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Openly Emotional

Written by Sophie Rees



February marks an important occasion in the Crossfit calendar of events-the open. For some this is the end goal in an accumulative, gruelling training programme; to beat last year’s position, or perhaps to complete it Rx’ed. For some it marks the gateway to the next serious event, Regionals, and there will be no relief post the Open as training can be expected to further intensify for regionals preparation.


Having been in all these situations, I can relate to the range of emotions that you may experience as you progress through the next five weeks.


In fact, you might recognise some of the emotions alongside another emotional pattern….grief!


It all starts with the nervous anticipation of what will the first workout be….. how will I perform……..am I ready for this? I should have done more burpees…and rowing…..and thrusters…..I should have done more of EVERYTHING! Did I say anticipation? *chuckles to self*


I meant shock.  Where the hell did time go?! I’m not ready. You go to bed fearful of what Dave Castro will release upon you.


Workout 1 is completed and its hard to judge at this stage how you’re doing. There are still 4 weeks to go and positions could change. Maybe you could have burpee’ed *considers spelling-but has no idea how many e’s are too many* faster, or squeezed in a couple of extra pull ups. Actually, thinking about it now, you could have had the dumbbell an inch closer to the rig to save 0.01 of a second. Oh god-I wore leggings instead of shorts-how could I have been so stupid! I was overheating the whole time!


Ah well, you’ll bear that in mind next week. Its still all to play for.


Around week 2-3 the first feelings of denial  begin to creep in. I can’t be doing that bad? I have surely got fitter since last year?!


We can’t help it, we put in so much time, effort and energy that we can’t bear to believe that we are just not as good as we secretly hoped.


Enter denial. There is of course only one sensible answer-everyone else is cheating. Somehow.


Week 3 the rage sets in. 3 weeks of non-stop CrossFit Open talk can do that to even the most dedicated of CrossFit folk *wankers*. It may even be mid-wod that you inexplicably breakdown, throw a tantrum and tell everyone to f**k off, guiltily picking up your gym bag and exiting the box, internally vowing to apologise to everyone at a later date once you’ve forgiven them for staring at you too hard clearly making you lose concentration and fail your lift.


It may be a silent rage, where you lock yourself away for a weekend, refusing to discuss tactics with anyone so as not to give your game away whist crying into your pillow.


The rage is coming: just try not to lose too many friends whilst you ride this emotion out.


Before you know it week 4 is here and you’re bargaining hard, with god, the cat, the dog, with yourself! You can pull it together and finish this! More than that- you will finish this how you started-smiling and happy irrespective of your result, because you are awesome!


But it really would be good if you could just get a couple of extra reps this time…..no pressure.


The bargaining phase may well coincide with the depressed stage. Here the flood gates are opened and misery is unconstrained. Beware again of this one creeping up on you mid-workout, in particular mid-workout repeat. I’m not too sure which is worse a mid-workout rage or a mid-workout teary breakdown……both equally awkward yet superbly funny on film. Just ask my husband how many open workout repeats he has judged me on which resulted in one of these meltdowns!


It is at this point that you have truly had enough.


The only emotion left is acceptance. This may be week 4-5, or it may be a week or so after the Open has finished, once you’ve had time to reflect and re-assess life. I’m still alive! I still have my health! My wife/husband/partner hasn’t left me during this turbulent time. Most importantly my dog still loves me.

You can breathe a sigh of relief-you have survived! All in all, what does it matter where you placed compared to anyone else?!

You evaluate, you decide your priorities, and you move on. In 3 years times, in 2 years’ time or even next year-you likely won’t even remember where you placed, or how you felt. But you will likely still be CrossFitting, and surely that is something to be proud of it.


How I am so smug about it you ask? Well I’m 31 weeks pregnant so I’m sitting this year out 😉


See you next year suckers.


Comments 1

  1. Inspiring! I love how you write soph!

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