Why I Still Believe Everyone Should Do The Open

This will be my 10th year of doing the CF Open.


(If you’re new and haven’t heard what it is, definitely start by reading the article linked here.)


For some, this might be your first. It might be your 5th, 3rd, or 7th.


For many, maybe you’ve never done it.


For others, maybe you’ve made the call that you’re not doing it this year.


No matter who you are, I’m speaking to everyone.


Those who are doing the open fall into one or more of the following groups:


  1. They want to put their fitness to the test
  2. They want to see how they compare to prior year(s)
  3. They want to have fun throwing down with some of their class mates
  4. They want to see what the Open is all about
  5. They want to do what CrossFitters do…just like how a running club gets together to run local 5k’s or half marathons, CF’ers do the Open.
  6. They want to be a part of something bigger than themselves and be there to celebrate peoples successes.


Those who aren’t doing the open fall into one or more of the following groups:


  1. They just started CrossFit
  2. They are scared
  3. They are fighting an injury
  4. They know they’re not “as fit” as they were last year
  5. They don’t have time to complete all of the workouts
  6. They’re not competitive
  7. They can’t control their ego to not do too much and hurt themselves
  8. They don’t think now is the right time
  9. They don’t think it matters


Look, there is ZERO judgement from me on why someone chooses not to do the Open. Everyone has their reasons.


I still think you should do it.


Why? Because at different points in my 10 years of doing the Open, I’ve been a member of all of those groups in the second list:


– I’ve been injured (actually, I am right now)
– I was terrified my very first one, even more so when we ran the first one at CFG in 2012.
– My best Open, by a long shot, was in 2015. I’m nowhere near as fit right now as I was back then.
– I’ve been out of town for a couple of Open workouts. I’ve missed others.
– We opened our new facility back in 2014 during the Open – how about that for “perfect timing???”


Look, for all the reasons I listed as to why someone might be choosing NOT to do the Open, I think those are the exact reasons you SHOULD be doing it.




There will never be a perfect time. This is true of everything in life – never a perfect time to have kids, never a perfect time to start exercising, never a perfect time to take that vacation you’ve always wanted, never a perfect time to start a new “diet”, never a perfect time to run a marathon. Doing the Open with that mindset, that its not the perfect time, prepares you perfectly FOR life!


You will never be perfectly prepared. That’s the point…and that’s the beauty of it.


Fighting an injury? Let me introduce you to Jenny Labaw. Her story is one of my favorite inspirational pieces to watch every now and then. In 2013, just before the Open, she broke her foot. Here she is completing all 5 workouts:

13.1 – Burpees and snatches 

13.2 – Deadlifts and Box Jumps
13.3 – Wall Balls, Double Unders, and Ring Muscle-Ups
13.4 – Clean & Jerks and Toes to Bar
13.5 – Thrusters and Chest to Bar Pull-Ups

 (I love how every video says “1 leg” – lol)


Scared of coming up short of previous Open performances? Get in line. It doesn’t matter what you did yesterday. It matters what you do today. I mentioned that my “fittest self” was back in 2015. I am 100% ok with that. Life is different – my scores on the whiteboard might not be as impressive in 2019, but life is so much sweeter now. My lovely wife and I have lunch almost every day together. I’ve got two amazing kids who occupy more of my time. I run two successful businesses with the most amazing staff someone could ever ask for. I get to high five far more of you guys than I ever could 4 years ago. I spend more time in His Word than ever before and we’re part of a new campus launch team for our church.


Still not convinced? Go back and rewatch some of Jenny’s videos above. Another wrinkle in her story? She was a Games athlete the year before.


You’re gonna be traveling a few weeks? Oh well – that is life. Find a gym to drop into. Don’t want to workout? No worries – I don’t blame you. Take that one off! **GASP** What?! Shocking, I know right?


Too proud to scale? Sounds to me like this is a perfect opportunity to cultivate some self-control that could be a springboard in so many other areas of life for you! Do what you can, on that day. Nothing more. Walk away with your head held high – be proud.


Look, the reason the Open can be so powerful for you isn’t because of the testing of fitness that happens. None of you even stepped into CFG wanting to test your fitness a handful of times a year, much less “compete.”


You did want your life to get better.


The reason the Open can be so powerful is because you’ll become just a bit more self-aware of how you treat your body. Without me or any other coach saying so, you’ll subconsciously do little things that will make you better. Maybe its getting to bed just 30 minutes earlier. Maybe its drinking a little more water than normal, or setting aside alcohol for a little bit. Maybe its making ONE healthy choice on your food during the week compared to normal. Maybe you’ll warm up or cool down with more intention.


Or maybe, none of that will happen. But you’ll show up and feel how the air is a bit different and recognize its not because there is more on the line, but because your friends, your CFG family, are stepping out into the unknown to try new things and that is exciting. And you want to be a part of it.


The Open is full of opportunities, and they all involve a level of discomfort that is unique for each of us.


The biggest opportunity? To be a better version of yourself. You don’t get better by doing the same things and expecting something different. You get better by doing different, difficult things. By overcoming and adapting. That’s how we are built, how the body responds to stress.


So, what do I want to happen? My hope is that this blog gets just one more person to sign up, step outside their comfort zone, and have fun with the rest of us. I guarantee it’ll be a blast and you’ll learn more about yourself these next 5 weeks than at any other 5 week span during 2019.
people working out in a group fitness class


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