Why I’m doing the CrossFit Open

I ran my first marathon in 2006. I was in so much pain just walking after that wretched Sunday in March, that I told myself I was never going to run another marathon again.

img_6080.jpgI’m running my 18th marathon this year on Valentine’s day.

The feeling I get when I step across that finish line, as I remember the months of training, worn out shoes, a compromised social life, while watching my fuel/food intake, is indescribable. Tears often are shed and my world becomes more humbled when the medal is placed around my neck. I run because I love it, and because I continue to have the physical capacity to complete such a task. I used to have a goal time for race completion and strategies for every mile throughout the race, but I don’t anymore. Once I cross the starting line, it’s me, my music, the spectators, and 26.2 miles (or 42 kilometers) of the road ahead.

Three years ago, I officially became a member of a CrossFit box. It was mostly to help me be a faster runner and to improve my marathon time.  April of 2013, when I became a member at LAX CrossFit, I couldn’t do a pull up, I used the empty barbell for weightlifting, and the only thing I was good at was running. My first open experience was in 2014 and my first workout was 14.1 snatch and double unders.


I wasn’t very good at double under in 2014….


I’ve come a long way with the jump rope.

I hadn’t figured out double-unders at that time and boy was my arm hurting after but  was so happy to be able to complete the workout that it didn’t matter.

Last year, I was super excited that the only workout I had to scale was the one that included muscle ups.

I tried, tried again, and couldn’t get them. I was also running the LA marathon the same weekend that muscle ups came up in the open workout and my commitment was elsewhere.

I have been practicing muscle ups since, working on progressions, getting tips from everyone that I can find, and I am frustrated that I can’t figure it out. But, then I remember that it took me a year to learn how to actually do double unders, and it took me four years to learn how to salsa dance, so I think I deserve to give myself a little patience in this highly skilled movement. It takes me a little longer to figure out stuff than other people.

This year, I along with about 300,000 other people around the world, registered for the CrossFit open. While I am well aware that this 35-year-old woman will not qualify for Regional competition or the CrossFit games (maybe in 2021 for Masters…), I do this because, like running marathons, I love it. I love participating with other people in an event with an end result. We can cheer each other on, provide words of encouragement before, during, and after, all while building a connection with others.

The energy in the gym during the open is like no other time.  When repeat workouts have come up (like 14.2/15.2), I love seeing how far I have come from the previous year.  When I input my scores into the world database, I love seeing where I stand amongst other CrossFit athletes in the world.

In 2014, I proudly sat in the bottom 10%.


This was in 2014

Last year, I was in the top 11% of the world.

Never been more proud of being in 11,725th place; top 11% of the world. In 2014, I was bottom 11%

Never been more proud of being in 11,725th place; top 11% of the world. In 2014, I was bottom 11%

Have you ever hit a goal, benchmark, of some sort and been super excited but had no one to share it with in the moment? It’s not like that during the CF Open. So many people are cheering each other on to get to the next milestone, to hit the weight that you never thought possible, to jump more than you ever believed you could. We are all there, witness to the excitement and the PR’s.

The thing is, while I plan to maintain my functional fitness throughout my life, there will eventually be a time when my mobility becomes limited, when I will struggle with moving heavy weights, that running marathons will become too difficult, or physical limitations will begin to challenge my abilities. Now is not that time. I am aware that many adaptive athletes and those with physical disabilities face obstacles that I do not; whether they were recently injured or have had a lifetime of adaptation to the world around them.

I wake up in the morning, grateful that I have the choice to be a part of the fitness community, that I have the ability to participate with others from around the world in running and in CrossFit, and fortunate to continue to have the physical capabilities to do so.  So, in March 2016, I will take on the CrossFit Open one more time, for me and for those that cannot.

(originally posted on milesandmeals.net)

2016 CrossFit Open

Workout of the Day 2/4/2016 – Thursday


A. Maintenance
E2MOM 10:
5 Back Squats @ 70-80% 1RM

B. Recovery/Endurance
3 x 1K Row

Rest as needed between rows – at least 3-4 minutes.

CrossFit 101

Power Clean 5 x 5

5 Push-Ups
10 Hang Power Cleans
20 Double Unders