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A newbie's reflection on the 2014 Crossfit Open

The Crossfit Open. Is it really for everyone? This is my story coming from a person who only weighs 45kg and rarely RX’s any WODs. When first asked by our coach if I was thinking of doing it I laughed it off thinking, you kidding me. No way can I handle the RX weights. Being small I often thought it was unfair that there are no weight categories. A 29kg thruster is 65% of my body weight. Nevertheless after much convincing from my peers I decided to take the plunge. Or rather it was fate that got me. I left my entry form open and thought that if it had time out by the time I got back, then that’s that. Unlucky or unlucky it did not time out.

Despite my complaint about the weight category issue there is a positive. Because you cannot scale you are comparing apples for apples. This means that there is nowhere to hide. All your weaknesses are exposed. And because of that for the first time ever I practiced outside of WOD time. For the 5 weeks, a regular pattern started occurring. I would practice the day before, surprise myself with being able to do the movement and then come the next day to achieve a personal best. It pretty much went like this:

  • 14.2 - Chest to bar. Managed to do my first C2B a day before the comp. During 14.2 I managed 10 C2Bs.
  • 14.3 - 71kg deadlifts. 72 is my 1 rep max. During 14.3 I managed 9 reps at 71kgs.
  • 14.4 - Toes2Bar. Kipped for the first time the day before the comp. During 14.4 I was happy just to be able to complete the full set of 50 T2B.
  • 14.5 – 29kg Thrusters? Now this one was really a Mind Over Matter WOD. I considered for a few minutes to boycott the WOD. Luckily I decided against that and totally surprised myself with a score of 23.30mins. I really thought that it would take me 45mins.

So what do I think about the Open now? It’s definitely a good experience to see how much you can push yourself. However I'm not going to lie and say it was easy. In many instances it was a Mind Over Matter thing as we often underestimate what we can achieve. However at the same time listen to your body. In 14.3 I stood around for 2 minutes as I knew I was starting to round my back and did not want the risk of injury. The best part of the Open is the community atmosphere and support. I definitely could not achieve what I did without the encouragement and support of our Box and peers. Now kipping pull-ups appears feasible in a WOD (ie. after Chest to Bars). You’ll definitely surprise yourself but the important thing to remember is that it’s a competition against you. Going into the Open I knew there was no way I could compete against the bigger girls. But then I've exceeded my own expectations and that’s what it’s all about. Now back to normal training days. Share your experience in the comments below.


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