Looking back on the Open

Six weeks ago, on February 16th, I announced my decision to enter a fitness competition, a decision that would have a profound effect on myself and all those around me—in and out of CrossFit.

When I posted about the Open, our CrossFit 403 team had only 13 members–within 5 days of that post, we had 27!  It’s pretty awesome to see that many people step up and give it a shot, standing ovation to you all.

The last 5 weeks have had all 27 of us hit high’s and low’s.  I did my best to keep my chin up but a couple of the workouts really kicked my butt, 12.2 really got on my nerves and I was really upset with myself.  I talked to several other team members too who expressed disappointed at certain WODs and some got downright angry at themselves.  Frustration was common but so was victory.

Workout 12.2 ended up being a really key WOD for me; it’s the WOD that took the most out of me and also gave me the most appreciation for what we can accomplish.  One of my absolute favourite highlights of the open was watching Dawnie complete WOD 12.2, the same WOD that left me pissed off.  Here’s a relatively new CrossFit athlete who had never attempted a 75lbs overhead snatch.  She did the first 30 at 45lbs and made a comment that she wasn’t sure she could do 75lbs.  It took a couple tries but when she got that first lift at 75lbs, she let out a bit of a scream as if to say “holy shit, I just did that”–, and then she proceed to do 28 more!  Huge highlight for me, huge. Another was watching Coach Regan do his 12.2.  He had never done a 135lb snatch and he did 10!

As far as my experience with the Open, I had a lot on my plate outside of CrossFit but I found myself really consumed by it; waiting by my computer every Wednesday at 6pm to see the announced WOD, scouring the leaderboard damn near daily and picking out people to compete with, at least in my head.

So, here’s a breakdown on my results – click the link HERE to see a breakdown and video on each workout in the competition.  My scores were:
12.1 – 57 – 57 burpees
12.2 – 30 – 30 overhead snatch reps at 75lbs, 0 at 135lbs
12.3 – 27 – 15 box jumps on 24″ box, 12 reps 75lb push press, 0 reps toes-to-bar
12.4 – 124 – 124 wall ball tosses, 20lb ball, 10 foot target
12.5 – 3 – 3 reps, 100lb thruster, 0 reps pull-ups

I actually didn’t finish in last place in any single WOD amongst Western Canadian athletes so that makes me pretty happy.  I was kind of disappointed though that amongst the Canada West athletes who finished all 5 workouts, I finished in last place.  Regardless, I did much better on a global scale, placing 22106th out of over 25000 registrants in my Division.  All in all, I really have no reason to be disappointed–I still made an attempt to compete with the best of the best.  Having my name in the same Division as guys I look up to like Jason Khalipa, Rich Froning, Tyson Takasaki, Mike Eberts, and my teammates at CrossFit 403 is akin to me playing a game of shinny with Brendan Shanahan.  Plus, I finished not far behind several other athletes who had a big advantage; most of them weigh 60-100lbs less than me.

All this means is that I have a baseline for 2013 already and I know what I need to work on.

I have a much deeper appreciation for what CrossFit is and what it means to me.  I was also given the opportunity to be a part of the Canada West Media team as a writer, an amazing opportunity at least partially available because of the blog (and a couple wicked coaches who threw my name into the mix).  Having the opportunity to interview and interact with some of Western Canada’s top athletes was truly awe inspiring and really gives you a fresh out look on things and it still amazes me how humble and willing these people were to take the time to talk with me so a special thank you goes out to all of them and everyone who supported, helped, and are helping me continue doing this—My wife Melinda, Coaches Crip, Regan, and Bree, Ken Andrukow and Chris Fenlon-MacDonald from CrossFit Ramsay, and the athletes themselves; Tyson Takasaki, Janine Walinski, Trent Lane, Mike Eberts, Mike Warkentin, and the entire CrossFit 403 crew.  You’re all amazing ambassador’s for the sport.

The last 5 weeks have taken CrossFit to a new level for me.  It has gone from a way to have fun and enjoy working out to becoming an all encompassing sport.  Even on days like today where I know how much shit I have to deal with when I get home, I am now planning my day around working out instead of the old cycle of “I don’t have time for that”.  I have fewer excuses, more motivation, and more focus.  Community is absolutely a huge part of this and we have one damn solid foundation at CrossFit 403.  It’s been a cool ride to be on since October and I can only look forward to the rest of it.  I’ll have to fight with myself to get out of bed again every morning so that I can do other things in the evenings but I did that for 2 years, I can do it again.  I’ll be back tomorrow…and the next day…and the next day…

On to Regionals!

To read the first three articles that made it to the Games.CrossFit.com website, click the links below.  There will be more and I’ll add that one (on Mike Eberts) at a later date.

Tyson Takasaki: No Hail Mary
Janine Walinski: Trying to Achieve Her Potential
Trent Lane: Changing Lanes, A Family CrossFit’s Together

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