MY OPEN EXPERIENCE: MARK FAIRCLOTH

When was your first Open and how long had you been “doing” CrossFit?

My first open was back in 2014 and I had only recently completed my fundamentals the week before I think, so the most I had lifted was a PVC pipe, which was probably the most I could lift as well!

So straight in at the deep end! What made you sign up?

I know, people say “oh whats the point, I'm not going to win” but it was not about that, my motivation was about putting down a marker so I could see how I’d progressed over time.  I had also seen clips online that showed it as a time where the whole Crossfit Community comes together and I wanted to be part of that.

Do you remember what the workout was?

Oh yes, I remember, I stayed up to watch the live announcement and felt my heart sink as Dave Castro said...

Open workout 14.1

10 Minute AMRAP
30 Double Under
15 Power Snatch 35kg

Keep in mind I had just finished my fundamentals, couldn't skip…at all, let alone do double unders and Snatch was still an adventure with every rep, there was no scaling options either like there is now.

Did you feel intimidated, how did you get on?

There was maybe some nervous energy but I was determined to get at least 1 rep! 

Needless to say, Rich Froning did not have to worry about my score, I think I only managed 78 reps! So not even 2 rounds! I definitely had more whip marks than anything else but I think it was important I did it.  I realised right there that my current idea of “fitness” had to change, that I had to practise things I wasn't good at and get outside my comfort zone. 

How did you feel afterwards, were you disappointed with your score?

Not really no, there was a lot more motivation if anything, I think at the start you do think “people are going to laugh at my score, judge my ranking” etc… but to be honest, no one cares what your score is apart from you, I got a load of high fives and cheers just for completing the workout, that gave me a lot of encouragement going forward.

What does the Open mean to you?

A Few things, from a personal point of view it gives me a chance to compete against myself, it's not about Regionals or the Games it's an opportunity to better my previous score and see what I need to work on throughout 2018.

From a coaches point of view its a very special occasion, I'm sure I speak for all the coaches and staff at CFN when I say its a very proud moment watching the community we have poured everything into, come together and push each other on.  

Seeing people find muscle ups out of nowhere, hitting new PBs, getting those pesky double unders, members who have never met before dishing out high fives and fist bumps is the new highlight of any open.

What would you say to someone thinking of entering or if it's their first time?

Do it! 

You will, 100%, regret not entering when you see everyone having a load of fun and pushing harder, there is no reason I can think of other than your own ego stopping you, we always see a first muscle up and a good number of PBs it really does bring the best out of people. 

You feel part of something, the Open is much more accessible as well than when I first entered with scaling options that open up workouts to everyone, if nothing else it gives you something to look back on, I’ll have to give my first one a go and see how I get on.

 

Watch Marks retest of Open Workout 14.1 and see if he beat his previous score -----> https://youtu.be/wX81HLOtrq0