“Why You Should Still Do The Open This Year” by Misfit Athletics’ Caroline Conners

Caroline Conners. Via Instagram, @caroline.conners
Caroline Conners. Via Instagram, @caroline.conners

HQ announced changes to the sport of CrossFit moving forward after the 2018 season. One change that not many expected: you can no longer qualify for Regionals through the Open…because Regionals no longer exist! So now what?

The reality is, this change really only impacts a small chunk of the CrossFit World.

When I joined Crossfit MF just a few months before the 2014 season, I had no clue what everyone was talking about when I heard them chatting about the “Open.” In fact, it all went right over my head. I just liked working out. More specifically, I liked working out with the community.

Eventually, my coach filled me in. My thoughts: “So you’re saying we get a surprise workout each week, we get put on the same leaderboard as people around the world who are doing the same exact thing? And we get to watch and cheer on everyone else at the same time? I’m in!”

(It took a bit longer for me to realize the end goal for more competitive athletes.)

After that, participating in the CrossFit Open was never a question for me. I sign up and I do the workouts. Don’t get me wrong, each year my list of “reasons” grows longer, but the most important one has remained the same since the beginning. And that is the community that stands beside me. The community that encourages me, pushes me, and supports me in and out of the gym. They are truly why I love participating in the Open.

The Crossfit Open is, and will always be, so much more than a qualification process. It brings members together. It gives people that extra push to try things they never thought they would. It gives people the shot to showcase how much hard work they have put in over the year to get that muscle up, double-unders or to do a handful of burpees in a workout that would have put them on the floor years prior. The Open is a chance to stand together with your affiliate members and encourage people to be the best they can be. So who cares if there’s no more regional competition, or if you think your competitive career has been cut short. Take a step back and look at the big picture. Why did you walk into that gym in the first place?

Now think about why you stuck around. I hope that most of us come up with the same reasoning. The community.

So if you are on the fence about signing up for the 2019 CrossFit Open, do it for the members who want to be encouraged during their first year. You were once in their shoes. Do it for the kids who look up to you and wish they could see their names on the leaderboard. Do it for those people less fortunate who don’t have the means or ability to participate. Do it for yourself…and your affiliate. This is your chance to build stronger, more powerful relationships with each and every member. Magical things happen during the Open. Don’t miss out on that.