Why I’m Still Doing the CrossFit Open

by Christy Nix, SISU member

The Open is here! This year will be my fourth CrossFit Open. With all the changes coming from CrossFit HQ regarding the CrossFit Games, of course, this year feels different, but I’m still excited. Still a little nervous. Still anxiously anticipating what 19.1 will be. I’m still definitely doing the CrossFit Open.

Open Workout 16.1

I remember my first Open so clearly. I was determined to do all the workouts RX even though I probably had no business doing so. Every Thursday at 7pm, I anxiously waited to find out if I the movements in the workout were things I actually could do. The first week had chest to bar pullups, and I had never even attempted one. I spent as much time as I could that Friday trying to figure out how to do one, and with the help of one of the coaches, we made it happen. Singles. I did all singles, but I did them! Next there were double unders. Oh, double unders… I could only do a couple at a time, so that’s what I did. I had to go into that workout knowing I would need to be patient with myself on that movement. Then on the third week, the workout was 55lb power snatches and bar muscle ups. A 7 minute AMRAP. I practiced and practiced Thursday evening and a couple times on Friday, determined that whether I got a bar muscle up or not, it certainly wouldn’t be because I didn’t try. I didn’t get a single one while practicing, but Saturday morning I showed up to the SISU Open workout ready to see what would happen. The clock started, I did the 10 snatches for round 1 and then moved to the rig. I had about 6 minutes to get a muscle up. Over and over and over, one failed attempt after another. Coaches and members all round offering advice and encouragement. And with 10 seconds left on the clock and only time for one more try, I jumped up to the rig, kipped as hard as I could, caught that one elbow over the bar and scrapped my way up and over. I got it. Holy crap. It was so awesome! I proudly entered my score of 11 reps.

Open Workout 16.5

The Open for me is all about that first year. Every year has been awesome, but that first year was so memorable and if I wasn’t locked in to CrossFit before, I certainly was after that.

And every year since has been powerful and memorable in it’s own way. Every year the workouts are hard. Every year I push myself harder than I thought I could. Every year I watch the SISU community do the same! Getting a movement for the first time, making a lift never hit before, pushing themselves harder and longer than they would in a regular class workout. And I’m so proud to be in that room and a part of what these amazing people are doing.

For a very few people, the Open is about going to the CrossFit Games, but for everyone else, it’s five workouts a year that somehow – magically – allows you to find your limit and push past it. And what a beautiful thing to discover what you’re truly capable of! And it’s a chance to tighten the bond of our SISU community as well as the global CrossFit community. To know that people all around the world are doing the same workout as you, putting in that same amazing effort, because they, too, understand the value of fitness and the exhilaration of giving your full effort to something.

All the beautiful expressions I made during the 2016 Open! 🙂

It’s a small thing – to do a workout. It’s just a workout. You can tell yourself that, but everytime you show up and put in the effort, you change yourself a little. Everytime you think you can’t or you don’t want to but you do it anyway, your brain shifts just a bit. And after a year of making that small choice every day, not only are you stronger and fitter, but your mentally tougher and more capable to tackle challenges not only in the gym, but more importantly, in life. And the Open, to me, is a celebration of that work and a marker for how far you’ve come.

Everyone has their own reasons for doing the Open or not, and every reason is valid. This is just my reason, my ‘why”. I love the challenge; I love testing my fitness against where I was a year ago; and I love – I love – sharing the experience with my SISU family as we give these five workouts our all and surpass our own expectations of our abilities. #sisustrong