"It's not [heavy] for you mama, you're strong. I saw you workout"

I didn’t have a lot to say during the Open.  I hadn’t even reflected on it all that much after finishing 12.5 on Saturday.  Then I received a message about the Open from a Crossfit buddy that in part read:

“I know it’s probably not how you wanted [it] to go but thank goodness it’s over!”

Wait, what?  I thought I did awesome.  Ha!  As intended, the Open was pretty much just another workout each week.  In fact, for all but 12.4 it was one of 3 workouts in the day.  Of course at the same time it was much more than that.  Just like last year the Open was a chance to connect with lots of other Crossfitters.  I did the workouts next to everyone from Games winners (if you haven’t heard, Kris Clever is one of the kindest and smartest women you’ll ever meet) to people in their first ever competition.  I watched some incredible performances, PRs and firsts.  I learned a ton about myself- less from things I did ok at and more from things that I was straight up embarrassed by.  Yes, 12.2 the barbell workout handed me my ass.  The one workout I think people would have expected me to do well at- big body, big one rep max- I bombed.  Oops.  As cliché as it sounds, I’m actually grateful.  I gained so much more as an athlete from that failure than if I had killed the workout.  First of all, “everything is everything.”  If you’re down with Outlaw then you know.  It was a proper ego stomp and a reminder that every time I touch a barbell (or bar, or rings), whatever weight is loaded on it, I’m either reinforcing proper technique or I’m setting myself up to fail.  It was a huge reminder that this is a long and continuous road.  There is no, “check, I know how to snatch now, done and done.”   Like everything else, there’s always more to learn, more to develop and grow.  This workout made me feel as if the cosmos said, “Oh, you think you’re pretty decent at the snatch movement?  Watch this.”  Duly noted.  Always stay uncomfortable.

I may be one of  few Open participants who didn’t look at the leaderboard.  I felt like leaderboarding was counterproductive to my goals for the year and basically served no useful purpose for me.  As I type this I still don’t know where I finished.  I did qualify to Regionals, right?  I’m sure someone would have mentioned if I hadn’t.  Believe me, I care where I finished.  I would love to be the athlete who wins everything.  On the other hand, it doesn’t really matter.  My feeling after competing in the Open all the way through the Games last year was that what the Open tests and what Regionals and the Games test are two different things.  I don’t believe Open results offer much indication on how one will perform at the next level.  Some of the differences that we’ll see at the next two levels of competition versus the Open are:

  1. Higher volume over multiple consecutive days of competition/Recovery issues
  2. Pressure of a competition environment
  3. Equal conditions (you can’t build your own burpee shed at Regionals)
  4. Legit judging
  5. Types of workouts are different

Another thing I learned last season, and something that’s a bit of a mantra for me, is everyone is beatable.  When I walked into Regionals last year I was competing against women whose Open performances I had absolutely been impressed by.  I had no inclination that I could beat them in any workouts.  Let me be honest, I was intimidated by Stacie Tovar’s quads.  But as the weekend progressed my confidence built and by the final workout I knew it was anyone’s game.  So to those who are moving on to their Regional remember everyone is beatable…and stay uncomfortable.

Stacie and I looking our absolute best on the beach at CFG5.

Author: Elisabeth Akinwale

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