My Open Experience: Laura Cunningham

My First CrossFit Open. 

In February 2016 I took the plunge and joined CrossFit Northumbria. I remember my first session, I arrived to find people buzzing around, measuring out lengths of the black matted floor and taping off areas of the gym, I thought what on earth is going on?

Standing at the whiteboard, everyone was in such good spirits and asking each other 'Are you doing scaled or Rx? Did you see the announcement last night? How many rounds do you think you'll get?' I then realised I was missing out on something....that something was 16.1:

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 20minutes of;

- 25ft Front rack walking lunge

- 8 Burpees

- 25ft Front rack walking lunge

- 8 jumping pull-ups

I really didn't know what to expect. Everyone around me seemed to know what to do and started loading up their bars, moving boxes into place and frantically doing burpees all over the room. I was then partnered up to 'judge' one of the other girls and asked 'do you want to go first or second?' Errr second!?

After watching my partner go through the motions I then knew what I was letting myself in for and quickly learned it was a very fun and extremely challenging event. 

Once I got home and recovered from my first experience of 'The CrossFit Open' I looked into it a little more;

'The CrossFit Open is an annual event where each week, for 5 weeks, the global CrossFit community does a series of workouts and all track scores online against each other'

I was already hooked, the anticipation of the workout announcement each week and not knowing what was coming, made it so exciting and I found myself waking up early to check if the workout for that week had been released. The best part was anyone could participate, if they couldn't do the Rx (more advanced) they could do the scaled version, which is what I did. Unfortunately that year I wasn't able to enter or complete all of the workouts, but was invited down to watch the final workout 16.5;


- Thrusters

- Burpees

After seeing the atmosphere, how encouraging people were towards each other and watching everyone push themselves to their absolute limit, I knew I 100% wanted to enter the following year. 

In February 2017, I entered The CrossFit Open. 

I didn't anticipate how nervous I would be going into each workout. I found myself attending Open Gym and completing the workout for that week with people I had never met before, judging, supporting and just generally having a great time, so much so that I completed the final workout, 17.5, in front of the whole gym and alongside our top coaches!

After I completed each workout I would log my score online and see where I was ranked against people all over the world! I found this fascinating and thought now I have a benchmark to measure against next years open, how much can I improve in a year?

In conclusion, I have loved my past 2 experiences of The CrossFit Open, such an amazing energy and excitement across the whole CrossFit community, people want to do their best, whether it's about competing against others or, like me, competing for yourself. 

At the end of it all, there was a huge sense of accomplishment and I was very proud of myself for completing the event. 

My goal for this year is to compete in the Open’s ‘Rx’ category. 

Just one month to go!