“The Crossfit Open is for everyone” was the marketing slogan this year. “Come Join the Party” they said.
That sounded awesome.
So I did my research, talked to my coaches and workout buddy, and registered. After all, in looking at the WODs from prior Opens, most of them contained something I could do…that most of us could do. Several of the people in my box registered; all of us excited and ready to go.
But by the second WOD, the dude in charge of the Open seemed to have forgotten his own marketing slogan. He wanted to “make it more difficult, to change up the leaderboard.” And the WOD he designed proved it. Divisive was the best word for it.
I’m not bitter because I can’t do a 65lb overhead squat. That is something I need to work on doing. I’m unhappy with how the Open director seems to think that the average Crossfitter should be able to do chest to bar.
I’ve been doing Crossfit for a little over a year, and have spent the past two months doing extra work so that maybe I can snag a pull-up without a band. I’m not there yet. And to hear that chest to bar is something that an average Crossfitter should be able to do is more than discouraging. I cannot even imagine how the people who have been doing this longer than I have and still struggle feel. And the poor newbies…yikes.
And all of those people on the message board saying that others who are unhappy with this just need to shut up and work harder need to just back that truck up. It is not a matter of hard work here. It is a matter of bad marketing. Yes, we all know that difficult moves have been in the WODs before, but the regular folks will still be working on those 150 wall balls or however many burpees that came first. And we will be winning against ourselves.
But clearly, this dude is invested in the top of the leaderboard and seeing how he can manipulate them, much like that old 80’s movie Clash of the Titans where the gods sit around their chessboard controlling the people whose figurines they have.
If he wants to play it that way, fine.
But we are taking the Open back.
My workout buddy and I are meeting in a head to head contest at our box as soon as the workout is announced. We don’t need professionals to show us how it is done. We need people just like us to show that something can be done. If the WOD starts with muscle ups, then we are just going to hang around trying vainly to do those because a number of the people in our box will be doing the exact same thing. Burpees – done. We can do those. Hand stand push ups…well, those are questionable.
But most importantly, we are taking back what the Open tried to take from us – our community. We are a hodgepodge of people; all of us in different places and all wanting to improve. We laugh, love, support, tape, motivate, spot, encourage, and WOD together…all while trying to maintain our dignity and sense of humor.
Already, we have a photographer, a publicity person, a small Facebook following, an announcer, one of the best bartenders in the area, snacks, a repurposed trophy, judges, and amazing people at our box who have already put this event on their calendar.
This is what it is all about – our community.
And we are taking it back.