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What does the Open mean to me?

23 February

The Games season starts pretty well now.

There will be all sorts of conjecture over the workouts for the next five weeks and we will eagerly await each announcement.

But what does it mean to us that come in day in day out for the daily WOD?

I can’t answer for all of you, however, for me it is purely about community and seeing those around me do better than they thought possible. A big mistake I made here at CrossFit Armidale was not registering us for the Open in 2012. We affiliated on the 10th February and within two weeks the Open had begun. I thought that people would not want to go in it, I thought we wouldn’t be able to compete, I thought we wouldn’t be able to do it. So a few of us did some of the workouts after they were announced.

And so it was that 12.4 was announced, 12 min AMRAP of 150 Wall Balls, 90 Double unders and 30 muscle ups.
I gave it a go. I had zero muscle ups, and zero double unders. I wasn’t registered, I just gave it a go. After the 150 wall balls I had about three minutes to go. I had watched the Fronings et al get through some of those muscle ups and thought there is no way! And so I picked up the rope, jumped high, spun fast and there was 1 double under! That was my goal!!! So in just under three minutes I managed 19 of them and I was ecstatic. And I thought “why didn’t we register?? This is amazing to finish and accomplish something like this!”

Of all the workouts I chose to do in 2012 it was that one, because as fate would have it it would be repeated in 2013. Before it was repeated though the very first workout was announced. 17 minutes of burpees and snatches, with increasing weight in the snatch

So when it was announced I felt that I could get to the 2nd round of snatches and I wanted 1 at the 61kg, my previous 1 rep max was 60kgs. So I went at it, and 17 minutes later I had gotten that 61kg snatch, followed by 29 more of them and two more burpees! My previous snatch record was shattered.

And so 12.4 was announced as 13.3. My best time for 150 wall balls was 8:55. I went at them and did them in 8:30, then the double unders, I was through them with a bit over 90 seconds to spare. To the rings! Lots of heavy breathing and a little psyching up, and I hit that muscle up! 12 months before I was looking on in awe as people got into those muscle ups, and here I was now joining them in that section of the workout. And so I realized what the Open means.

It is about testing yourself, for 11 months of the year we train, we work and grind away and sometimes we aren’t sure of where we are at. The Open gives us an insight into how we are going. And every year I see people doing better than they thought they could. It is a commitment, to five weeks to do your best, to encourage and help along your fellow CrossFitters. It is a rush and at the same time it can scare the pants off you. But I look at it and think, “it is just a workout, it is just 10, 15, 20 minutes of your life.” In the big scheme of things it is next to nothing, but in the same breath it can be everything.

I started the open in 2013 as a novice, a newbie and someone that was scared of it. I go into 2017 as the 245th fittest 40 year old in the region and as someone that looks forward to the challenge, and the fun of it. But most of all I look forward to everyone else’s success and what that means to them.

About the Author

Jim Ridley is Armidale’s accomplished personal trainer. Having lost over 25 kilos and becoming a PT, Jim knows where you are coming from. He is the owner of Gym Ridz Personal Training and CrossFit Armidale, 2012 Winners of the Health, Beauty and Wellbeing section in the Armidale Chamber of Commerce Business Awards. The first private training studio in Armidale and Armidale’s only CrossFit gym. He is also an avid if not tragic St George Illawarra Dragons fan.