Tony and Me at The Open

Year One chronicles the trials and double-unders of a first-year CrossFitter. For more Year One posts, click here.

Hello, my name is Aaron. I’m a touch over 90 days into CrossFit. I have no real fitness background, but I’m making progress. Over the next year, I’ll be providing the perspective of someone relatively new to the sport. 

Me and Tony before 15.1. He was so nervous!

Me and Tony before 15.1. He was so nervous!

The Open is upon us. “Whasthisopenthingieagain?”, you ask? I had the same question (hint: if you want to sound like you know what you’re talking about, abbreviate titles “The Open,” “The Games,” Etc. I learned that one from Sir Anthony Hopkins — “Tony” to his friends). Fortunately head coach Noah gave us this wonderful post a while back, breaking the whole thing down. 

When I first heard about the CrossFit Open, I was a bit skeptical. “Everyone does these workouts together all across the world, and they’re, like, really super hard.”

I totally took my shirt off then put it back on, too. Which turned out to be a little awkward. It was my plan all along. 

I totally took my shirt off then put it back on, too. Which turned out to be a little awkward. It was my plan all along. 

Okay, at this point, normal CrossFit workouts are “like, really super hard.” So what would the Open Workouts be? “And this year’s workout is: Nine thousand box-over burpees, on a bed of glass and rusty nails. Judges will light contestant on fire. Judges may not douse the fire at any time. Any burpee which does not result in impalement will result in a no rep. You have six hours. Good luck.”

Well, our first workout is behind us, and I can safely say, my skepticism again has proven unfounded. 

1. The Workout Was Hard, But Not Hard In That Way: Like every other CrossFit workout, this workout was timed. We had 9 minutes to do 15 Toes-To-Bars, 10 Deadlifts, 5 Snatches. Then we had 6 minutes to get a 1 Rep Max (highest weight you can lift) Clean and Jerk. Translation: tough workout, but over in 15 minutes. I love the way CrossFit builds your pain tolerance in these short, intense bursts.

2. Everyone is Getting Better: At our gym, some people hit their all-time high during the last workout. Some realized they needed to work harder on endurance, because their final lift wasn’t that great. For me, knowing that other people are experiencing their own wins and losses is a great way to not get wrapped up in being new, and in the bottom tier on the worldwide scoreboard. Who knows where I’ll be next year?

3. The Open is Fun: The way the open works is, the exercises are announced Thursday night, you watch pro athletes compete doing them, then CrossFitters worldwide (200,000+) have four days to complete the workout. Thursday night, I was texting friends in other states about the announcement. Men three times my size were shaking in their pants about how it would go the next day. That’s just plain fun. 

See you after 15.2.