This year was the first year I participated in the CrossFit Open (last year I felt too new to it all). The Open is a 5-week competition that serves as a qualifier for the CrossFit Games. Most participants (including myself) are not at that level where we expect to gain entry to the games (outside of buying a ticket). Instead, many of us do it for the personal challenge and community activity. That’s why I did it and it was was an incredible experience.
Each Thursday of the Open, the workout was announced online. Then, participants had until 5pm the following Monday to submit official scores. Not everyone submits scores, but it’s kind of cool to see how you’re ranked among your peer athletes.
In case you’re curious, here are the official workouts for each week. I did the scaled versions, and sometimes even scaled that.
The most fun part of the Open is working out during “Friday Night Lights.” CrossFit affiliates across the world have a huge event where members do the workout for a given week. Often, there are in-house competitions. We had that at Kilter. Not only did we get points for how well we did the workout, but we got points for dressing to the week’s theme, serving as judge for other members, showing good sportsmanship, etc. Not that it matters, but my team came in 2nd. Go Team Blue!
In addition to performing the workout each Friday night, I photographed the athletes as they pushed themselves to greatness. Many PRs and first-time achievements were accomplished. It was truly incredible. Here are some of my favorite shots.
19.1 – Theme: ‘Merica
Because there were so many of us participating, we ran several heats each Friday night. I always went in the first heat to a) get it over with and 2. leave the rest of the night for taking pictures.
19.2 – Theme: Team Colors
This is the only Open workout I decided to repeat when I learned the difference between the slippery and sticky bars (after being a member for over a year!). I don’t remember what I originally scored, but when I repeated it on Sunday, my 166 reps crushed my original score (which I think was below-100).
19.3 – Theme: Camo
This is one where I scaled the scaled version. When I saw the workout go live that Thursday, I had a panic moment. I can’t lunge all the way down (yet); I can’t do handstand pushups (yet); I can’t step up as high as the workout required (yet); and I sure as heck can’t do a handstand walk (I’ll concede that one probably won’t ever happen).
19.4 – Theme: Green for St. Patrick’s Day
For many athletes, the bar muscle-up is a huge milestone accomplishment. I wasn’t ready to give it a try, but several peeps did. Some made it, some didn’t. And for those who got their first one… it was probably the most satisfying moment of the Open.
19.5 – Theme: Kilter Pride/Spirit Wear
Ah, the final workout. There were thrusters. It seems the final workout always has thrusters. It was a great end to an amazing five weeks. And thanks to a reformat of the Games, we get to do it again as soon as October!