The CrossFit Open: A community celebration

On the 22nd February at the call of “3..2..1..GO!” the CrossFit community all around the world will embark on their 2018 Open journey. This for many athletes will be both an exciting and nervous prospect but for many new box members the first chance to fully experience the celebration of the CrossFit community during the Open.

Boasting the title of most highly participated sporting event across the globe, last years open saw just over 380,000 participants with an expected half a million in 2018. Numbers of this size aren’t achieved just through a good promotional campaign or a few big names being involved so what is it that gets the community so hyped up each year? Self-improvement, first times or PB’s?

The Open began in 2011 and has continued to grow each year since with the addition of a scaled division in 2015 making it far more accessible for athletes of all abilities. The Open for the majority of people will create a benchmark or marker point for the current level of fitness, giving athletes the perfect opportunity to assess and improve areas of their fitness in order to better themselves the following year. This may be something simple like improving overall strength or endurance or perhaps something more technical like achieving a muscle up or handstand press up. These landmark moments during training or Open competition create a huge wave of excitement throughout gyms and spur athletes on to outperform our greatest expectations. For me, this is one of the most enjoyable experiences both as a coach and a competitor. Witnessing a first for any member especially something that has taken hard work and practice to achieve makes all of the aches, pains and hard sessions even more worthwhile. 

For a very small group of athletes, in fact, less than 1% the Open serves as the first gateway towards the CrossFit games. Progressing through to regional level individuals and teams will then battle it out over a three day period. From there the very best of the best will advance to compete for the title “Fittest on Earth” in their chosen division. The CrossFit Games will take place in Madison, Wisconsin USA running 5 days from Wednesday 1st August to Sunday 5th. The winner of the CrossFit Games will start their Open season with 18.1 the first workout and the five-week journey just like the rest of us. 

Over the course of five weeks Dave Castro the director of the CrossFit games will release a new workout each week for participants to tackle. With a four day window to attempt each one athletes will have plenty opportunity to get their tactics right and submit the score. Here at CFN the classes on a Friday will complete that weeks Open workout making for an even more incredible atmosphere in the gym. The usual buzz prior to each class will be filled with chatter about the Open announcement and how people plan to tackle the workout. The final Friday and conclusion of the Open brings with it a very special set up at gyms all over the world and CFN especially. A party like atmosphere with athletes completing the final workout then staying to support other members, enjoying food and drinks it’s quite the spectacle.

This is my Open motivation. Seeing the community truly united and celebrating everyone’s involvement makes for a pretty special night. 

So this year if it’s your first, fourth or eighth CrossFit Open experience remember why it is you train and what you’ve done to get here. Get signed up, do some fitness and celebrate with the community you are a part of.

Let the games begin.