We recently wrapped up 2017 CrossFit Open. A handful of the creme de la creme are heading to the Regionals or perhaps the Master Qualifiers. I am not! No surprise there. I fine with that.
I wasn’t planning to do the Open this year. My annual bout of winter respiratory issues resulted in too much time off from CrossFit. I had zero excitement about the Open, because I figured I was not going to be actively engaged in it. No, it wasn’t so much a bad attitude, as it was being fatigued and listless.
After almost a month off, I gained ten pounds. I eased into two days a week of WODs, just getting back up to speed physically and mentally. I had already shared with my friends that I was not doing the Open this year.
On Thursday night, when 17.1 was announced, I was at my local CrossFit affiliate doing Barbell Club. After we put all the gear away, we sat on the turf and watched the announcement. I was amused by all the moaning in the room, because I had just done these same movements on that Tuesday at another box (dumbbell cleans and burpee over box, but a different rep scheme).
I came to grips with the Open, acknowledging that my gym’s Friday WODs would be the Open workouts anyway. Since Fridays are part of my gym schedule, I was going to be doing the work anyway. I concluded I might as well register and get my scores on the leaderboard. So I went home that evening and I registered at 10 o’clock.
My 2017 CrossFit Open Performance
Generally I felt OK about all the WODs. I felt I had made progress in my overall strength in the past twelve months. If you want specifics for each workout, feel free to follow the links: —>: 17.1, 17.2, 17.3, 17.4 and 17.5. As much as I hate to admit it, it’s the annual repeat WODs that give me the most satisfaction. They provide a benchmark from 12 months earlier. And in five years of doing the Open, every time I’ve performed the benchmark WOD I have noted improvement. Sometimes, like this year, the improvement is amazing. Amazing enough to make the entire five week process worthwhile.
In past years I stressed about each workout. In my earliest years in CrossFit, there was no Scaled division, so that was extremely frustrating for a novice Master. When Scaled options were made available, I mixed up the WODs, strategizing for the leaderboard. If I could do 1 Rx rep in a 12 minute workout, I figured that I fared better in the stats than if I did 150 reps Scaled in the same workout.
But there was no satisfaction in gaming the leaderboard. I wasn’t able to assess my progress, and I wasn’t able to use other men in my age group as a standard for comparison. Also I wasn’t enjoying showing up at the gym on Friday nights for a one rep workout.
In 2017 I decided to simply do all the WODs Scaled. Period. That way I got to test my fitness in an appropriate manner. I was also able to benchmark my performance against more comparable Masters athletes.
Being a novice Master Athlete, in mid-sixties, there is a great deal of satisfaction to be had, simply being able to perform to standards, regardless of time, reps or leaderboard*. There is also a joy and contentment in realizing that the wisdom gained through years, is as important as muscle when getting under the barbell.
Over the next year, many of my younger friends will continue to work on goats such as Handstand Push-ups, or Muscle-ups. This old guy is looking to stay healthy, get stronger under the bar (lift heavier), and pursue sustainable fitness. God-willing, that will include participating in the 2018 CrossFit Open.
Stay Defiant! Stay Well!
*Note: I am pleased that I finished in the top half of the scaled Masters 60+ Men worldwide.