OPEN Lizzie Ellis
Photo Credit: Mark Johnson
I’ve mentioned in this column before that I am no good at conventional sports. In third grade basketball I could not grasp the concept of playing both offense and defense back and forth so quickly. Straight over my head. I never considered myself an athlete because I was terrible at sports. Even when I started exercising in a gym I still would have never considered myself an athlete. Since starting CrossFit I can confidently say I am an athlete. Apparently, I’m pretty decent at the sport of competitive exercise. Laugh all you want. Then come WOD with me so I can kick your butt. Just kidding. I occasionally beat my husband in workouts and that’s all I really care about.
The Open is also a great way to measure your improvement over the last year. One of the many things that separates CrossFit from other fitness modalities is that you can see quantifiable results. Actual numbers that prove you are, in fact, getting more fit. You can perform a benchmark workout and six months later do it again and see your improvement. Each year in the Open there is always a workout that is a repeat of a previous Open workout. This year, the week four workout, 17.4, was the same as last year’s week four workout, 16.4.
The workout goes as follows: In 13 minutes get as As I submit this column, the CrossFit Open many rounds and reps as possible of 55 deadI hear is in it’s final week. It’s been a grueling lifts, 55 wallballs, 55 calorie row and 55 complaints all four weeks so far and I’m sure masterhandstand pushups. I did this workout the time from mind Dave Castro has something fun as prescribed last year and only made people feeling down (tortuous) planned for the fifth and it to 19 calories on the rower before on themselves because final week. time expired. The deadlifts were pretty they still can’t do a heavy for me at the time at 155 pounds For those of you unfamiliar, the workout as prescribed and and I was terrible at wallballs. I manOpen is five workouts in five weeks have to scale or they still aged 129 total reps. For the sake of refthat determines who moves onto can’t do an advanced erence, the female athlete that won that regional competition and then the movement perfectly. workout got 308 total reps. This year I CrossFit Games. The cool thing about got to repeat this workout. My goal was Screw perfect. the Open is that anyone can sign to just make it off the rower. I still can’t up for it. You are literally competing do handstand pushups, but I wasn’t going to against people from all over the world. The get too far ahead of myself. Getting 165 reps was workouts are released Thursday night, you have my goal. Guess what? I did it! I got off the rower with until Monday evening to complete it and then log your almost two minutes left in the workout. I was too spent to score. For elite CrossFit athletes you follow on social media even try a handstand pushup, but I had met my goal noneand see on TV the Open matters a lot. For folks like me, not theless. so much. It’s just a fun excuse to take your workout a little more seriously, push yourself a bit further and get a taste of what competition is like. My favorite part of the Open besides when it’s over? PR’s! Lots of people do movements or lift weight they’ve never done before. The adrenaline is pumping and your gym friends are cheering for you and boom! You get your first muscle up! The Open magic is real folks.
By doing that workout again in a competitive setting I was able to gauge my improvement. I can see undeniable evidence that I am more fit than I was a year ago. All too often we get caught up in results that seem far in our future and it makes us unable to see more gradual progress over time. I hear complaints all the time from people feeling down on themselves because they still can’t do a workout as prescribed and have to scale or they still can’t do an advanced
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