In the past, the Open has been a time of stress anticipating the announcement of the workouts and often ended in disappointment in my results. But this year was different. This year my overall goals were different, my approach was different, and I focused on the journey versus the outcome.
I was asked, “What would a successful Open season look like for you this year?” Below was my response:
- Finishing 1st in the SoCal Military Division
- Placing higher than 98th in the SoCal Region
- Finishing injury free
- Hitting all my personal goals for each Open workout
For this year’s Crossfit Open, I put my ego to the side and simply leveled up to each challenge with a realistic strategy based on the work I put in this season. I learned a lot about myself and I figured I’d share my thoughts and reflections.
- Run your own race:
- So many athletes get caught up in the results and scores of others that they forget to reflect on their own results. This year I only looked at the leaderboard a handful of times. I was happy with my outcome for each event and I knew that once I compared myself to others that satisfaction would quickly disappear. So I made the choice not to.
“Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.” John Wooden
- Enjoy the journey:
- I learned that the less we are attached to outcomes, the better. It is more fulfilling to reach our own standards. In turn this caused a sense of pride and self respect.
- For me, doing the right thing is enough:
- I realized that I am not defined by the CrossFit Open or the scores reflected on a leaderboard. I am content in knowing that I am enough because I value serving God, my Country, and my family.
“Ambition means tying your well-being to what other people say or do…Sanity means tying it to your own actions.” Marcus Aurelius
- If your score is more important to you than doing the right thing when no one is looking, you are a coward. You are a coward for thinking that it is ok to take even one inch, one point, one second from those who do these workouts to standard.
“What matters to an active man is to do the right thing; whether the right thing comes to pass should not bother him.” Goethe
- Adapt and Overcome:
- During three out of five Open workouts, situations occured that would easily be an opt to quit. For example, I jumped on a broken rower during 17.4, then wasted 30 seconds to jump on a new one. I was flustered and upset, and in 5 seconds I had thoughts running through my head of quitting and using this situation as a reason to start over. Instead I used it as an opportunity to become mentally stronger and realized that with the right attitude, I was capable of staying calm and adjusting sails.
- In life, situations present themselves that we did not plan for. It’s in these moments that our human will is tested and our choices, attitude, and actions determine the outcome.
“It is a beautiful thing to be able to take a seemingly terrible situation and make the most of them through acceptance, humility and strength. Resilience= throwing out the pity. What we are aspiring to is much more than mere success but to be adaptable and able to handle what life throws at us.” – Ryan Holiday, Ego is the Enemy
- No matter what you’ve done up until this point, you better still be a student.
- I’ve been doing CrossFit since 2009 and have been training the past 4 years without any consistent coaching. Coaching myself, I have lost touch with a lot of foundational movements. This can be humbling, since I’ve been in the sport for so long, but we are never too good to go back to the basics and we should always be a student of our sport.
- We all need somebody one step ahead of us:
- If your ego is too big to train or compete with someone who is better than you, then get used to always being second best. We all need someone that is just a little faster, a little stronger, a littler smarter.
- Life will pass you by if you don’t go out and get it:
- I considered not doing the CrossFit Open this year because I knew that I would’t qualify for regionals, yet I did it anyways. I did it because there was much more to gain than to lose. For those constantly saying, “Oh, I’m not ready, I’ll do the Open next year.” We will never be completely ready, but we will regret more the things that we didn’t do vs the things we did do.
Right before the Open, I started working with Dawn Fletcher of Mentality WOD who helped me tremendously. Not only did she assist in developing a strategy but also facilitated reflection after each workout. Overall, the 2017 CrossFit Open was a major success for me. I finished 73rd in the region (up from 98th in 2016), 3rd in the SoCal military division, abstained from injury, hit all my personal goals, and was able to enjoy the process. From the outside looking in, others may not agree that my performance was the best. But that’s what is so rewarding about running your own race and being in touch with yourself. It’s knowing that you did your best for the season of life that you are currently in, being proud of your accomplishments and yet still being hungry to improve and continue to do better each year. For the first time ever, I actually ENJOYED the CrossFit Open.