It’s that time of year again… The CrossFit Open is over and gone, but this year I am in a very different position to where I have been the last 2 years. The last 2 years led me to training for The Regionals after the end of The Open but unfortunately this year that is not the case. I will not lie and say I am not sad and disappointed I did not make it but I will also not sit here and start reeling off excuses as to why I didn’t make it because I don’t have any. The truth of the matter is since The Regionals last year I have made massive improvements in my lifting and skills but in the combinations of this year’s Open I was not strong enough to complete some of the workouts to the level I should be able to and therefore I did not make the top 30 to qualify. However, if I had been in any other regional I would have qualified – but hey that’s an entirely different argument and blog.
The Open this year I can honestly say has been by far the most stressful and mentally draining Opens I have ever taken part in and this should not be the way it is. Yes, there is stress doing the workouts to try qualify for Regionals but it should still be fun at the same time. I believe at points I may have lost my ‘WHY’ – why do I do CrossFit? The answer being, because it is fun first and foremost, and then to qualify for The Regionals although that is a bonus and of course the dream of every CrossFitter alongside making it to the Games.
Whilst we can train all year as hard as we possibly can improving our lifts, skills and drills The Open is something out of any CrossFit athletes control. Castro comes up with 5 workouts which determine who is the fittest at THOSE workouts and they proceed to the next stage. Whilst you can control how you train all year round and how you perform during the 5 workouts you cannot control what the workouts will be. This leads me onto one of the first things I learnt from the 2017 Open.
The hardest part of not qualifying for Regionals was trying to tell myself and realise that although I didn’t make it onto the next round, the improvements I have made in my performance have been massive – and I still sit in the top % of fittest women in The Meridian Region. For example, last year at Regionals I struggled to do 1 snatch at 61kg fresh and this year I completed 12 at 61kg with all the previous snatches and chest to bar. This for me was a massive achievement and completing 16 bar muscle ups twice through alongside all the other work in 17.2 was a big positive. Although to some these may seem like easy tasks, for me it has been important to focus on the positives and where I have improved. I always tell myself to focus on being the best me I can, and at this point it has been really important.
The 2017 Open has 100% confirmed that my engine outperforms my Olympic lifting and gymnastics within workouts. With a 15th place finish in 17.1 and a 2nd place finish in 17.5 it is clear to see that I have areas that need improving to help me become a more well-rounded athlete. I now know what I will be working on until 2018!
Aside from the physical side of The Open I have learnt many other things about myself mentally and emotionally. No longer will going to the gym and sometimes just go through the motions of training or becoming complacent that as you have made it twice in a row and your training has improved means that you will make it again (not that that is what I was thinking, I am merely using this to help prove a point) everyone else is also making improvements. You need to improve past where you were and past everyone else – this is not easy.
One of the biggest things for me about not making it to The Regionals was that I felt I had let my whole support team, friends and those I train with down and like the last year of training had been wasted. Of course, this isn’t a long-standing feeling, but it for sure entered my mind. Not making it to Regionals did not do either of these things. I did not let my support team down and I did not let my friends, training buddies down. If anything, this encouraged people to let me know how much I had inspired them and pushed them to repeat a workout or work harder in a workout because my work ethic pushed them to want to try harder.
This for me was a real eye opener and something I still find rather strange. I had never really thought of myself as someone who inspired people and who people looked up to and said “I want to be able to do what she does”. It was, however, nice to know that even though I wasn’t going to The Regionals people still saw me as someone they could look up to and inspire to be like and this was really cool.
I will never see not making it to The Regionals as a failure but more so as a positive and a way of pushing me and driving me to achieve more this year and come back fighting. Everything I believe happens for a reason a something good comes out of everything weather I can see it now or not, it will reveal itself. So, for now I will continue to work hard and during the strength season get as strong as I can ready for next year.
I will leave you my lasting thought for the strength season as a good friend of mine once said
Don’t get big get massive#