The first ever CrossFit Games Open was in 2011, before we had properly begun to run classes. Including Zak and myself, we had five people complete the 2011 Open! Every year, the conversations I have surrounding the Open are very much the same. Especially when people learn that I have registered too. The first question is inevitably, “Where are you trying to place?” And my answer is always, “I’m not!”

You don’t have to place somewhere to compete. Nor should you only compete only if you have a good chance of winning or placing highly. In CrossFit or in any other sport. Competition – sport – is where you get to test all the abilities you’ve developed in training. Sports sit at the tip of CrossFit’s hierarchy of development – now that you’ve worked on nutrition, gymnastics, weightlifting and throwing, find a medium to express all of that fitness.

One medium are CrossFit-based events. Others are triathlons, ball sports, obstacle races. All tell you something about your fitness, and all play a wonderful role in leading an active life. Here are some reasons you should compete in something, even if you “aren’t competitive” or don’t plan on placing anywhere significant.

  • You get taken out, way out, of your comfort zone.
    I always say that I’m an 80% kind of athlete. In training, I generally work at 80% of my abilities because I’m just a little uncomfortable there, and it’s enough to keep on track for my goals. It’s one of the reasons I love to hate the Open – even if I wanted to, I couldn’t get by on 80%. The environment pushes far beyond where you want to go, and far beyond what you thought you were capable of!
    Every year in the Open, at our Throwdowns, in local fitness events, we see our members beating personal bests – just because of the environment of the competition.
  • It’s a ton of fun!
    Especially with the format we have in place this year that the ambassadors are driving. It looks like we could have our biggest Open attendance ever!
  • I can try and explain this, but you have to experience it. We often talk of the camaraderie developed amongst the people you train with most regularly, but you get to know the people you compete with a whole lot more. Aside from that, the competition arena – be it your gym or a big stadium – is an exciting place. The quiet just before the call of “GO!”, the cheering from the spectators, having a referee or judge hold you to standard – fun!
  • It sets a benchmark
    Your performance in any type of competition will give you numbers against which you can track progress. It will tell you what you need to work on, and your results at the same event at a later date will give you insights into your progress.
  • It could be the nudge you need to up your efforts
    Sometimes not winning or not performing as well as you’d hoped is just the kick up the ass needed to better your efforts in training. Striving to be better than yesterday is essential to training, and finding out – through competition – that you aren’t growing better is often just what you need.
  • It’s a ton of fun!

So, get registered for the Open 😀

By Imtiaz Desai

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