Every year for five weeks, Crossfit gyms are centered around the Open. Five workouts released over the course of five weeks. Athletes Friday-Monday doing these specified workouts to the best of their ability, and then doing it again, and sometimes AGAIN to try and get a better score that’ll put them in a better place on the leaderboard, all for the sake of testing their fitness.
For the past two Opens, I’d based my entire athleticism on the Open, and that had worked out pretty dang well for me, because the first one I was brand spankin new and the next year I could perform every single movement RX. Naturally when you increase by 200% in one year, you’re pretty happy to base your entire athleticism around the Open.
This past year leading up to the 2016 Open was a complete s**t show for training. It was one of those years where you’re in a batting cage, but instead of being the person who is swinging the bat, your’e on the other end getting hit by the balls.
My mindset going into this years Open was the complete opposite from what it’s ever been. I didn’t care, and I knew exactly why.
After sitting down and assessing why this year was different than the others, yet I had been just as committed to my training as ever, I found that there were four reasons why this years Open meant both nothing and everything.
1. Health Battles
Derek and I both faced “new to us” skin infections, not once, but three and four times. Our main goal went from hitting PR’s to figuring out how to stop being in excruciating pain, and to remember what sleep and dignity felt like again. For a quarter of the year our training very unwillingly went out the window. Once I was over the hump and back at it, ten pounds lighter, and a tad empty in my strength glass, the 2016 Open meant nothing.
On the days we could, we were still at the gym. The WOD’s were always physically painful and mentally I wanted to punch my life in frustration, but we were there. Showing up when things are really difficult and humiliating is nearly impossible. So when it came time and we were there just as we’d always been in the past, only this time beat up and not even close to full capacity, but ready to give it whatever we had, the 2016 Open meant everything.
2. Multiple moves
I’m not talking about fun “this is a new adventure” moves. I’m talking about a large majority of unexpected, unplanned, not fun, displacements. There were multiple Uhaul rentals, multiple car loads being taken to storage units, and then 30 days later everything being taken back out, biking around town looking for rent signs, and living in places where it was impossible for us to have our kitchen routine. It was a year of total displacement. So when it came time, the 2016 Open meant nothing.
With the lack of having full access to a kitchen, eating takeout a lot, and stressed out from moving around, we again, still showed up to workout. Bloated, stressed, fluffy, and feeling like we were kissing our athleticism goodbye, we clocked in, clocked out, and would be back tomorrow to do the thing again. So when it came time, the dignity in knowing we were doing the amount that we could, the 2016 Open meant everything.
3. My attitude
Being competitive can be a good thing, and it can also become unhealthy and unattractive. The first two Opens I was laser focused, my brain could do more than my body, and when other females that were comparable to my athleticism beat me on WOD’s, I would either do the WOD’s again to try and pass them again, or just bathe in frustration that I wasn’t passing them. There was no edification of the other females work ethic and drive. I didn’t care about them, I cared about me. This year, not caring before it all started because I really wanted to focus on getting my core strength back, the 2016 Open meant nothing.
Being outside of the picture frame, and letting go of where I was going to land on the scoreboard this year, was the best. I was paying attention, watching the other girls perform, reminiscing on where they were a year before, and quite proud of how far they had come. I appreciated their hard work, and would secretly hope that certain girls would do really well on certain workouts because I knew how much they’d trained on certain movements. My attitude switched and I tossed the unattractive character traits in the trash can, and that made the 2016 Open mean everything.
4. I married my husband
There are five categories in my life that I prioritize. My relationship with Christ, relationships with core people, financial portfolio, emotional/mental health, and my physical health. While this last year might have been compiled with stress after stress, Derek and I literally crushed it in these five categories. Talk about sitting down the night before New Years and going over what has happened, and being blown away by the amount of things that got accomplished, like I don’t know, marrying the most badass man that I get to call my husband. The 2016 Open meant nothing.
I will say that some years, some of those wells (categories) had a lot more water in them than others. Last year I poured a lot of water in the physical health well, and I was blessed to be able to do that, and I excelled because of it, but some of the other wells were left dry. This year, Derek and I gave water to all of those categories evenly, and all of the wells rose, so even though I took 2124th place in my region in 2014, 508th place in 2015, and digressed back to 1049th place in 2016, the 2016 Open meant everything.
We all have things that are very important to us and we will hold onto them tightly. Being a Crossfit athlete is one of those things for me, and its the things we love the most that hurt the most when a wrench is thrown in our way.
We’ve got to find a way to allow the things that mean the most to us, mean both nothing and everything.
Nothing, as in, when things go wrong, and throw us off our train tracks, which they will, we have to let it go. Let it go, as in, do what we can, on that specific day. Stop there. Move along. The plateau is what knocks most of us out of the game. Can’t let it knock us out of the game. Turns out, it’s inevitable and happens to literally every person who has ever been successful in what they do, we just usually don’t know that, because either they’re not saying it or we’re not asking it.
“Success is determined by what we do at the plateau.”-Unknown
Everything, as in, we need to be clear on what we want out of the things we’re starting, and be taking detailed notes/data on what’s happening in the process. When things do go south, we’ll have a solid perspective, and perspective is what is needed the most during the plateaus. If we can sit down and find the progress made, and the skills we’ve developed in the process, when the plateaus do show up, instead of looking like defeat, we will actually start to process them as “Ok here it is again, dressed up like….(fill in the blank)….and all I have to do is keep going, get past this particular plateau, and it’ll take me to the next level of success in this field that I haven’t seen yet.”
Whatever you’re doing that you love, keep doing it, but if you haven’t yet, sit down and find your own examples of how to make what you’re doing mean both nothing and everything to you, so when things are going smoothly, your attitude is on point, and when s**t hits the fan, your attitude stays on point.