I am writing this essay a few hours before the CrossFit Open announcement for 18.1.
Every year internet forums and Facebook chats rumble with angst as people worry about upcoming WOD announcements. Then the worry turns to frustration or anger, as people either feel excluded because of the complexity of the workout, or they are insulted by the scaling options.
In the past I would have considered taking a rest day, or a light day, on the eve of an Open WOD. This year my attitude is slightly different. Today I did a Rowing WOD at full intensity. This evening I will attend Barbell Club and work on my Snatch and Clean & Jerk. When I awaken on Friday morning I will fell “beat up”. I may simply wait until Monday morning to do the WOD.
As a child born during the Truman Administration, I have learned more about myself during the past six years in my local Box, than I did a half-century in an office. My work life life consisted of constant planning. Whenever I was performing a task, I was looking out to next week, next month, or even next year. I never grasped the concept of NOW.
Since I grew in CrossFit and Olympic Weightlifting, I have learned that all my future plans are fully dependent upon what I do today, this hour, this minute, Now!
Such mindfulness is a joy. So when I see any workout, I know it may be 12 minutes of various movements. I know it will hurt. I know my heart rate and breathing will make my chest feel like it is ready to explode. BUT,… But all I need to focus on is this current pull on the barbell, this push-up, this wall ball. One movement at a time.
I no longer look to see the clock. I used to think, “Man, I have to hang on for another 9 minutes and 30 seconds. How can I do that?” Today I just look at the task before me. Lift, Push, Pull, Run! One simple movement at a time.
In my opinion, the Open is not the same as a competition. In a real CrossFit Comp, athletes will do three or four events in several hours. For an older Masters Athlete, recovery is at a minimum. During the Open, though you can compare yourself to your peers on the leaderboard, you have the opportunity to rest up to a week before the next workout, if you choose to. You even have multiple opportunities for a “Do-Over”. You will not see that in a local weekend comp, Regionals or Games.
For the average CrossFitter, those with no Games aspirations, the Open is simply another WOD, but with a great deal of hype and fanfare to make it more exciting. So while you may be willing to up your game a bit, it’s still just a daily workout.
Instead of making yourself stressed about it, just review the WOD, observe videos or comments of those who have already done it. Formulate your strategy and go do it. Also be prepared to throw your strategy out the window as reality sets in by the second round.
Then drag your tired butt off the floor and cheer on the next heat of athletes, because you know how they are suffering.
Next week I’ll publish a Post-Mortem of my 18.1 performance as I have done on every Open workout since I began CrossFit. Kick butt, Be Defiant, Be Well! Just have fun.
(Note: Since I began this draft, the CrossFit Open 18.1 announcement has taken place. I’m looking forward to Monday)