With the open drawing closer it means the competitive CrossFit season is about to hit full swing. It also means the stress level in most boxes are about to spike as well. Participating individuals will be anxiously waiting and anticipating each week as they sit and twiddle their thumbs for the workouts to be released. Then comes the actual process of putting oneself through the workout, sweating it out as a judge stands by meticulously counting reps and reviewing standards or a video camera rolls on capturing the self-induced pain which most CrossFitters have become accustomed to. After the actual workout, comes the debate of weather or not to post the score or wait to see how others will do and maybe give the WOD another shot in hopes of improving on the first score and climbing the rankings higher. After the score is posted comes the constant checking of the leader board to see where one has stacked up against everyone else. Sifting through pages upon pages of scores which are more than likely intimidating and mind boggling at best, there comes the constant questioning and doubt about whether the score posted was good enough or the best that could have been produced. However, this obsession with this workout is soon overcome with the anxiousness and nerves about the release of the next workout and the process completes itself all over again…for 5 weeks.
As I have now been through the open twice myself as a competitor and also competed at regionals on the team level I have noticed how stress levels rise up this time of year in CrossFit’s all over, due to the process of the open. Now I believe the open to be a great process and an exciting time of the year for CrossFit’s all over the world. However, I can’t help but be bothered by the stress that is also created by those that participate in this process. In my eye’s people tend to become obsessed during the open. Obsessed with what the workout might be, obsessed with how to handle the workout and obsessed with how one is going to stack up. It is in this obsession that people loose sight of the process of CrossFit. They loose sight of how CrossFit is something that is supposed to be fun (although there are still those scratching their heads at what Crossfitters view as fun) and something that is supposed to be a stress release instead of a stress inducer.
While CrossFit has become a sport and with any sport there is always going to be a certain degree of stress involved, I believe that for the most part people need to remember to have fun and enjoy the process. CrossFit is not about creating obsessive individuals who drool and gawk over numbers and times on a computer screen. CrossFit is about helping people and challenging individuals to be the best version of themselves. The sport of CrossFit and the competitive CrossFit season is one way in which people are challenged but it should not consume them. After all, the open only last 5 weeks, and at the end, would it be better to have a collection of high strung stressed out fitness junkies or collection of people who just enjoyed the hell out of the last 5 weeks for the challenges it presented and the rewards it may have reaped or the weaknesses it may have exposed? I am going to go ahead and pick the latter since these are the people who know how to have fun and enjoy the process. When the open gets started this year remember to be one of the fun ones and have a blast with the process!