My First CrossFit Open

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A) AMRAP 5 (for quality)
6 DB Alt Split Jerks (45/35)
12 Squat

B) 10 min – Muscle up Skill Practice – “Hip” Priority

C) 4 Rounds on the 4:00
200m Run
10 Alt DB Snatch (55/40)
10 Strict C2B Pullups


300m Run
100 Double Unders
18 Overhead Squats (95/65)
I love to retell my experience of the 2012 CrossFit Open, my first, because as far as I was concerned, I should have never registered in the first place. I was about a year and half into CrossFit and my history of RX’ing workouts was neither long nor consistent. I felt I didn’t deserve to register, it was for the “real” athletes. But with much encouragement, and against my better judgment, I did register. And to this day, the second week of the 2012 Open is still one of my most memorable athletic experiences, not just in CrossFit, but of all times.

The second workout included snatches, first at 45lbs, then at 75lbs, and up from there. At the time, I had never snatched 75lbs. I attempted it and failed during the warm up that day before my heat. I decided to let go of any expectations to get past 45lbs. After the workout began, and after I completed the reps at 45lb, I stared at the 75lb bar. Time was ticking off the clock. A few people came closer. My first attempt was a fail. Interestingly, my embarrassment started to dissipate because really, it just was what it was. The dread that had pooled in my stomach during the days before the workout and during the warm up dissolved.

Then my husband showed up, having rushed from work to support me, and more people gathered around because apparently I was close during my first attempt, and then Michael crouched near me, and then DMX came on over the speakers. Within the sensory overload I found an odd calm. The pulsing of the music, people yelling, my own thoughts — good and bad — all faded. I was on stage and the experience turned visceral. Doubt floated away and all that was left was me and the bar and the ability I had at that exact point in time. I could only hear certain words being shouted at me.


Jumping and getting under it was all I remember doing until the bar got miraculously overhead. Everything then went off mute and the entire gym erupted. My eyes were squeezed shut – my heart exploding – and the weight of the bar was nothing. It felt held up by everyone else in the room.

I have often played those seconds in my mind, when the bar got up over my head for the first time. That perfect feeling of triumph was so full-body and surprising, I nearly fainted when I released the bar back down to the ground. And it went like that four more times. Four times of jump, get under it, CHEERS! and extreme flashes of accomplishment. When the last second drained from the clock, a crowd came over and huddled around me crying from my experience, too.

They were crying!

Because really, it’s all any of us can do: give our all whether we’re at the top of the leader board or only able to report a few reps. Being able to squash doubt and give everything is the highest thing we can hope for. That’s recognizable at any level.

And to me, this is what the Open is all about.

Yesterday, Andy encouraged us to get in the game, specifically the CrossFit Open, and I tell my story to punctuate that sentiment because I was so close to not participating at all.

Register HERE and join Team CFLA.

Here’s a great video made by Michael Hale from the 2012 CrossFit Open at CFLA



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