For those who don’t know, I’ve been doing CrossFit since 2014 when I moved down to London after graduating university. There I left behind a 14 year long spree of being a basketballer, to basically become a CrossFitter overnight. It wasn’t something planned, I just kinda fell into it.
Flash forward, this year is my 3rd time to experience the CrossFit Open and the excitement is just as high as the previous two years. For any non-CrossFit people, the CrossFit Open is basically a world-wide fitness test that lasts 5 weeks, where you do 1 workout a week for five weeks at your local CrossFit affiliate. You then submit your scores and at the end of the 5 weeks, the top 20-30 competitors in each region gets invited to regionals. At regionals they source the top 5 five athletes in each region to compete at the CrossFit Games, which is basically the World Championships of CrossFit.
I love the Open because it enables everyone to test their current level of fitness – regardless of what level you’re on. There is a specific atmosphere created in the gym when you get together with your friends and give it your all to that workout. As adults, we often time don’t get the same opportunity to fully test ourselves in a fitness setting, and instead we tend to think of it as something belonging to our youth. CrossFit really breaks that perception, by creating a worldwide competition in which everyone can take part. It makes me smile just thinking about it.
Now, here I sit, two days after having done the first workout of the Open – also known as 17.1 (first workout of 2017). It was a spicy couplet of dumbbell snatches and burpee box-jump overs, and I think I speak for most people when I say “Ouch my hamstrings and and ouch my back…”. If not, please tell me your secret :D.
Going into it, my goal was to keep moving and maintain my breathing. I had somewhat of an idea of what time I’d like to get but nothing specific. Having coached the previous classes on Friday evening, I knew what awaited me as people one by one completed the workout by falling breathless to the ground making wheezing noises of pain… A friend of mine looked at me and said after she finished hers; “You’ll really like this one Hannah – you’ll embrace the pain and that will drive you”. She couldn’t have said anything better, as that put me in the exact right headspace to go out and give it my all.
I think this workout was great for many reasons.
- It was inclusive. It consisted of two movements pretty much everyone can do (different weight categories available)
- It had a 20 minute time-cap – This was a long workout, which meant it gave everyone a fair shot at finishing the workout.
- It tested your ability to switch quickly between different movements. Going from a burpee into a box jump might not be everyone’s favourite, but it’s still a fantastic test and will get your heart racing.
I’m looking forward to seeing what the next workout brings, and again, I look forward to seeing people give their ALL on that gym floor next Friday!