As anyone in the CrossFit world knows, the 2016 Crossfit Open has begun. As the name suggests, well it’s open. It is open to anyone with $20 and a desire to compete. I really, really like the Open, and I love everything surrounding it. I have grown fonder and fonder of it with every passing year. This is my third year, and easily the most enjoyable to date. I think the reason for this is because I don’t take myself as seriously as I have in the past. I am comfortable with myself and I am comfortable with the people at my gym. I know pretty much what to expect of myself, and I am not concerned with anyone’s expectations of me. The arrogance that I associate with believing that anyone else has any real expectations of me is phenomenal. I mean, 2 years ago I remember doing a workout at the Open and feeling like I had let everyone down, as if they were counting on me to free them from Sparta by way of double-unders. Today I am not disappointed in myself and I’m not concerned with disappointing others. My main concern is watching everyone step out of their comfort zone….and then going to eat somewhere. The Open is a GREAT excuse to eat. I will carb load for an 8 minute AMRAP for days, you know, to make sure I have fuel in the tank. Of course, I like to see it when the workouts are geared more to my strengths, but that’s usually not the case. In fact, Dave Castro seems to do a magnificent job of pretty evenly spreading the movements across the board. This keeps the playing field level, which is why people get so pissed. The LAST thing I want is fair. I want workouts that are catered especially for the Beefcake. I basically want 5 weeks of PUSH PRESS. Nothing else. One movement. Every week. 5 weeks. Any other movements and I complain that the sport is tainted and Dave Castro is an as*hole. I don’t believe either of these things has much truth.
I know pretty much what to expect from different workouts, but they are all exciting. I am much better at the strength portions than I am the cardio. I enjoy the longer chippers more than the shorter more intense workouts. I cannot do muscle ups, and I hate burpees (I know, get in line.) At the end of the day though, I am happy with the movements that I can perform. I remember being on one of my first long trail runs. I was pouting, like furiously pouting. I talked to this man who was just bouncing around the trail and taking it all in. He asked me what I was so pissed about, and I explained that it was because of my performance on the trail. He laughed and shared with me what I consider to be some pretty profound wisdom. He said, ” after 40 years of doing this, I have come to the conclusion that there are only 2 reasons as to why I do not perform to my expectations. One reason is that I am simply out of shape, and the second is that I am just too damn old.” This hits home with me as I reflect back on a lot of my past and present behavior. I watch the people in the gym who walk around sulking like little children because they did not perform to their standards. They suck the energy out of the people who are trying to enjoy themselves and make it about them. They are unwilling to encourage anyone else because they are so self absorbed in their perceived “failure”. I am as guilty of all of these things, at one time or the other, as anyone I know. The solution to this was given to me out on the trail that day, “get in better shape”. If you wanna do better…it starts by doing better. I’m gonna let you in on a little secret, I am most likely not going to win the title of World’s Fittest Man this year. The chances of me winning my region are not good. My chances of finishing first at my box are about 0%, even if you divide it into age groups, and that is totally cool. There is a difference in the people that perform well and the people that don’t, and it is called dedication. I find myself getting frustrated for not performing at a particular level (which I arbitrarily make up in my head), when I simply don’t train to that particular level. I am not saying that not performing to certain level is good or bad, but I am saying that beating yourself up over it is not productive, to say the least. I love working out. I love the way that I feel when I am eating right and sleeping well. I also love pizza, tacos, ice cream, and watching documentaries on the couch. This is the reality of it. I perform exactly like a taco eating, weekend running, ice cream loving, CrossFit addict, who enjoys long naps and shit food. Expecting anything different than the results that are associated with this type of lifestyle falls squarely on my shoulders. There is no need for me to walk around pouting, scratching my head, and acting like I don’t know what went wrong. I am quite sure that I could perform at a different level of CrossFit if I performed at a different level of everything outside of CrossFit, but I don’t wanna make the sacrifices. Two sayings that piss me off more than most are: 1. You can’t out train a sh*tty diet. 2. Abs are made in the kitchen. Dammit. I hate that. I really wish that I could go to the gym for an hour a day, and live a life of gluttonous bliss the remainder of the time.
Anyways, I hope that you are enjoying your journey in the Open, as it really is meant to be a lot of fun. Stay in your sandbox and enjoy your achievements. Let the judges be the judges and participants be participants. If it is causing you more stress than pleasure then either refocus or stop doing it. Let the people who truly, truly train do the stressing about making it to Regionals. We are not them. In the meantime, I will be enjoying the excitement and anticipation of another Thursday night announcement while the whole CrossFit world watches to see what movements we will be performing in the upcoming week. I will be trying to miscount my reps, intimidate my judge, and basically cheat my way to the highest score possible. While I usually don’t get away with cheating (because everyone knows I am cheating), I will at least enter my score as early as possible so I will remain at the top of the heap, until the deadline for score submission approaches….and then watch is as it all falls to sh*t. I hope you enjoy your day, and get excited about SIXTEEN—POINT—TWOOOOOO.
Peace, Love, and all things Beef related,