when that timer clock runs down to zero, you could have an amazing story to tell. You could have a victory worth celebrating.
I hope you do.
I hope you sign up for the CrossFit Games so you can show your family and friends just exactly what you are capable of.
But mostly I hope you sign up so you can show yourself what you are capable of.
Here’s a photo of Krista – doing Power Cleans – and training for the 2013 CrossFit Games.
Krista is already signed up for the 2013 CrossFit Games Open. Are you?
Krista inspires ME and I'm super excited to see her compete in the Open this year!