"We make sure that people are inspired and motivated to be better than yesterday--to us, that's what the Open is all about."
The road to the CrossFit Games is long, and all but the elite few will end their journey before the second stop – Regionals – let alone the final destination of the Games. Given that stark reality, some choose to avoid the road altogether. Not the athletes at CrossFit Chicago.
One hundred and forty six CrossFit Chicagoans decided to compete in the 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games Open.
How’d they get so many people—from all demographics and experience levels--to put their doubts aside and compete?
“We’re treating the Open as a community event, and not a competition,” lead trainer Jonny Vu says.
“We’ve been fortunate enough to have done well at past CrossFit competitions with our more seasoned athletes—those athletes set the tone and inspire our new members to compete,” Vu says.
To get more new athletes to participate, Vu interviewed athletes who took part in the 2011 Open and ran their responses on the CrossFit Chicago blog. Even the athletes who didn’t qualify for the North Central Regional gained something from last year’s Open: it had pushed their training to new levels.
The all-inclusive format of the Open presents an opportunity for all athletes to find personal gains in terms of general fitness, as well as for the box community to grow “stronger and tighter-knit.”
“After 12.1,” Vu says, “those newer members have a chest full of pride and confidence to hit every workout hard, even if its scaled.”
CrossFit Chicago will host “Game Day Saturdays” and “Last Chance WOD Sundays” every weekend of the Open. With two teams this season, CFC Black and CrossFit Chicago, they’re stirring up some “friendly competition.” After 12.1, their teams held 14th and 17th in the North Central Region. Apparently the friendly competition is working.
“Making sure that people are inspired and motivated to be better than yesterday—to us—that’s what the Open is all about,” Vu says.