The Open Season is back again, and I am excited to see what Dave Castro has in store for us!

I have been doing CrossFit for four years now and this will be the second time I will be able to finish each workout on time.  Over the past years different activities; usually Army commitments, have prevented me from getting all the WOD’s done in the specified amount of time. But despite not being able to do each workout, I still went to Friday Night Lights whenever I was able to. It also happens to be when Rachael and I started to date so the Open season is kind of important for me now!

This year will be the first year I have signed up since the 2014 season. Although I haven’t registered for the open in three years, I have been around The Open and Friday Night Lights as both a coach, judge, and athlete. FOR ALL OF YOU WHO DECIDE YOU DO NOT WANT TO SIGN UP FOR THE OPEN, YOU CAN STILL PARTICIPATE AND DO THE WORKOUTS.

Whether you are signed up or not, here are some thoughts for you to go into this season with.

I have been able to participate in many of the Friday Night Lights hosted at CrossFit SteadFast and they always embody the purpose of the CrossFit games: COMMUNITY. Yes, The Open is the first stage for athletes to qualify and move on to The Regionals, but less than 1% of athletes who complete The Open reach that milestone. Ultimately, The Open is about all the athletes in our gym community, coming together to enjoy fellowship and cheer on the athletes as they complete each Open workout. During Friday Night Lights don’t just come, sign up for a heat, workout and go home. Experience what The Open is, stay for all the heats, bring drinks and food, and meet some members you haven’t met before. The Open is designed for you to workout with your community, not as an individual.

Don’t overthink what The Open is. Remember each workout on Friday is simply another workout. The WOD’s we do every day and the WOD’s during The Open have one difference, instead of Brian programming our workouts, Dave Castro gets to have his fun and write something for us to do. Remember when we did 18.0 a couple of weeks ago…That was programmed by Dave Castro. Did you freak out? Did you redo the workout because you didn’t like your score? Well in two weeks it’s the same. When you come to do The Open workouts don’t change what you do. Come in, do the warm-up Brian writes, spend some time talking with friends and kill the workout. Don’t come in and think a 2-hour warm-up will improve your score. You know right now where you are at, if you don’t feel you are as fit as last year, that’s fine, work harder next year. Come in, give it your all during the workout, then cheer on your fellow Stead-Fasters as they kick ass too.

What is The Open like? For many of the newer members who haven’t been to a Friday Night Lights, it’s a great time. On the Friday of each open weekend from 4PM-8PM everyone can come to the gym and do the workout with a certified judge. When you arrive at the gym you will see it is all laid out for the workout, if lanes are needed they will be made, designated weights will be out and so on. As soon as you walk in, look at the board, there will be heats listed with a start time next to each heat. It is your job to write your name into one of those heats. Once you have picked what heat you want to go in, you have one job, ensure you are warmed up and ready to begin for your heat time. How do you ensure you are warmed up? Good question, somewhere on the board a basic warm-up for the WOD will be written, you will need to warm yourself up, if you have questions ask a coach who is not actively judging. If you do the designated warm-up, 9 times out of 10 you will be ready to go for the workout! About 5 minutes before your heat a coach will be calling out your names to ensure you have all necessary equipment, a judge to grade you and finally 3,2,1…GO! When the workout is over the judge will attempt to get your signature, which is guaranteed to look like crap. Now, its time to relax drink some beer and cheer on the remaining heats.

Oh, and look forward to the next week…

Tips for The Open

  1. The only time you will be guaranteed a certified judge is during Friday Night Lights. If you are not able to make it to Friday Night Lights, ensure you SCHEDULE a time with a certified judge.
  2. There is always an influx of competitors around 1730 be aware of this when deciding when you want to compete. Try to strategize when you want to work out. There is usually a lot of open space in the first couple of heats (come early please).
  3. Bring food and drinks. Trust me you can’t bring too much
  4. After the workout is announced each Thursday night, Get on and learn the movement standards for the workout. This will prevent any surprises the next day.
  5. After you view movement standards, ensure you have your personal equipment ready for that WOD. Get your bag packed the night before…
  6. Whatever the Judge says goes. If you have a problem with that, then don’t give the judge a reason to “no rep” you
  7. Ensure you upload your score by the next Monday night after you complete the WOD, if you have questions about uploading, ask a coach
  8. Have Fun!