CF Open – Am I ready? By: Brock Aunan
During the 2011 CrossFit Open, I completed a couple of the WODs that I was able to (and not very well) and watched others do the rest. But I declared that I would be ready and do the 2012 Open. Fast-forward to February 2012, my friend Derek says, “Three weeks until Open starts, are you signed up?” Oh no, did I really make that declaration because I am certainly NOT READY? My This has been terrible, my That is getting worse, I still can’t really do That Other Thing and what if they make it heavy weights?!? Because I know this: there is no scaling in the CrossFit Open workouts – it is what it is. An AMRAP 10 might result a score of 0 for me. Derek states the obvious – for me, for all us – when WOULD you say that you are ready? All right – let’s go.
So, the first workout is getting ready to be announced and I am scared. I have only thought about this competition for the last year. I have made some progress, but not enough. There were workouts last year that I literally COULD NOT DO. Like, not one rep. This could actually be quite embarrassing really. I am supposed to be halfway competent around here. I am actually going to be a trainer next month; what if I have to do a 185# clean when I only have a 180# PR? So announcement comes: 7 min of burpees. YES, burpees!! Uh, oh. It now occurs to me the pressure is not WHETHER I can do one, the pressure is how many CAN I do? The pressure has not changed in magnitude, just direction. Our QCCF Unrated team needs great scores if we are going to send 2 teams to Regionals. How funny. Me, scared of what I can’t do, but should have been more scared about what I can do, should do. 134 burpees later – top ½ percent of region and world – and all I can think of is I should have done more, I should have been better. There was no more to be done that day. I truly gave everything; there is video if you like. Funny: I did great, gave all, and wanted more.
Second workout: Snatches. I am as equally incompetent at snatches as I am competent at burpees. At least they setup the workout so I could do something other than 0. Getting the first 30 at 75# should take me 90 seconds, probably not much slower than Josiah. But the next 8 min and 30 seconds after that would be spent trying to get my PR up from 125# to the 135# that is necessary for the 31st rep. This could be the humbling moment that I had been scared of. I analyzed. I mobilized. Alright, time to get this done. But I am not ready . . . Why do so many people have to be watching me embarrass myself on these. I could seriously let these people down and Derek has actually spent as much time as me helping me prepare. This isn’t even about score or placement; this is a personal test. Well, somehow I nailed 25 reps (all PRs) of 135#. I seriously would have been delighted with 1 and was amazed by 5. So I happily enter my score of 55 which will vault me far down the standings and I couldn’t be happier.
At this point I just laugh at the juxtaposition of all these highs and lows just 2 weeks into a 5-week process. Really, at this point, who cares what happens in the final 3 workouts? This experience already says plenty. This is exactly why everyone should try the CrossFit Open – PERSONAL GROWTH on so many levels. Once you commit, you are in, it matters. I type BROCK AUNAN into Yahoo and the second listing is my CrossFit Games profile. The internet as the 21st century version of your permanent record! See, I don’t ever skip our regular gyms workouts just because they are tough, but the honest fact is that I could. And I would say I don’t ever go easy in our gym workouts, but again, the honest fact is that I could. The CrossFit Games workouts just have a different feel. You MUST do it. You MUST confront it. There is NO scaling. It might be 1 and it might be 0. And it matters, so you have to give it your all.
Today I am better for it. I am better prepared for the fitness unknown. The unknown might be something I don’t think I can do, but it also might be something I should do well. Either way, I must give all and the result just is what it is. Likely whether you succeed or fail, you will think you should have done more, you should have done better, but this process will give you a good baseline for where you are and what you need to work on. Through my Open experience, I have learned how to better analyze CrossFit movements so that I can perform as well as coach better performance (who knew box jumps could be so complicated). I know better how mobility is essential to more efficient CrossFit movement. But most importantly, I know for certain that I am part of an amazing community of people that desperately want me to succeed no matter what level I am – and I know that I derive more personal satisfaction from watching friends succeed than anything I could do myself.