With more than 200,000 signed up to do the 2014 CrossFit Games, nearly 100 of which are members of CrossFit Modig, roughly half are first timers at the Open. How awesome is that? For many, or most of us if we’re honest, don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell in making it to Regionals, but who cares right?! This is your chance, regardless of age, ability, gender or length of time doing CrossFit, to test yourself against people all across the world. With the first workout completed, you’re probably feeling a little less nervous (or maybe moreso!) about the whole thing and excited to be part of something so big. CrossFit HQ posted an article on the Games site today written by a CrossFitter just like you or I, Audrey Pike, and her experience signing up for the Open as a first timer, as well as completing 14.1 Read on and enjoy – it’s titled One of 102,000.
Six months ago, I walked into World Camp CrossFit in Albany, Ga., not knowing what to expect.
I was intrigued and scared shitless. The end of that first class hooked me on the most challenging (frustrating, rewarding) sport I have ever tried.
Soon, I started hearing talk of THE OPEN. Whenever someone spoke of THE OPEN, it was in hushed tones and obviously in all caps. I was assured it was an experience like no other. I was amazed at the concept. Any person, anywhere in the world, had a shot at making it to the CrossFit Games. How freaking cool is that?
Then my CrossFit friends told me I needed to sign up.
I was like, “Uh, what?”
“It’s a great experience,” they said.
“But I will die,” I said.
“You will learn so much,” they said.
“Yeah, but there’s that whole dying thing,” I said.
Just talking about it made my palms sweaty. Having to do all workouts prescribed? I am nowhere near a muscle-up, and my toes-to-bars look like a drunk monkey trying to swing on a vine.
Despite my fear, I knew I had to do it. On January 18, I sat down at my computer to register for the Open. I kept looking nervously over my shoulder as I registered, waiting for the CrossFit police to storm through my door shouting, “The gig is up! You’re no athlete! How dare you!”
Seriously, I kept waiting to get an email from HQ saying, “Please note we cannot accept your registration as submitted. Please log in and edit your profile to delete ‘athlete’ and insert ‘lady-trying-to-not-die.’”
As the weeks went by with no such email in my inbox, I started to get nervous. What if the first workout was all toes-to-bars and 100-lb. overhead squats? What if I couldn’t do it?
I sat down at 8 p.m. on Feb. 27 to watch the announcement of the first Open workout with excitement, anticipation and utter fear. When Dave Castro said, “The 2014 Games start now,” I broke out into chills.
It blew my mind to find out more than 200,000 people had signed up for the Open, and at least 102,000 of them were first-timers like me.
And then, when they finally announced the workout, I instantly felt relief, quickly followed by abject terror. I could do this. A 10-minute AMRAP of 30 double-unders and 15 power snatches at 55 lb. Both things, at least theoretically, were movements I could perform.
I quickly started a pros and cons list:
Pro: 55 lb. is a manageable weight.
Con: Double-unders make me pee on myself.
Pro: God made Poise pads for a reason.
I knew I was doing the workout the next day at the 5:30 a.m. class, so I went to bed early with pictures of killing it like Garret Fisher dancing in my head. I am a believer in visualization, hence my Rocky routine the next morning in the mirror. I did some air punches, flexed a few times, did a little Flashdance, maybe the running man and pumped myself up with lots of cheering. I was determined to give 14.1 everything I had.
After warming up, I did a fast mental checklist. Poise pad? Check. Jump rope with bright pink handles? Check. Extreme nervousness? Bet your ass check.
At “3-2-1 … go!” I started my double-unders with relief at finally diving into the great unknown. The first 30 went great. On to the power snatch—after the first 15, I knew I was switching to clean and jerks. I made it through the second round, and in the middle of the third round had the following conversation with myself:
“Why are we doing this again?”
“Uh, because we don’t want to be super lame-o and live a half-life?”
“Oh yeah, that’s right. Better dig deep then, baby, because it’s about to get serious.”
By the time I started the fourth round, my shoulders were aching, my lungs were on fire, and the clock was fast approaching 10:00.
I wanted 5 rounds in a desperate way, and as I started the double-unders on the fifth round, I was tripping all over the place. I finally made it to the bar with only 50 or so seconds left. I eked out 8 clean and jerks for a final total of 218 reps.
When time was called, I was flooded with relief, giddiness, disappointment and pride.
Being extremely goal-oriented, I was really disappointed at not hitting 225. At the same time, I was also thrilled to have made it through the workout. It was my first-ever Open workout, and I hadn’t died! Most beautifully, I made it through with my gym cheering me on.
As I recovered from 14.1, I got to see so many women from World Camp throw the weight and knock out the double-unders for huge totals. Seeing that, getting to be around that, lit a fire within me to keep going.
In the end, my friends were absolutely right. Being a part of the Open has already taught me that while I’m a newbie, I’m also a CrossFit athlete.
And while my palms sweat at the thought of what 14.2 may bring, I can’t wait to give it everything I have.