ODE TO THE OPEN Hot take: The changes being made to The Open are good for CrossFit, good for affiliate owners, and good for global fitness. Bold claim, I know — but I can’t shake the feeling that the shifts taking place will bring the function of the event in line with its spirit. Looking at the way our community has been trending over the past decade, moving The Open’s focus away from The Games will put the thrust of the event where it needs to be: on helping everyday people improve their fitness. Now, don’t get me wrong; The Open and The Games are great in their own ways. But like most CrossFit members, I’ve never actually experienced them as a linked event. The vast majority of those who compete in The Open don’t stand a chance of qualifying for regionals in the first place, and that’s okay! For me and many others, the joy of The Open lies in beating our own PRs
himself said, “The miracle at the box is the health.” Instead of intimidating potential members with the prospect of being judged against the best athletes in their region, why not make The Open about celebrating people of all shapes and sizes working to get in better shape. I still remember my first time competing, back in 2012. I was still new to the scene and was not entirely sold on the idea of being a CrossFitter. But The Open is where it clicked for me. The notion of watching where I stacked up against my peers drove me to leave it all out on the floor — and you can bet that I came away hungry to improve my numbers for the next year. For me, that sense of camaraderie, of being in an event where everyone pushed themselves to do their absolute best, is what made The Open so addicting. That sense of grassroots competition isn’t going anywhere. of all stripes really start living and breathing CrossFit. Now’s their chance to post those new PRs on Instagram, talk about the progress they’ve made since last year with their friends, and maybe finally convince one or two of them to head to the box themselves. Opportunities abound for affiliates to up their membership numbers and boost their retail numbers significantly during The Open. I believe the changes taking place this year will help boost that new- member conversion rate. In truth, my only qualm about The Open is that it’s happening twice this year. I love how the competition draws the best out of me, providing that extra “kick” to do each workout at 100 percent. But boy, do I hurt like hell afterward. Oh well. If taking my lumps two times in 2019 is the price for opening up CrossFit to everyday folks who want to improve their health, I’ll gladly pay it. And the biggest winners of a more inclusive Open are affiliate owners. Traditionally, this is the time of year when current members
from last year and putting up higher numbers than our friends.
However, the past perception of The Open as a head-to-head
competition for high-level athletes played into the public perception that CrossFit is only for the fitness elite. This perceived inaccessibility runs contrary to CrossFit’s actual mission — as Greg Glassman
–Dave Colina Founder, O2
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