Why The *!%# Did I Sign Up For The Open?

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What would possess someone brand new to CrossFit to sign up for the Open? Why would someone that hasn’t even attempted half the moves that Dave Castro will potentially require sign up for the Open? Hmm… good question.

I signed up as a competitor in the 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games for a handful of reasons. I think. Maybe it was only one reason and the rest are just “reasons” to put my mind at ease over this impending “mistake”? Maybe this is the worst idea ever? Maybe it is the best? Maybe it is somewhere in between? Let’s investigate.


A benchmark to see where I stand at the beginning of my CrossFit journey seems like the most logical reason. (Spoiler alert: It isn’t my main reason.) Every athlete in the Open performs the same workout. I can literally compare myself to every other competitor in the world. That tiny Asian lady that warms up with my 1RM deadlift? Yeah I can compare myself against her. More than that, athletes can compare themselves to others that have done CrossFit for relatively the same amount of time, provided they fill out their profiles! And while the workouts for the 2015 Open will surely be different, in a year I will be able to look back and see how I have improved over my 2014 scores.

No Pressure

Let’s put to rest any lingering question that I could advance to the Regional competition. I can’t. Zero percent chance I qualify for Regionals. Glad we got that out of the way. That leaves precisely zero pressure on myself to obtain a certain advancing score. I’m just going to have fun with it! (That is, if your definition of fun is doing tough, painful workouts that you quite possibly will fail…) I’ll be doing the workouts with my CrossFit 865 family. We will struggle together. We will probably fail together. And when we fail, we will laugh. And when we laugh, we will scale the workouts to our abilities and then attack the WOD again. And when we do our scaled WOD for ourselves and not for score, we will be tired and sore and spent. And when we are tired, we will laugh and drink beer together and guess what next week’s workout will be and repeat….

Peer Pressure

This is the majority winner for why I’m registered for the Open. Is that bad? Maybe. Probably. I’ve already made a ton of awesome new friends on this journey, and most have recommended that I do the Open. They said I would regret it if I didn’t. I don’t like regret. Here’s the thing though, I know I’m going to fail. I’m scared. Who willingly wants to set themselves up for failure? Who wants to pay money to fail?

It all depends on your point of view of failure. A month ago, my view of failure was that of an ending, that failure meant the end of an unsuccessful journey. Now, I’m learning that failure is only the beginning of a journey. They say when one door closes, another door opens. That’s failure. That is how you become better than yesterday. What’s success? A string of failures that together form the crucible in which a new, better us is forged. Fall down once, get up twice. Persevere. Win.

I’m not going to advance past the Open. I know this. But I’m not going to lose. Somehow, someway, I am going to win. I’m going to be better because of this. My score may be laughable and embarrassing on the surface, but I will own my score. I promise this, my score will be the best score I can possibly obtain. I will give 100%. I will stand up more times than I fall, no matter the number. And then I will laugh and drink beer and toast the Open because it’s my Open and it’s your Open and it’s our Open and we are all winners.

This post may be found in its entirety at ifailedfran.com. ifailedfran.com is a personal blog chronicling a new CrossFitter’s journey into CrossFit and life.

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