Breaking Open

Today is the day: 13.1

Some of you will have no idea what that means. But for hundreds of thousands of people around the world, they will have butterflies and nervous anticipation as they await the release of the first workout of the 2013 Crossfit Open.

Rewind to 2011. I hadn’t been doing Crossfit very long or consistently.  I remember the first workout was double unders (phew) and snatches. Snatch? What? I spent the whole day trying to learn the lift from videos and hit the gym early to try and make some inquiries as to how one actually gets the bar from knees to overhead (and that magical moment in between).

Snatch miracleI survived that wod (thanks to some ground to overhead leniency) and through the open I learned that I had way more to give than I had ever imagined.  It pushed me to become more serious about my training.  Later, I volunteered at Regionals and set my mind on competing there myself.

2012 brought more surprises.  I was eager to train and compete to help my team, although I really didn’t think I would be in a position to qualify for Regionals.  And that lovely snatch – well my one rep max became my three-rep max (100lbs).  At the end of the Open I shocked myself by been one of the top finishers from my gym (what the?! how’d that happen), and had the honour and fun of representing the Zone at the Canada West Regionals.

Almost hitting 105 at Regionals.

Almost hitting 105 at Regionals.

Another year. And another surprise. I won’t be doing the 2013 open.  Will I miss something like the 7-min burpee AMRAP? No, not likely. Although because I’ll always be a crossfitter I’ll likely do it today just for fun!

What I will miss is:
– Pushing myself past my limits and discovering I can go further than I thought possible, and know I still have more to go
– Watching my friends and teammates learn new skills, achieve new landmarks (PRs), and elevate one another to incredible heights and achievements
– Being part of a community no matter where I go.  In 2011 I went to Square One Crossfit  for one of the wods, and 2012 I did another at Reebok Crossfit Firepower.  Every box meant support, camaraderie, friendship and a competitive push
– The feeling of accomplishment after having faced down my fears, overcome them, conquered them and realized I AM SO MUCH STRONGER THAN ANYTHING I FACE
– The relief once the wod is done. Going through hell is hard. But let’s face it, it’s actually a lot of fun (aside from the burning, nausea, pain etc).  It’s the best drug there is right?!
– Pre/Mid/Post wod dancing (Miss Adrianna Haffey I’m talking about you!)
– Bettering myself.  These challenges strengthen every part of you: body, mind & spirit.

When Crossfit didn’t play into the cards this year I felt like a failure.  I felt like I was letting myself down.  I felt like everyone around me would be making incredible progress and I (by doing nothing) would be on a fast train backwards.  But training for the unexpected means that sometimes life will change your plans.  Sometimes what you want to have happen won’t be possible.  Sometimes it even means that there are other opportunities the universe has in store.  In the same way that our weaknesses don’t mean we’re not strong, being out this year doesn’t mean I’m not learning, growing and getting stronger… it just means I’m exploring other ways of doing it.

And maybe all it took for me to fall in love with an erg was to get in a boat on the water – that has to help my crossfitting doesn’t it?

Once again, I’m humbled by the lessons that life and sport continue to teach me.  And once again I’m going to be counting down the minutes until each wod is released.  Except this time with a few less butterflies in my stomach.

I love that they call sectionals the Open.  For me it is about being just that: open to new things/skills/wods, being open to our strengths and weaknesses, open to learning and growing, open to what other people are doing, and open to what life has in store… I wish all who are competing this year an incredible ride.  I’ll be cheering for you!

 

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