My First Open….
Friday Night Lights – 2015 – 15.1…
The scene had certainly been set. There was that stonking match up between Froning and Fraser that got all the Crossfit lovers talking. The steady stream of FB posts with teaser pics and hype messages about the event. The nervous chats with coaches via text, phone or email about whether they should really have signed up or not. Or whether they should scale or RX it. The Open had arrived and for some of you more seasoned athletes you knew what you faced. What had to be done. How the box would sound in the middle of heat 3. What sort of cheer would erupt if you hit a clean and jerk PB. But for many of the Crossfit Perpetua community…you had no idea.
For my blog this week I’ve rounded up some excerpts from members who went into Friday having zero Open experience. I wanted to share this for other Open newbies who might be wondering if anyone else was as nervous as they were. Or for guys and girls who still aren’t sure if they want to make a late sign up, but also for the seasoned guys to think about about their first run at this and remember how far they’ve come…..
This is my first open as I only started crossfit in November. Initially I was was unsure if I should enter but after all the encouragement from the coaches I signed up as I thought it would be a great learning experience and way to measure my performance in the future. Everyone who had done it before kept mentioning the great atmosphere at Friday Night Lights and it did not disappoint. As soon as I walked into the box last Friday I could feel the excitement in the air and knew it was going to be a good night. I went in the second heat and had a great battle with Goffy who was next to me, we were neck and neck all the way through. The buzz and encouragement from the crowd and Rusty (my judge) really helped me push out those last few reps of TTB and get under the bar for the C&J. I watched the third heat whilst recovering/dying but then had to leave to go to work. I was gutted as I really wanted to stay to watch the remaining heats, there were some epic performances going in! After that night I can say I am well and truly hooked, can’t wait for this Friday, bring it on!
I didn’t do the Open last year because I was concerned about all the supermen and superwomen I had observed in the gym having just joined in November 2013. But I had got Cross Fit wrong. It’s not about me, a short, fat mid-forty year old with too many kids and too much stress at work competing against muscle-bound 20 somethings, it’s about me making strides and competing hard to show progress for myself. When I started Cross Fit I couldn’t get my arms over my head after three rotator cuff surgeries over the years. In 15.1a I managed 60kg or 132 lbs – in my scaled split push press. I was thrilled because it was huge progress and while I am not about to scare the shit out of Rich Froning, I was buzzing all weekend. If I can do it, you can too. No-one judges you at Perpetua if you try hard, so don’t judge yourself out of doing the Open like I did last year.
I was initially very nervous but the support from those watching was amazing and once the adrenaline kicked in it was a breeze… Well sort of…
Last year’s Friday Night Lights were in full swing while I completed my introduction sessions. I was more focused on graduating to class than in a position to consider competing. A year later, it was Open season again and yet I didn’t immediately think about signing up. Next year I’ll be ready, I thought. But then I saw the Duffster going for it on the Whole Life Challenge feed and changed my mind – I might as well have a go… It’s been an awesome experience so far, despite my two rookie errors: forgetting to warm up and having to be shifted back a heat at the last minute and then neglecting to look at my final score. I also wanted to avoid having the bar at the box entrance in front of the crowd, but that’s where I ended up. RXing 15.1 was a big ask for me, but I somehow got through it with enough energy to PB on the clean and jerk, thanks mostly to cheering from the crowd. I was half embarrassed, half terrified and half loving it. I know this makes up more than one whole, but this just reflects the scale of the experience. Everyone should do it.
If I could say only one thing about the open it would be it’s awesome! And go do it….Ok so 2 things…
1st thoughts and emotions in my 1st ever open event; the day of the 15.1 was challenging, at work in the office and in the car on the way to the box I couldn’t sit still so eager to get going. This only amplified when I got to the box, waiting for my heat.Was a great atmosphere, 1 of the things I really dig with CF is how pumped up and supportive your fellow athaletes get during events. I could hear the screaming, shouting and cheering before I even got to the box, it was epic! (I was a tad late, which helped with the adrenaline dump!)
The event itself was surreal for me, I didn’t really get time to be nervous as I was thrown into a heat earlier than expected and strangely I think that helped me. My coach James Osborn (Ozzie) also helped massively, with tactics and timing! It went by so quickly and despite never doing toes to bar in a WOD, I did better than I thought I would.
Any way I have only completed round 1 but I am certain that I will only feel more strongly about the open at the end of it than I do now! Only 4 more to catch Froning and Co!
I was adamant that I wasn’t going to take part in The Open because I didnt feel ready…ever. After some ‘I will, if you will’ Jedi mind tricks from the girls, all of a sudden I was there, sick with nerves waiting for my turn. I don’t have a sports background and have never been in any type of competition but it was one of the best things I have done. The adrenaline took over and I don’t remember much about the workout but most importantly I really want to thank everyone for thier support, especially my judge, Tom for his encouragement. I hope the music drowned out most of my swearing and delirious rambling. Already nervous about next week…
Reading back over these and talking to guys around the gym a common theme emerges. Like most unknowns in life we build up an image of what it ‘might’ be like, usually with a few worst case scenarios thrown in and end up very nervous. But like most unknowns that challenge us, we come out the other side energised, exhilarated and ready for more. The Open is no different, and I can’t wait to see these guys hit it
again over the next 4 weeks.
again over the next 4 weeks.