For a typical CrossFit Gym the Open is a challenge (done right 😉):

  • The logistics of the correct setup
  • “Rx, Scaled or Foundations”
  • Will the judges actually call “No Reps”?
  • Managing the nerves of the competitors
  • Safety – environmental and health
  • Compassion – for those whom stage fright stole their skills
  • ….and so much more!

For a gym with an average age of 74 years of age, it’s a little trickier!

“Wait – when’s the Open?” 😂😂

But we survived but not without our fair share of “issues”. That last workout posed an unexpected challenge for a lot of us. Luckily, we all survived.

Photos of the Open are available on Facebook and Google (links below). We have always tried to ensure we have an in-house volunteer capturing images for our gym. Thank you to the photographer extraordinaire, Marcia Ellis, for her ongoing skills and effort. She got some great shots!

23.1 Facebook Album

23.1 Google Album

23.2 Facebook Album

23.2 Google Album

23.3 Facebook

23.3 Google

Ed continues to talk about mindset A LOT outside the Open Competition, but through this Open Competition, he has challenged the competitors to write a letter to themselves about this experience. We’re starting to receive them back (the deadline is Friday, folks!). In these letters, we’re seeing things like:

  • “I shouldn’t have slacked off on barbell loads in class – I need to be stronger.”
  • “Gone are days of single unders. I’m going to have double unders by next year.”
  • “I have to lose weight. The gymnastics will be so much easier if I’m lighter.”
  • “My improved shoulder mobility made a huge difference this year – nothing stopping me next year.”

There are a lot of good things that come from this type of exercise. First, most of our athletes (members) are retired. “Retirement”, a smart woman once said to me, “is when you’re done taking care of everyone else and you get to take care of yourself”. Think about this. At the time when your body, life, and health probably need it most, you finally have the time to work on YOU!  And our athletes are generally aware of this – although it can also end up being the time when you “let it rip” because you’re finally not burdened with taking care of everyone else. And this is when the wheels fall off the bus. Now is the time when you can dedicate part of every day to becoming stronger, fitter, leaner, and, healthier. The CrossFit Open is a great opportunity (like New Year’s) to review the past, set goals for the future, and employ a team to help hold you accountable to those goals. And here we are.

Back to mindset. We’re going to capitalize on this regardless if it was the Open that helps us maintain the pressure! Mindset…we have a picture on the wall when you walk in the door to the box of a kitten, looking into a pool of water, and the reflection it sees is a tiger. Get it?

Mindset is everything. My goal (Sam here) is to take Ed’s thoughts, words, and rants for the last few months and distill them down here. The point is….The point is:


Here we go:

  • If you feel like you’re old and weakness comes with age, you’ll be old. If you set your mind to getting stronger and take action on it, you’ll be strong (and younger!).
  • If you say to yourself “it sucks to get old”…then it will suck. Stop it! Do something about it. You have the time now….take action.
  • If you say to yourself “I need to lose weight”…then do it. Find a resource, a coach, or a book…make yourself a plan and do it. We know the world is all about selling services right now, but you probably have enough support around you right now to find a buddy and hold each other accountable.
  • If you believe whatever you have done in the past, or had done to you (surgery, injury, illness) is going to define your future, then it will. But if you believe you can overcome that, you will. It’s your choice – only you can set the path forward and take action. We can only push you…we can’t do it for you.
  • If you don’t believe your diet contributes to how you feel, you’re dead wrong. Maybe when we were 20 we could get away with it, but not now. Processed food, alcohol (too much), too much food, not enough protein…if we allow nature to run its course we WILL lose muscle (and subsequently years off our lives) and bone…probably our mental faculties as well. If we eat from the land versus the factories, if we prioritize protein in our diets, if we consume natural fruits and vegetables (as opposed to “Fruit Loops”), we WILL reap the benefits.

We use the New Year, the Open, and our BenchMark workouts (like 5 minutes of burpees) to help push us forward by showing progress in our athletes…and hopefully not “the lack of progress”. The culmination of the Open is an annual event, and an annual opportunity to change your life. Whether you participated in it or watched your fellow athletes do it, or look at the photos attached – you were probably inspired. Lock onto that…use it…let’s all get better together!

Our Spirit of the Open recipients this year were:

Sharon H
Carl D
Coach Trish

These people epitomize the sportsmanship, character, grit, and commitment that is the Open experience. Congratulations to each and every one of you, but to all of our members/athletes who competed. You inspire us daily!

The Open speech was pinch-hit by Anne this year as we were wishing good thoughts to Janet who suffered a freak injury during the competition. We will soon be able to share with you her Open speech once she’s back and we can record it. But thank you to Anne for stepping up and subbing last minute!

The Open brings out things in people that sometimes would never have occurred. Bravery, trying something new, and pushing a little harder to accomplish something than they ever have. This is the Spirit of the Open.

Finally, a huge thank you and big hugs to all of our volunteers. It truly takes a village to run this place and this event. All of our judges and event coaches were clutch. Not only are standards super important to us – there are no “gimmes” here …in fact, from what we hear, our standards were some of the highest in the area, even with our box being older. Well done judges! We have more than one person dedicated to each athlete so that the judge can focus on the rep standards and counts and the coaches and others can keep the athletes calm and moving through their plan. The last event was culminated by Coach Trish and her posse of volunteers who provided snacks and such for a little after-party. It was nice to just chill after the event and catch up with the athletes and visitors we hadn’t seen in a while.

In a short year, we’ll do this all over again 🙂