Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The 2015 CrossFit Games Open. It's Time.

I often tell people that I'm passionate...truly passionate about few things. For those things that I am, I get behind 110% (plus or minus a few percentage points). Things that come to mind is my role as a father of my kids, husband to my wife, and supporter/protector of my family. I also would consider my over 17 years of distance running and ultra running as a serious passion that I've given my all to. That passion is decreasing in recent months yet still lingers a bit. I would also consider my insistence on integrity a passion in its own right. When I tell someone I will do something or that I'll be there for them...I will. I have a passion for hurting marriages, too, and stand at the ready to come alongside anyone that calls on me to help. I feel that my path...has equipped me to do just that. As they say..."been there, done that, got the t-shirt"...or in my case, "been there, done that, still married and thriving as good as ever." I also have a deep passion for my country and serving it. So much so that 6 years of completely separated service happened between 2001 and 2007 but I returned to wear the uniform again for no other reason than a deep-rooted desire to serve. It will be a truly bittersweet day when I hang that uniform up for good.

So enter my most recent passion of CrossFit. As they say, I drank the Kool-Aid and chug it daily. Heck, I think I have an IV of CrossFit "fluid" on a 24hr drip into my veins. I'm in Week 17 now and continue to see gains and new accomplishments almost daily. It hasn't been without setbacks, bad days, and a lot of humbling along the way. I have had to learn how to get out of the way of myself, gain a new level of humility, and decide each day to give it all that I have, no matter what that looks like. The next test of this begins tomorrow in what CrossFit calls the "CrossFit Games Open."

I like to refer to the CrossFit Games the "Olympics" of CrossFit or the playoffs that culminate in California where the fittest of the fit square off for the ultimate crown of "Fittest on Earth." It is truly a global competition where CrossFit affiliates the world over begin the "Open" tomorrow night. There are 3 main parts to the Games. First, the Open. Each Thursday night at 8pm EST, a new workout will be announced for 5 straight weeks. Those workouts will be called 15.1, 15.2, 15.3, 15.4 and finally, 15.5. Athletes will have until Monday night following the week's announcement to complete it and post it. Literally, hundreds of thousands will compete in the Open and only a extremely small handful will move on. For the 99%+ of us, the Open is about challenging us, exposing our weaknesses, trying new things, giving it our all, and building community and camaraderie within our local box/affiliate/gym. We know we're not advancing on...but we'll show up, give it all, root each other on, and fist bump/high five each other as we knock each workout out! The very best move to the Regionals that happen...well, regionally! Then, just a few per region advance to the Games. But the beginning starts tomorrow in small and large towns the globe over in local gyms. Everyone starts the same and only one man and one woman will be crowned the "Fittest on Earth."

CrossFit HQ does it up big time, as well. There is all kinds of criticism for the juggernaut that CrossFit, Inc. has become along with Reebok that has seen a huge resurgence almost solely because of the CrossFit universe. They and Rogue Fitness essentially "own" the market when it comes to equipment and apparel. From a business mind like mine, it's brilliant marketing and fun to watch. So tomorrow night and each Thursday night, CrossFit Games director, Dave Castro, will move from state to state and put on a LIVE streaming show at where he'll announce the workout and two "superstars" from the CrossFit world will face off and do it. They'll have no clue as to the workout prior to the announcement, either, which plays well into CrossFit's mantra of "constantly varied" workouts. Tomorrow night, it all goes down in Boston where last year's champion, Rich Froning, will face off against the 2014 runner-up, Mathew Fraser. Then, they'll move to Texas, then to Chicago, then to Oregon and finally to Vegas for 15.5. Different athletes will face off each week. It's exciting, no doubt, once you find yourself immersed in this universe. I have watched all of the 2014 announcements and without a doubt, the best one is 14.5 from last year. A whole battery of top athletes squared off against each other in a crazy tough workout of nothing but thrusters and burpees. If you've not seen it, I've done you a favor and included it below. :) (it's an hour long so you'll want to drag it to the workout portion if you're a bit short on time)

So here we go...the 2015 Open! I am going to find it tricky how to squeeze in a few of the workouts due to my schedule but I have no intention of backing out now. I'll get it done...somehow. And for the folks in the crowd who might have had their fill of "CrossFit talk," I leave you with this funny meme. It is funny, you must admit. :)

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