I believe in CrossFit we find ourselves losing the real purpose of why we train. We sometimes compare ourselves to others and fail to celebrate our little victories. If you find yourself questioning whether or not you should participate in the open, I offer you the story of my friend Robin.
My journey with CrossFit began three years ago. Little did I know that my journey would indirectly affect Robin's life. At the time I was working in the oilfield 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off. During my off time I would train at CrossFit Black and Blue where, after a few months of training, in walks Robin. Robin, a 105 pound wirey girl, was a pack a day smoker who woke up day in and day out celebrating another day of sobriety. Robin also happened to be dating my close friend and roommate Jake. This living arrangement lead to a familiar conversation where Robin would ask what my workout for the day was and immediately follow that up by saying, "I'm going to try it but I'm not ready yet". See, Robin had a hard time finishing things in life. She'd start, waiver, then quit. Finally, the day came where Robin asked if she could train with me. I tentatively agreed and our journey began.
Robin wasn't ready for a real box so we trained in my garage. Little did Robin know that I wasn't so sure she was going to stick with the training. So, I didn't bother spending much money on equipment for her. If she was going to succeed she was going to have to prove herself. Robin's equipment consisted of a cell phone for a timer, a broken cinder-block for a kettlebell/dumbell and an old licorice jump-rope that belonged to my buddy Jake. Each day I would write her workout up on the board and each day she would struggle through the workout day by day improving. Robin's improvement wasn't merely in CrossFit. Her victories came in the form of showing up for her kids who she currently didn't have custody of. As she continued to gain strength in the gym she also started to gain strength in the outside world as well. She diligently wrote down each WOD that I gave her and proudly wrote down her time, even if it happened to be 20 minutes slower than everyone else. Robin was making gains and no one could take that from her.
The day came where I decided to treat Robin to her first WOD at a real CrossFit box. I wanted her to get a taste of the powerful community that we all hold so dear. Robin nervously accepted my invite to go. Her first workout was 10 rounds of 10 pullups 10 powercleans 10 burpees 200 meter run. Robin of course used a barbell for the cleans, she did ring rows for the pullups, and she learned why we talk so highly of burpees. About 40 minutes later and numerous stops and contemplations of quitting, she finished her first CrossFit WOD.
Flash forward 3 years and Robin is now out of the garage and currently training at a box in Reno. She's no longer 105 lbs. Robin is a solid 128 lbs and is currently training to participate in her first CrossFit open. She now has set goals to become level 1 certified and CrossFit Kids certified. Most importantly, she is inspiring others to train and to get their live's back in order. She attends meetings at her 12 step program and is a shining light and testament to how CrossFit can influence the live's of those who do it. The CrossFit Open is about following through to a new and better you. How has the past years training affected you? No matter what your situation in life is you owe it to yourself to test the fitness that you've worked so hard to develop. I promise, you'll find something great about yourself in the process.