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Forging Elite Communities: The CrossFit Games Open

You, your thoughts, a barbell, and 13 minutes of non-stop movement. Your mind starts playing tricks with you. "You're almost done," you keep telling yourself. {3 minutes left on the clock} "Sh*t, that's seems so long. There's no way I'm making it to the end." Looking for that extra boost of adrenaline, you turn to the line of people behind you yelling in your ear. You give them a head nod, "I got this!" You finish, fall to the ground out of breath, you can't even lift your arms and your community is surrounding you throwing you high fives and fist bumps. After you recover and cool down, you crack open a nice cold beer and think to yourself, "that sucked, but I can't wait for next week."

In a brief paragraph, that is pretty much the 5 weeks of the CrossFit Games Open. If you've been through one of the past 6 Opens, you'll understand the mixed emotions that come along with it: excitement, nervousness, anger, joy, gratefulness, among many others. To some, the Open is just another workout; and in the grand scheme of things, it really is just another workout. To others, it is much more than a score on the board.

In the 5 weeks of the CrossFit Games Open, people around the world fight and earn the chance to call themselves the fittest in the USA, the fittest in Canada, the fittest in Pennsylvania, the fittest fire fighter, the fittest in the South West region. With many divisions, regions, and age groups, the CrossFit Games Open sets out to find "the fittest." It is just the first stepping stone on the road to the Games where this test happens. After you qualify for Regionals, the top will get invited to compete on the stage of all stages - The CrossFit Games.

Only a fraction of a percent made it to California to compete, but it doesn't mean that the 300,000 other people that completed the Open did it to make it to the Games. The Open gives you a chance to show yourself that no matter why you started CrossFit, you're becoming better. With CrossFit's methodology, workouts are measurable, observable, and repeatable. Testing yourself against a leaderboard of people in your own ag

e and division makes up 99% of the Open participation. A year later, you get to retest to see how much you have progressed in that year. Maybe because you've become better, you've moved up a division, or jumped 1,000 places on the leaderboard. No matter your reason for beginning the CrossFit journey, the test of the Open is a great way to show yourself that you're not alone.

Everyone has their reason for starting CrossFit. Selfishly, you have goals you want to achieve and you're going to do whatever it takes to accomplish them! That is completely, 100% fine! You should be doing this for you. With jobs, family, and friends, when do you make time for yourself? When coming in for a workout, you should shut off the outside world and give yourself the time you deserve. Somewhere along the way you may have realized, whether you know it or not, that everyone who's doing it with you is there for that same reason. You share a common interest of becoming better. Seeing other people giving it their best makes you want to see them achieve that almost as much or more than you want to see yourself achieve your goals. It also makes you hungrier to achieve your goals as well. The CrossFit Open allows us to get together for a couple hours a week and push each other to see what we're really made of! When Suzy Jo does her workout and your cheering and yelling for her to do her best, you better believe she's going to be right there doing the same for you when it's your turn to go!

When it's all said and done, you're right, it's just another workout. It's just another tool for you to use to accomplish your goals. Your reason for walking through those doors on that day haven't changed, but if you're looking a thrill different from "just another workout," sign up for the Open. I guarantee you won't be disappointed. Below I listed some of my FAQ's for the Open and how we run it at Kazam. Also, check out the video from our first Open here at Kazam!

Coach Kyle’s CrossFit Games Open FAQ

What is it?

For 5 weeks, starting February 23, 2017, the CrossFit Games release 1 workout a week on Thursday night. These workouts can range from a few minutes to 20-30 minutes. When you do the workout, you submit your score on the games website and see how you stack up to hundreds of thousands of people around the world. You need a judge for the workout to make sure you perform the range on motion and count your reps (which is a nice thing to have). This is also a fun, friendly way to get together as a gym once a week. After the Open, the CrossFit Games take the top 20 people in each region and compete to go to the CrossFit Games… Ya know, the ones you see on ESPN. The chances of you making it to the games are way less than 1%. So don’t be bummed out if you don’t make it. This is purely a FUN competition! There are different divisions to fit your fitness ability. So don’t think that it’s only for “the really really fit people.” Anyone can do it!!!!

Can I still do the workouts and not sign-up?

Sure! But I encourage you to sign-up! It’s a great way to track progress over time. We do the Open workouts every now and then to retest to see how much our fitness has progressed. For those that sign-up, I put names on the whiteboard in the lobby area and track the gyms scores throughout the 5 weeks. If you miss a week’s workout, no sweat! Just get ‘em the next week!

When do we perform the workouts?

Thursday nights are when the workouts are released. On Friday, the next day, is when the workouts will be programmed for us at Kazam. We do “Friday Night Lights” and it’s a blast! From 5-8pm, we’ll run heats of the workout, because you need a judge. If you can’t make “Friday Night Lights”, let me know ahead of time and we can find you a time and judge! I’ll still have normal classes that day, so if you didn’t sign up, you can always do the workout earlier or even jump in on a heat from 5-8pm.

How much does it cost and where can I sign-up?

To participate, the cost is $20 and you can register at Create a profile, pick Kazam as your gym, and you’re set! When you enter your scores each week, you’ll need to also input where you performed the workout and your judges name for the workout.

Can I be a judge?

Anyone can become a judge. On, you can take the judges course for a cost of $10. From there, you’re issued a certificate. Forward it to me and I will print it out! The more judges, the merrier! As a thank you for being a judge, I’ll buy you some FitAIDs for a little post-open recovery!

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