Who you are in the WOD is who you are in life. The Open just magnifies that experience. It compresses it and expresses it, like CrossFit cappuccino.
You are and are not Rich Froning.
You are and are not Sam Briggs.
You know that, and you don't. If you're anything like me, there's this rational part of your head that knows you are ___ inches tall, ___ pounds, and can do ____ consecutive pull-ups. You know all your barbell PRs without looking them up. You know what your best Fran time is better than you remember what your SAT scores were. All of this data is locked in your head, like you might have to recite it if you were ever captured by the KGB. (In your head, the KGB still exists and kidnaps people from the gym all the time. The only details that matter are the plates on your bar.) But there's something that happens when you hear "3-2-1 … go!"
You become a different person.
One moment, you might be a small woman in her 40s with a couple of kids and a desk job, but the second that WOD starts, in your brain you turn into LeBron James with the outlet pass in your hand and nothing but painted floor between you and that metal rim. You are GOING for it.
This is good ... and bad. On one hand, you now think you are capable of far more than you ever imagined. On the other hand, you now think you are capable of far more than you ever imagined. This can either make you have a great time in the Open, or a miserable time in the Open. As with most things in life, the result is entirely up to you.
Do you work within your limits? Do you pick a target number, pace yourself and work your way to a goal? Or do you just ram the gates and go for it?
These are questions you need to ask yourself—now and before each Open workout—and you have to be honest with your answers. Know if you have a problem with intensity and you crave too much of it. I do. Like probably quite a few folks in our community, I'm constantly jonesing for the edge in life, for the sharpness, the rush. CrossFit gives that to me in many ways. I'm a 6-a.m.-workout person. By 7 a.m. most days, I'm high as a kite from CrossFit. The Open just gives me more of my drug. I've always thought of CrossFit as a truth serum. Who you are in the WOD is who you are in life. The Open just magnifies that experience. It compresses it and expresses it, like CrossFit cappuccino.
Now some folks can't handle that level of intensity. I read a post on Facebook by a CrossFit affiliate discouraging members from signing up for the Open because he was afraid that his members would push past their limits and get hurt. Instead, he told his members to do the workouts but not sign up, as if this act of omission would change things. I could understand his concerns, but the whole process seemed to me like asking adults to sit at the kiddie table at Christmas. Sure, the food is the same but the experience is very different. There is a satisfaction to recording and submitting your scores that simply cannot be duplicated by only doing the workout. Now, I'm not saying this affiliate owner was wrong. I support him running his affiliate however he wishes. But I'm happy that my affiliate urges me to sign up and trusts that I will work within my limits and reach a breakthrough level, but not a breakdown point. And if for some reason I should lose my way, I trust my trainers to tell me, "Darsh, STOP." That's why I pay for their expertise.
So, what am I telling you here? Talk to your coach. Talk to yourself. See clearly where you are in your training, and where you are in your head. Know yourself: before, during, and after 3-2-1 … go!
That's what I plan to do. Because I am and am not Julie Foucher. I CrossFit and I'm a strong woman. That's where the comparison ends. But I'm still going to act like I'm headed for the podium and waving to the crowd, instead of waving from the seats.