MF’s social media manager Christopher Hunt will be tackling a new CrossFit Open workout each week in hopes of making the cut and gaining coveted entry into the Games. Stay tuned for videos and blog posts chronicling his experiences with the torturous WODs and find out if he has what it takes to go all the way.
The final workout of the CrossFit Open exemplified what CrossFit is really all about—testing your limits. The WOD: A 4-minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) that included 15 thrusters at 135 pounds and 15 chest-to-bar pull-ups. If you’ve ever done Fran, one of CrossFit’s benchmark workouts, then you’ll understand this: The final stage of the Open was like putting the worst parts of Fran on steroids—and then on a repeating loop.
The caveat: The better you handle the workout, the worse it gets. Anybody who completed 90 total reps (three full rounds) was awarded a time bonus of four extra minutes. The jury is still out on whether that was a reward or a punishment, but that’s the essence of CrossFit. You’re meant to explore your body’s limits, both physical and mental. You decide how deep you’re willing to dig to discover your threshold for pain. And sometimes you realize that you haven’t found it yet.
It’s also about allure. CrossFit has a cult-like following of people obsessed with making fitness a sport. The real obsession becomes finding your limits, like a pirate on a dying quest to find buried treasure. Giving up means that you may never know.
The Open didn’t just remind me (and many others) that I’m capable of more than I thought I was. It also connected me with people from all over the world. In the past five weeks, I’ve met people from around the country as well as Canada, Germany, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. We can all lament the torturous 150 wall balls that were part of 13.3 or recall that doing step-ups instead of quick jumps on the box during 13.2 helped squeeze out a few more reps.
The Open puts everyone from the weekend warrior to the CrossFit elite on the same playing field. When you have that feeling in the pit of your stomach before you take on a WOD, you realize that it’s shared.
I was reminded of that sense of community when I arrived at my box for 13.5. I looked around at the guys who have become my training partners. We didn’t need to exchange words. We just looked at each other and then down at the ground, shaking our heads. We all knew the final WOD of the Open was a recipe for both agony and triumph, balled into 4 minutes.
I set a goal of 60 reps before I started. With 3 seconds left, I let go of the pull-up bar, waved my hand, and decided I was done. Later I discovered that I had scored 59.
Now I know why you hear so many people screaming the same words during every workout. Those words will haunt me until next year’s Open.
“ONE MORE REP.”
In case you missed it, check out: