This year, the CrossFit Open challenged more than 415,000 people from all walks of life to face five weeks of challenging workouts and examine their overall fitness. The ruler’s metric varied from person to person, but throughout the five weeks, countless stories of personal triumph came out of the woodwork. CrossFit's programming may be measurable and repeatable, but its value to these countless individuals who thrived during the Open is immeasurable.
The best stories are scattered throughout the leaderboard, many buried in the folds of countless stats and figures. Luckily, with the help of the CrossFit community, stories have surfaced through tales told at affiliates and on social media. Below is a glimpse into some of the journeys of everyday athletes around the world.
Overcoming Chronic Disease
"This is my mom (Susan Alexander, age 55). She does CrossFit and changed her eating habits. She is losing weight and her blood sugar is no longer an issue. She is in the Open.”
“We are so proud of Brooke (Watson)!!! She has been with us less than three months and already her body composition is changing and her dedication is amazing!” —CrossFit Devil’s Backbone, Strasburg, Virginia, U.S.
“The Open celebrates CrossFit and showcases the scalability of a program that cures chronic disease even more readily than it produces amazing athletes. After just one month of CrossFit, Duffy (Linda McDuff) is participating in the Open.” —CrossFit Wonderland, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
"Because it's not about where you're at. It's about where you want to be. Drawing a line in the sand and seeing how far you can make it. This is year zero. And it's important to remember where we come from and how much we've accomplished. Can’t wait to see what the future holds." —Linda McDuff, CrossFit Wonderland, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
CrossFit Is for Anyone
“I’m so freaking proud of this woman right here!! @able.body feared jumping her entire life, due to her cerebral palsy ... This week, she took on 18.2 with burpees over a bar! Before we started I could tell she was a little nervous, so I told her we could lower the height of her bar. But her response was, 'Jamie, I’ve never gotten anywhere in life doing things the easy way. Let’s do this, and if I fall, I fall.' The 12 minutes of 18.2 were a beautiful thing to watch, as I saw her confidence grow and she improved with each jump ... March is Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month, and Janet’s courage and attitude are at the forefront of inspiration for all!”
—Jamie (Joyce) Hagiya, Torrance CrossFit, Torrance, California, U.S.
“CrossFit really is for anybody. When Jana (Rocker) was 10 years old, she was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, a deadly form of bone cancer. The cancer was very aggressive, and she had to have her left arm amputated. Living in denial most of her life, Rocker never went to physical therapy, and during her twenties, due to insecurity, she wore a (cosmetic) prosthetic all the time.” —Bandit CrossFit, Biloxi, Mississippi, U.S.
"I joined Bandit CrossFit in Biloxi, Mississippi, six months ago, and it was a huge leap for me, a very out-of-shape arm amputee! But it’s completely changed my life! I love how any move can be adapted to anyone ... My aches and pains are gone, my knees are stronger and my cardio is getting better." —Jana Rocker, Bandit CrossFit, Biloxi, Mississippi, U.S.
“Although modifications to workouts are not eligible for official competition submission, you’re still welcome to be a part of the Open, and Linda is! … No more excuses. YOU can do CrossFit.” —Alex Beriault, CrossFit Wonderland, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
“Fittest adaptive athlete in Egypt, Eslam Abuali, crushed his modified version of 18.2, an ascending ladder of 1-10 clapping push-ups and dumbbell hang cleans, followed by finding his heaviest hang clean.” —CrossFit Engine 38, Giza, Egypt, Africa
Andrew Keeks (AJ), the proud husband of 40-week pregnant athlete Patti Keeks, wore a mock pregnancy belly as he showed his support, mirroring each movement that his wife completed during a scaled version of Open Workout 18.2.
“AJ knows how to make me happy.” —Patti Keeks, Kansas, U.S.
“When I saw toes-to-bar (was) the first movement this year, I thought I would have to start this Open season with a zero on the Leaderboard again … Then my friend Nate reminded me that there’s a scaled division, and that I should at least try and get the eight knee raises (which I’ve never tried before) that started the workout. So I tried them out. This video is (of) my 8 reps to start the 2018 Open … Pride is a funny thing. I always tell my athletes to scale more often, to maintain the stimulus, and to not be so worried about the Rx next to their name. I guess sometimes I need reminding of that, too.” —Kevin Ogar, CrossFit WatchTower, Englewood, Colorado, U.S.
