"You know what? Some wishes come true"

And when my kid talks about “wishes coming true” he means I came home from the store with the carton of strawberries he wanted.  At any rate, I have “wishes” and goals too, and as I registered for the Open yesterday I couldn’t help but reflect on how they have evolved since registering for the Open last year, and how far I’ve come.  This thought has actually come to mind a few times in the past month or two.   Since I started The Outlaw Way I’ve been asked to do things that I didn’t know I could do- this is an experience I’ve had time and again in sports.  It’s one of the things I think is great about growing up in gymnastics.  There were many times growing up that I was tasked with something I doubted I could do. But in that environment you just do it, you don’t question your coach and after enough times you start to have some faith in the process.  I’ve adopted a similar mentality in Crossfit, which is why, as I’ve mentioned here before, it’s so important to me to have a coach I trust.   So this week when I had to do jerk doubles at 180# I was at a loss for how the hell I was going to do it.  In the past I really haven’t liked bringing relatively heavy weight down from overhead into the rack position.  However, I’ve done a few workouts recently that have made me put more value on being comfortable managing the barbell going both directions.  One of the workouts was doing the rope/clean & jerk workout from last year’s Games again, the other was a workout with light push presses in which I smashed the barbell into my face- oops.  Anyway, long story short, I did the jerks, no big deal.  It made me laugh though, because a year ago I thought it was insane to do “DT” at 80#.  Now it’s more weight, but in many ways it’s the same process.  Getting past that doubt and doing the work.

I can’t remember specifically what went through my head last year when I decided to sign up for the Open.  I certainly had no idea where it would lead.  I knew little to nothing about the Games, didn’t know any of the athlete’s names, and from what I could gather,  took years of Crossfit experience to compete at that level.  I knew even then that competing at the highest level was something I’d like to do at least in theory.  I didn’t know if I had the potential to.  When last year’s Open was approaching there were tons of movements I wasn’t proficient at (still are!). So what business did I have signing up?  I don’t know, but I’m so thankful I did.  I still occasionally have self doubt about my Crossfit goals, wondering who am I to dream big?  I am lucky enough to have people around me who unwaveringly support me, and Crossfitting itself has increased my confidence exponentially- to the point I’ve been actually been called arrogant.  Shrug (I will write some other time about why being  “accused” of arrogance and cockiness makes me laugh).  But guess what?  I bet I’m going to stay focused on what I set out to do.

My first CF competition 11.1. Awww

The Open is what set me on this path. It truly is for everyone, no matter what your goals might be and here’s why:

One of the greatest things about the Open is participating with the whole community.  I’m starting to laugh at how much we talk about community in Crossfit, but it’s real.  Whether you’re doing workouts within your own gym, at The Arnold with Games athletes, or in your garage and a submitting a video, you’re participating in a worldwide event that’s shared with a ton (can’t wait to see how many this year) of people who have something in common with you.  Even if you don’t consider yourself to be “competitive” or you’re not trying to qualify to Regionals or the Games, or don’t expect to see yourself at the top of the leaderboard, it’s a pretty powerful experience to be part of.

The Open will also push you to better yourself.  I saw so many people during last year’s Open doing things they didn’t think they could.  From the WOD 11.3 the clean and jerk workout where I saw people taking their previous one rep max and lifting it for reps, to people like me practicing double unders day and night for that 11.1, first muscle ups- the Open is great motivation to up your game.

You never know what the outcome of participating in the Open might be.  I had no real reason to believe I had a shot at the Games last year, but by doing the Open I left doors open myself.  You never know how you might progress in the coming months, your team might need you, and you might do things beyond what you imagined, just like we do all the time in Crossfit.

I may sound like a cheerleader for the Open right now, but that’s ok if there’s a possibility that one person who might not have otherwise signed up will read this and not miss out.

Author: Elisabeth Akinwale

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  • Great write up!! Only thing missing in here was a link to the Open 😉
    Although I have no expectation of seeing my name on the leaderboard, I’m hype about the Open. I’m looking forward to seeing how far I can push myself beyond my expectations. But seriously, jerking 180#?!?! I can’t even imagine…

  • You truly are an inspiration. I watch your videos and follow your blog, they help me more than you know. I started CrossFit 6 months ago, I am totally hooked and also started a blog of my progress… I have used you as an example of the CrossFit woman I want to be. All signed up for the Opens and who knows where it will bring me, but I will never know unless I try. CrossFit has changed my life completely and people like you make it so easy to want more and love everything about the community of people it involves. Best of luck in the opens!! Cant wait to see you kick some butt at the Games this year!!

  • Haha, I think I remember watching you do that DT from upstairs and saying, “Wow, she’s strong. She’s going to be lifting a lot more than that very soon!” I think I did 70# at that time. Hilarious that you did only 10 more pounds than I did. 🙂

  • I couldn’t agree with you more. Last month at a local competition I managed my first ring dip ever (in my amazement I actually did 6 of them). I didn’t even finish the workout due to a time cut-off but I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face from doing my first ring dips! It was so awesome! I can ‘t wait to see what the Open brings! Best of luck to everybody!

  • I love love love your enthusiasm for the Open! I competed last year and i was 7 months pregnant. 🙂 While my name might have been a couple thousand names from the top in our Region, at least it was THERE.

    Thanks for your great blog. Love seeing the progress of your training. I cringed a little bit when I watched you lowering that barbell down. OOF!

  • Hey that’s my body in your pic! I’m glad you’re competing again this year. It’s a good move. I’m afraid to look at your Games Profile since I don’t want to know how far you’ve surpassed me on the strength numbers. Gotta get back at it!

  • Elisabeth, you stated, “I still occasionally have self doubt about my Crossfit goals, wondering who am I to dream big? ” My comment to you is a quote from Marianne Williamson (author):

    Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

    Elisabeth, your commitment and hard work liberates so many other CF women who, too, are daring to step outside the box and shine. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I will cheer for you as you compete and stand on the podium!!!

    • Thanks so much Gloria! I actually LOVE this beautiful quote, and though I’ve seen it before I always seem to need a reminder.

      “Born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.” Gives me chills.

  • Just re-reading thru everything and came upon this post again…like Krystal I know Im not gonna see my name high on the leader board and I was very very very hesitant to sign up for the Open (Ive never done anything like this before in my life)… But then I did it- I signed up! I must admit I was not thrilled with my 12.1 performance but reading this post got me excited about the Open all over again and now I’m eager to see what 12.2 brings 🙂