What's the Big Deal with the CrossFit Open?
Over the last few weeks at my local CrossFit box I’ve been asked the same question over and over. “Have you signed up for the Open?” My token answer was, “Eh, I don’t know if I’m doing it this year.” This response was met with shock and a whole host of reasons why I should “just sign up already!”

Self-doubt is the “final boss” left to beat throughout my athletic career, in any that sport I’ve been involved. My biggest obstacle is often not the workout and the movements or skills involved, but rather myself and my own mental barriers.

However, the CrossFit Open is so special because of it’s all-inclusive design and its ability to push you past those barriers.  Athletes from all over the world, even those who compete at the highest levels, do the same 5 workouts during the 5 weeks of the Worldwide Open.

The CrossFit Open kicks off on this Thursday evening with the Live announcement and performance of the workout by the top athletes in the sport. This year, the first announcement will be done from Paris, France where two athletes from European regions will battle it out for bragging rights and points on the worldwide Leaderboard.

Athletes around the world will be chomping at the bit this week as Dave Castro, the CrossFit Games Director announces Open workout 17.1. On social media outlets like Instagram and Facebook, we’ve already had “hints” at what the workout might be. Without fail though, Dave always has a way of surprising us in his own special way.

What’s all the hype about? Why is this time of year such a big deal for us?

Well, it’s the official start of the CrossFit Games season. Just like Opening Day for baseball, it marks the beginning of a series of tests leading to the ultimate test of fitness at the 2017 Reebok CrossFit Games in August.

Secondly, the Open is for everyone, not just elite athletes. You can participate in a little fun, friendly competition with people in your local CrossFit gym to see where you match up. The Open has also notoriously been a time where people achieve awesome personal bests. Over the years people have gotten their very first muscle-up during the Open or hit their all time heaviest lift. To put it simply, magic happens in the Open.

In past Opens, I’ve PR’d my clean (Olympic lift) and I’ve done my very first chest-to-bar pull-up. For reference, a chest-to-bar pull-up is a more advanced movement where I pull a bit higher than normal to make sure that my chest makes contact with the pull-up bar. So, the Open gives us a chance to see all the hard work we’ve put in over the last few months put on display in an exciting, encouraging atmosphere.

It’s natural to be apprehensive, but this is the time to be brave and do something you’ve never done before. This is what I tell myself when I’m not sure if I should do the Open. The adrenaline rush at the sound of 3…2…1… GO on the first workout is unlike anything I’ve experienced before. Then, the feeling of accomplishment as I see just how far I can push myself and the cheers from my gym-buddies make it all worth it.