15.1: The Open is About Individual Performances

Individual performances… surrounded by a community.

Our CrossFit community gathered Thursday night to watch The Open announcement of 15.1. 50+ people. Food. Drinks. Paleo chairs. And couches made out of 20x24x30-inch boxes.

I’ll admit, I haven’t been that excited leading up to it. I competed last  year, so I know what we’re all getting into. But it didn’t take long for “just another Open” to turn into something special.

Trey opened up his gym several hours early, and stayed late. Drew & James hustled to get the audio working, literally seconds before the Castro took the mic. Judges gave up their Thursday night to judge two athletes, back-to-back. Roman & Drew donated their incredible photography skills (and post-processing… because Drew LOVES processing photos ;-)).

Sure, all that stuff was special, and shows the kind of community we have, but it obviously didn’t stop there. Work was to be done. And the men & women of CrossFit Addict put on a show.

I’m proud of everyone who threw down tonight, and equally as thankful for those who cheered us on, but I’d like to highlight two particularly hair-raising, near-tear-jerking performances that, in my opinion, owned the night.

Crystal’s 10# PR C&J

CrossFit Open 15.1a - Crystal C&J PR
Thanks for Drew Sterling & Roman Lifson for the photos

This is about more than just the numbers, folks. This was akin to the stuff little kids dream about. Two outs, bottom of the ninth, down by one kinda dreams. Crystal hit it out of the park and the community went nuts.

She just happened to be working out up front, closest to the members who came to watch. I was in the back, warming up, so I didn’t see the moment in all of its glory, but I felt it.

She got a couple successful reps under her belt, and started to approach her 1RM. She must’ve hit it without too much trouble, because with the flip of a switch, the energy in the gym skyrocketed. We’re talking about energy levels only previously reached by Dane and his pre-workout routine. The place was electric.

I put my warmup on a hold for a hot second. It got loud. The music was still blastin’, but all I could hear were a bunch of “Come On!” and “Crystal, you got dis!” I missed her clean, but as I looked up, she had just finished locking out overhead. With a controlled slide of her feet, she PR’d. By 10 pounds.

I wish Roman caught the reaction on camera, but I remember it pretty well. Equal parts surprise, elation & pride, accurately portrayed with an awesome smile and followed up by a ton of emphatic high-fives.

The community helped lift her up… and then she threw down the hammer.

Erika’s 8 1/2 Minutes of Toes-to-Bar

Even if you thought the 50 toes-to-bar in last year’s Open were a challenge, you probably weren’t on the bar for 8 1/2 minutes.

I exchanged anxious concern with Erika earlier in the day, via Facebook. We were both a little worried about what 15.1 might look like for the RX division… but we were both committed to doing RX.

Erika said:

Hoping there is some flexibility to switch divisions (if necessary!) However, I’m excited either way!!!!

I replied:

Erika, for sure. We’re all a little anxious to see the difference between scaled & RX. Even if the RX workouts prove to be quite humbling, as long as I can do them safely, regardless of how many reps, I’m going to give it a whirl. Heck, I might even PR something.

You might not be the only one staring at the bar, wishing/hoping/praying it somehow magically flies over your head.

Erika just got her first toes-to-bar on Tuesday of this week. Yeah… like 2 days ago! While I didn’t hear this from her directly, I think she would agree that toes-to-bar is not her favorite movement. It would be an uphill battle for her, but after all, isn’t that a big part of why we do this?

Erika’s commitment to stick with RX after 15.1 was announced shows a lot of character. But what happened next took that character, injected it with courage, humility & dedication, and re-wrote the definition of “never give up.”

Erika fought for 8+ minutes with those toes-to-bar, mixing in an even amount of reps and no reps. As I’m sure she watched all her fellow athletes & friends moving from the rig to the bar, and back to the rig, she was anxiously awaiting her chance to get on the bar for the first time. Somewhere around the 8:30 mark, we all watched as she kicked that last toes-to-bar, and sprinted to start her deadlifts.

We’ve all had those frustrating workouts that seem to haunt us for days. CrossFit attracts people who are inherently hard on themselves. Erika is no different. But after everything she just fought through with 15.1, she put it all behind her and PR’d her clean and jerk by 10 lbs.

And if all that wasn’t enough, she even stuck around to judge one of our male athletes immediately following her workout. Class act.

There’s a lot of glitz and glam that comes with The Open. Big names move ridiculously heavy loads. Everyone’s talking about the big guns, refreshing the leaderboard to see who comes out on top. Sure, it’s fun to watch, but while all that’s going on front-and-center, the rest of us, surrounded by an amazing community in our gym, are getting better, one rep at a time.

Stories like these are why I encourage people to sign up for The Open. In a few years when Crystal & Erika think back to tonight, they probably won’t even remember their score. But they’ll remember their performance for a long time to come.

3 thoughts on “15.1: The Open is About Individual Performances”

  1. Hey d
    I wanted you to know that a big part of why I finally started my crossfit journey just a few weeks ago was reading your words in this blog over the last year…..the fact that even someone with your running/fitness background was so challenged in the beginning and so rewarded throughout your struggles has been incredibly encouraging to me….. Just wanted to thank you and let you to know what an impact this has made on me and I’m sure many others as well…..I am excited about what is to come… All the best, s

  2. Super proud of you, Erika! Your dedication and perseverance and enthusiasm are three of the many things we love about you!

  3. Hey Steven,

    I’m so glad that you’ve decided to give it a go, and I really appreciate the feedback. I always hope that what I put out there might have a positive impact on someone, but I would never know without feedback like yours.

    Keep me posted on your journey.

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