There’s a first time for everything

There’s a first time for everything

To be honest I was pretty apprehensive, there were nerves all week, an upset stomach, and some mad wide-awake periods in the night… this was all in leading up to my first CrossFit Open experience.

I was coming up to my first year anniversary at CCW, and I was vaguely aware of the hype that the CrossFit Open pertained. I didn’t initially sign up but I had a continuous stream of experienced CrossFitters and coaches encouraging me to participate, stressing that I would have the best time, that I will achieve new goals (that may have seemed unattainable), and that I would push past my comfort zone. So finally a week out from the Open I did it. Scaled workouts were an option, so I really had no excuse.

Well, what an experience, there were five weeks with five different workouts. Every Friday afternoon after we knew what the workout of the week was, we gathered at CCW for an invaluable session. We learnt tips from the coaches on best how to tackle the workout, from rep schemes, technique and energy saving tips. Friday night calmed my nerves, prepared me, made me rehearse the routine and I chatted with others who would be in the same position competing, in 12 hours time.

Saturday morning was a hive of activity at the box, judges were being briefed, competitors warming up, supporters arriving with coffees and fellow CrossFitters turning up hours before their turn to encourage the athletes. Thanks to Management and Coaches, the five workouts were run smoothly with flexibility and consideration, it must have been such an organisational skill. My first workout was the toughest mentally, how was I to survive a 20 minute AMRAP, my judge Nathan was great, it was the first time we had met but I admired his coaching and encouragement as I worked my way through it. That workout set me up for the rest, I found I was a bit too relaxed with my energy conservation, that I decided to go and give it my all in the following workouts, knowing I had the fitness. My most memorable workout had me Power Cleaning 52kg at one point, my personal best, somehow I managed to clean five of them, in the front of all the fellow members. That gave me a real high, a sense of achievement.

The experience was all made the more memorable by having an internal competition. I was in team Walrus… no pressure though; the Walruses were the reigning champs. There was some great banter between teams, all made in good spirit.

I made new friends, strengthened my old friendships, found a unique bond with the CCW family and ultimately survived. I completed all the workouts as scaled except for one particular strength workout as RX. I found I actually enjoyed the competition, not so much from a placing point of view, but from the support and encouragement of everyone in the box, and surprising myself that I was able to be calm and focussed under pressure.

As we move into a new year, I am now so motivated for the Open 2017 and as Head Coach Eric likes to remind me each session ‘training begins now for the 2017 Open’. I have a list as long as my arm, of goals I would like to achieve this year, with gymnastics at the top. Dedication and hard work will pay off later as I hope to compete as an RX athlete next year (well I will try my best). If you are considering the Open next year and are a little unsure, all I can say is that I highly recommend it and you may even miss it once its gone!

Jenn McEwan