“The Open is the great annual celebration of CrossFit. It’s accessible to everyone on Earth … (This was my) first Open, first 10kg (dumbbell hang clean and jerks), first knee raise sets. Thank you, 18.1!” —Liz Barbarich, CrossFit Might, Narangba, Queensland, Australia
“Week 2 of the CrossFit Games Open complete! I did plank burpees because this big ol’ belly can’t get on the floor anymore, and I used 35-lb. dumbbells for the squats! The burpees still had my heart racing, (even) at this turtle pace. I finished the workout in 8:10 and then attempted 4 power cleans at 135lb., 145lb., 155lb., and finished with 165 lb.! Still feelin’ great at 30 weeks pregnant!” —Emily Breeze, Rising CrossFit Ballanytyne, Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S.
“It was so awesome to coach (visually impaired athlete) Brooke’s first Open workout! The extra awesome thing is (she was) able to do everything in the scaled division with no modifications needed! One thing I want to point out is her character. In her last round she did a power clean instead of deadlifting first. She recognized the mistake, brought the rep down and made sure to start with a “good” rep. Her character and positive attitude are exactly what I look for within all my athletes, so it was a blessing for everyone to be able to train alongside her at our Friday Night Lights. Beautiful things happen in the Open, and I believe this is definitely one of them!” —Chase Knight, CrossFit FIF, Kansas City, Kansas, U.S.
The International Community
“The Open is about many things. Proving your fitness, checking your progress and a little healthy competition. You can make it whatever you want it to be. For us and our community, it's all about these moments! The moments of pure joy accomplishing the (Open workout) and having your special people around to cheer you through it. Heroes come in all different forms, and I'm pretty sure these little fellas got to witness their heroes (mom and dad) in action last night. All the feels.” —CrossFit 786, Yamanto, Queensland, Australia
“What better way to celebrate a squat PB in 18.2 than with some air guitar. Tom’s doing some great work with Range of Motion coach Dina as part of our Individuals with a Disability Program.” —Range of Motion CrossFit, Perth, Western Australia
"Qual é o motivo pelo qual você ainda não se inscreveu para o Open?" —CrossFit P9, Brazil, South America
“Casa CrossFit and Casa CrossFit Anfa in Morocco, celebrating the end of the CrossFit Open with 'dakka marrakchia,' or the Marrakech dance.”—Casa CrossFit, Casablanca, Morocco
“Family sticks together. Family supports one another,” says affiliate CrossFit Tempo, cheering on one of its members during Open Workout 18.2a.—CrossFit Tempo, Muscat, Oman
“Наташа, мы гордимся тобой и верим в тебя! @nata_li_r Для меня , как для спортсмена, нет ничего более ценного , чем поддержка и вера. Когда я думаю что чего-то не могу или это в принципе не возможно - я пробую. Если не получается - пробую снова... но при условии, что в меня верят . Сама я мало что придумала , мне и в голову не пришли бы мысли о приседаниях , и , о боги , скакалке. Но видя горящие глаза и уверенность в том, что это получится ... слова тут лишние”—CrossFit Russia
Age is Just a Number
“When you PR so hard you run out of weight!” —CrossFit Torian, Bowen Hills, Queensland, Australia
“This is what the CrossFit Open is all about! This man impresses us not just during the Open season, but every day with his strong work ethic. At 81 years young, Mr. Bill proves that age is just a number. Hey Dave Castro, Mr. Bill says the Open needs a 75+ age group next year!” —CrossFit Flora, Flora, Mississippi, U.S.
“Eight-one and crushing 18.1! CrossFit Games should create a Super Masters division for 80+. I'm pretty sure John would be world champ!” —CrossFit Las Cruces, Las Cruces, New Mexico, U.S.
“I was just talking smack about my mom to Hayley Matossian saying, 'I bet my Mom hasn’t signed up for the Open yet. I’m going to make her do it today.' And then five minutes later, Matt Bischel sends me this video of Rosemary Matossian doing the Open at CrossFit Santa Cruz.” —Sevan Matossian, CrossFit Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, California, U.S.
“18.1 Miracle! Lesa (age 60) had never done toes-to-bar before today, but did 17 of them in Open workout 18.1! Here (are) 8 (reps) of her first round. It looks like she was born for this!” —CrossFit Dwala, Marietta, Georgia, U.S.
“This is what it is all about! Functional fitness for EVERY age! Leo and Jim, both 70+ masters athletes, kicking off 18.1 this morning! My absolute favorite class to coach.” —Miranda Webster, Common Ground CrossFit, Terra Haute, Indiana, U.S.
“Every week my mind is blown (by) the things my parents are accomplishing on their new (fitness) journey …This is what 78 looks like with two shoulder replacements and a knee replacement. Thanks for the great coaching and for capturing video of the epic moment, @coachcrip. I have never in my life seen my mom be able to do this ... until now. Boom!”—Ravi Tanna, CrossFit 403, Airdrie, Alberta, Canada