The Open in Review
The Open is over. 5 weeks has come and gone. I’m not sure how, but it was simultaneous the longest and shortest five weeks of my life.
I can proudly say that I pushed to my limits because my body is incredibly fatigued and I’ve actually been sick since the end of the last week of competition. I’d say my body is well aware that the Open is over and it’s begging for some rest.
Overall, the experience of my first Open was positive. There were absolutely things that happened that were not ideal (I may or may not have thrown some fits); but I also had some huge victories, like making 8 ring muscles ups in 18.3, which I hadn’t even done that many in my life up until that point – let alone a stand alone workout. So, for the sake of this post, I’m going to outline the positive takeaways and necessary improvements that this Open season revealed to me.
Let’s start with the good stuff:
1. I completed the Open for the first time. That’s a victory in it of itself.
2. I made 8 ring muscle ups in one workout. This has been one of the hardest movements for me to master and it’s still in a work in progress.
3. I pushed myself further mentally than I ever have before. (I almost puked several times).
4. For the most part, I “stayed in my lane” and didn’t pay too much attention to the other individual female athletes in my gym or on the leaderboard. I actually challenged myself to reach out to girls I knew were in Regional contention and cheered them on (which is a HUGE victory for me).
Some areas for improvement:
1. MENTAL GAME MENTAL GAME MENTAL GAME. Although I pushed myself further mentally than I ever have before, my mind was probably the largest deterrent during these past 5 weeks. If I got distracted by the leaderboard, by some of my friends who were in Regional contention, or just shut down because a workout had movements I either didn’t have or wasn’t proficient, I tended to flounder. I still haven’t forgiven myself for dropping the barbell within the last :30 of 18.5 on the round of 18 thrusters. I got 16 of them and easily could have gotten the last 2 if I hadn’t rested. This is my motivation for a stronger mind and stronger engine.
2. Like I mentioned above: engine work. I pride myself in being a strong athlete, especially for someone how hasn’t even been doing CrossFit for an entire year yet. However, as the Open has proven, there may only be one time when your strength is showcased. The rest is engine work, and if you don’t have an engine, say goodbye to being in Regional contention.
3. ENJOY THE PROCESS. During the course of these 5 weeks, I tended to get unmotivated and discouraged. Whether it was just from overall fatigue or having a weak mind, it got to me. And I stopped having fun because of it. It became about what I was trying to accomplish instead of enjoying the competition and cheering for my fellow gym members. I was reminded of what the Open was really about in 18.5. I had some of my closest gym friends surrounding me and screaming for me for 7 minutes straight. They didn’t let me rest and they sure as heck didn’t let me quit, but they also didn’t let me forget that they were rooting for me. They wanted to see me succeed. And succeed didn’t mean qualify to Regionals – it meant absolutely destroying the idea of what I was capable of by surpassing it. I won’t forget that moment.
So, for those of you who are fellow CrossFit athletes or just those people who are trying to stay fit though another venue: remember how it feels standing over that barbell and wanting nothing more than to quit, but picking it up anyway and beating the doubt within yourself that said you’d never make it.
Stay tuned for a better, faster, stronger, and HAPPIER Ashley in the 2019 season.