What is “The Open”?

The Open is coming.

That wondrous time of year when an individual decides on some vial things to get hundreds of thousands of people around the globe to do. That time when for 5 weeks, every one of those hundreds of thousands dread Thursday evenings more than Monday mornings. That time when Dave Castro announces that weeks’ workout.

I just burped up thinking about it. And I paid $20 for this?

But once you get past the nausea and dread, you realize that it’s not about the workout, it’s not about the fancy announcement, it’s not even about the community. It’s about yourself. Ok, and a little about the community. Especially for those of us who normally do workouts at home, but for this season are welcomed into boxes all over the world to be officially judged. Thank you box owners for judging us! That didn’t come out right…

Think of it this way: you go to the box, gym, ymca, whatever your flavor of facility, and you do your routine workout. Do a little cardio, lift a few weights, stretch and so on. Great, you got off your butt, out of the house & did it! Seriously, you’re already miles ahead of many other people. Often though, approaching the “weight area” is when the excuses fly: That machine looks painful, so you go with old faithful. Those guys have lots of weight on that bar, so I’ll go do something in this corner. Today’s WOD is right up my alley but tomorrow’s isn’t so that will be my rest day.

After all, who in their right mind would walk into their comfortable exercise space and decide to lift more than you ever did before? Or push yourself harder for a faster time? Or attempt a muscle-up? A what? Exactly. If you’ve never done one, why would you walk in and say “I think I’m going to do 30 of these. For time.” You wouldn’t, and no one would be there to push you or motivate you to even try. “The guy on my workout DVD said I’m doing awesome even though I’m sitting on the couch eating some Twinkie’s. What a great workout!”

And that’s why this is different.

The Open isn’t just about doing a work out – it’s about trying something you’ve never done before. Accomplishing something you never thought you could. And relishing in that achievement. How many people last year groaned when Dave announced 15.3 would start with 7 ring muscle-ups? Yet how many people tried, over and over again, and finally got that score of 1 with their entire class, group, whatever, cheering them on like they just won a gold medal? Would that person have reached that milestone had they not been pushed to do so by the Open?

I get that not everyone is into the competition aspect; I agree. There’s no way I’m going to the games, regionals, sectionals, town finals – any of it. But if you remove the competition part and focus on the part that encourages you to try something new, do something faster, lift something heavier…then the Open becomes something new. It becomes a proving ground to show how far you’ve come and set goals for how far you want to go. It becomes all about YOU.

So while we don’t know what new horrors will be visited unto us this year, I will concede this fact: I won’t win anything. I won’t be best in my region, division, even in the box. But I will do my best. I will attack the movements I can’t do and will push harder in the ones I can.

I will participate in the Open. Will you?



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