I don't care about "proving my fitness" to anyone, but I'm signing up for the Open. Again.
I'm in the Open for the same reasons I show up in the cold and dark almost every weekday morning at my CrossFit affiliate: I love CrossFit and I love my friends.
Now, don't get me wrong. I like being fit, but I really don't feel I have to "prove" anything to anyone besides myself at this point in my life. I honestly don't give a flying wazoo if you finish ahead or behind me in my CrossFit class or in the Open. But I'm so damn happy you're here with me. Let me say that again: I'm SO damn happy you're here with me.
Sure, misery loves company, but it's more than that. I don’t just get to talk with you about what you did in those Open workouts, I get to feel what you feel. And what Rich Froning feels. And what Sam Briggs and Lindsey and Jason and Julie and Christy get to feel. I know their aching lats, their sore hammies, and the exhilaration that floods their bodies during the workout and after “Time!” echoes through the box. I know their anxiety, their suffering, and their joy, on a cellular basis. We all do.
See, the Open is the party we all get to crash, no matter where we live in this world, no matter where we are on the sickness-wellness continuum. It doesn't matter if you're a beast or you're brand new to the Sport of Fitness—you're invited. There's no VIP area and the bar is crowded as heck, but that's good, because we all like it that way. My friend Donna lives in New Zealand, but she'll be at this party, and the two of us will count the days until the first workout and we'll trash talk over the miles, just like we do every year. My friend Kathrine in Connecticut will write "Beat Darsh" in chalk on the floor in front of her, so when the pain gets really bad and she has her hands on her quads, trying to breathe before she picks up the bar, she sees that … and goes again.
The Open is like being in Yankee Stadium, but all of us get to run the bases, and the fastest cats get to play in the game. The music is loud, the crowd is cheering, but you can only hear the beating of your own heart, and you can only feel the heaving of your chest as you breathe in and out. And then the most glorious thing happens. Time runs out, scores are tallied, people pick themselves up off the floor. And so many of us realize that "I don't think I can do that" before the workout turned somehow into, "Wow! I can't believe I did that!" Maybe because we’re stronger than we realized. Maybe because suffering with our buds made us work harder. Maybe because we stopped underestimating ourselves and decided to really throw our hearts on the line. Why it happened doesn’t matter so much as that it happened. Our friends hug us. We grin like 10-year-olds. And we can barely wait for the next workout to be announced.
Don’t miss out. Join me and Rich and Sam at the biggest party of the year. Sign up for the Open.