The Open: Gary’s 2017 Reflection

4th February 2018

The Open is the biggest CrossFit competition in the world, it is comprised of five workouts over five weeks, and this year it starts with 18.1. Open workouts are identified by their year and the order in which they appear.
While the purpose of the Open is to find the fittest athletes in each region, taking them through to Regionals and then the CrossFit Games it’s also an opportunity for any athlete at any level to participate in the competition. It can add meaning and purpose to your training while also bringing your gym’s community closer together. As it become ever closer we thought what better way to get excited then share some storied from last year.
17.3 has been and gone and Gary’s going to tell us what it’s like from a master’s point of view.

As one of the more senior members (if not the most senior member) of CFN I have been asked for my view of the Crossfit Games Open.

Encouraged by my wife Lea, I joined CFN in May 2014 just days before my 55th birthday, I’d got a range of motion on a level with a plank of wood and felt close to death in every WOD (in fact I caught Lea searching out our life insurance policies, wonder if thats why she encouraged me to join?).
Fast forward 3 years and I’m still here, a lot fitter, weighing in at 80kg.

Gary competing at Napalm, 2016

My first attempt was in 2015. Luckily for me things had changed from the year before as they had now introduced a scaled option. 15.3 involved lots of wall balls and single unders, I’ll smash this I thought. Wrong, to the sound of “no rep” ringing in my ears I wasn’t getting depth on my squats and kept missing the target (this taught me an important Crossfit lesson, do it right first time and you won’t have to waste energy doing it again, thanks Selina).

When 17.3 was announced I wasn’t filled with as much excitement as the previous weeks, I’ve had issues with my shoulders for ages and this was going to be painful. I was torn between RX or scaled but decided to go RX with a goal of getting the first weight level completed and moving onto the pull ups on the next phase.

I’m no expert but my advice to anybody having a go this year for the first time or thinking about entering next year would be to watch the standards video released when the workout is announced, check out a few advice videos for tips and strategies, hang around when you’ve done your bit and cheer on your fellow members it does make a difference and you might see some amazing performances (take a bow George Healey) say thanks to your judge, don’t swear out loud when you’ve been “no repped” you might think your knocking the reps out like Rich Froning but you’re probably not, make a promise to yourself to work on your weaknesses for next year and lastly enjoy the experience and be inspired by your fellow members.

Good luck in 17.4 and 17.5

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