The Open is Coming…
We just turned over a new leaf in a new year and sure enough, in CrossFit gyms around the world, coaches and athletes alike begin to look towards the Open. Today, we’re bringing back a blog post from two years ago that will let you know all you need to know about the Open.
What is the Open?
Post from 2017, by Coach Caitlin
Every year since 2011, CrossFit athletes around the world have participated in the Open. The Open acts as the first step in a now three-step process to get to the CrossFit Games. This year will mark the sixth year of the Open. It will bring us all new tests of fitness and perhaps some retests. Will you give the Open a try this year? We have a few reasons why we think you should.
First, the Open puts the emphasis on community. We come together on a Thursday or Friday night and do a predetermined workout. And it’s not just us – it’s gyms around the world. This sense of community extends beyond our walls. For five weeks, we are all in it together. On a smaller scale within our community, we are there for each other. There is something special about having your friends cheer you through a particularly tough workout. We’ve all been in that place where we’ve wanted to mail it in, cash out and cut our losses. During the Open, we find strength and motivation from others more than ever before.
Second, the Open provides us structure. We can use this time every year as a measure of our own improvement. It is predictable in its timing (not so much in it’s tests!) and its format: one workout per week for 5 weeks starting the last week of February through the month of March. For some, the Open is their gateway to Regionals and ultimately the Games. These are the elites in the “sport” of CrossFit. For most of us, the Open gives us a gauge, a yardstick to see our personal development year to year. They offer scaled, RX’d, masters and teens options so no matter where you’re at in your fitness development, you can participate. It helps us set goals for our year ahead. One of the best things about CrossFit is the seemingly infinite areas of improvement. Once we achieve one goal, the next is usually readily available to tackle. The Open will give us specific areas of fitness to improve upon over the upcoming year. Not knowing the workouts is also the ultimate test of our fitness and part of CrossFit’s objective: prepare for the unknown and unknowable. With the goal of developing well-rounded fitness, the Open tests what we do day in and day out at Kingfield.
Third and finally, the Open is a competition without needing to be competitive. Many times, our challenge to ourselves is to just show up for a workout. The Open functions the same way. All you have to do is show up to the gym and you do the workout just like you would any other day. You don’t have to commit the time or expenses of a competition weekend but you can experience the environment and adrenaline of one. There’s nothing more encouraging than having your fellow athletes and coaches by your side, pushing you through those final reps.
Ultimately, the Open does all the things we do every day at Kingfield: community, goal-setting and encouragement. We know many of you are very excited for the upcoming and unknown tests that 2017 will bring. We also know that many of you are unsure if you should participate. We’ll continue to offer up more information on our blog about the Open and you can always ask a coach if you have questions!
Now this year will be the last year that the new year will mark Open preparations. As early as this fall, the Open will find a new home in October and November. The qualification process has changed quite a bit for those who are trying to make it to the CrossFit Games.
What does this mean for us? We get TWO Opens this year - one in Feb./Mar. and one in Oct./Nov. After that, into 2020, the Open will occur in the fall.
We’ll continue to post about the Open weekly, discussing how we run our Friday Night Lights events, how you can participate and outline some of the changes to the CrossFit Games season. For now, you should know that our programming and coaching will shift into “preparation mode,” taking into consideration the anticipated challenges and hurdles that we may see during those five weeks in the spring. :)