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The Many Faces of A Reebok CrossFit Games Open Competitor.

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Every year we get ready for the Reebok CrossFit games Open, and every year we go through a sort of ritual leading up to the first announcement. Shortly after the first WOD, the reality that we may not be headed to Carson sets in and emotions for many begin to takeover. Below is a fun look at what I call the “Many faces of the Reebok CrossFit Games Open Competitor” and what many go through from my perspective.


The “I Got This” Look

This animal is easy to spot but can only be found in his native habitat, the Box. The key here is timing. Transformation from humble, likable fella, to jackass, usually takes place about two hours before the first WOD announcement. Several noticeable changes take effect.

First notice the enlarged cranium, how it seems to contain vast amounts of unwarranted confidence. Watch the cocky attitude, and how it screams for a beat down. Two other well known traits are the general “swagger”, and imminent removal of shirt. 

Shortly thereafter, the first of many additional transformations takes place.


The “ Froning is Toast” Look

You have to watch closely for this next transformation because it happens immediately following the removal of the shirt! 

(Special Note! The shirt WILL be removed, regardless of place or time, regardless if the WOD is imminent or not.)

Call it the “ROCKY” Phenomenon; at this stage the subject begins to hear “Eye of the Tiger” or other appropriate music pounding in his ears. A chemical breakdown occurs at a molecular level, which creates a sort of out of body experience, which gives the subject an unrealistic perception of reality. At this point, they think they can take on the world and nothing can stop them.

Froning watch out, because regardless if he started CrossFit last week or not, he’s coming for your title.


The “Come on Castro!” Look

As the chemical levels in the brain begin to stabilize, the realization that the WOD might actually suck begins to creep in. The subject begins to lie to himself; he runs different scenarios through his head. He thinks about which WOD’s and combinations could place him on the podium at the Games. 

Then the first WOD announcement is made, and Castro becomes the most hated man in the universe! “Seriously dumbass”, “Had you just picked five rounds for time of broad-jumps and bear-crawls I would have crushed it”. “Screw you Castro!” 

No worries, I got this! – Sort of.


The “Lie to Myself” Look

At this point, the subject has gone through various mental highs and lows leading up to the first WOD. He realizes that this WOD is gonna suck big time and he is NOT prepared, but hey all he has to do is post a decent score, then NEXT week, it’s really on. 

Then a slight nervousness sets in. The “What if’s” creep in and a game of mental chess begins to take place.

“I can do this many, then rest here, then I can do that many and rest there”, “No that won’t work, I better do this, then rest” aghhh!

Shortly after a sort of calm begins to take place as the subject realizes that no training can help at this point, but GEAR CAN! A self-induced state of euphoria comes over the subject.  


The “Gear will make it Better” Look

Whether it’s a new set of Nano’s, or last weeks local competition shirt, nothing, and I mean nothing is off limits. 

Basically if there is ANY piece of gear that will make even a slight difference in the score, it WILL be worn.

Be advised the subject will probably show up to the box in the brightest neon colors you’ve ever seen, covered with enough ROCK TAPE to cover an entire NFL team and of course their wear favorite competition or, obligatory CF-L1 shirt they earned just last week!

At this point the subject either takes two courses of action.

1. They decide to do the WOD blindly not knowing what to expect. (Note: This is usually best, call it Shock and Awe. Sort of like ripping a band-aid off fast, so it hurts less.)

2. Or the subject will decide to take on the WOD for “practice” beforehand. (Warning: This can lead to sadness and withdrawal from family and friends if the practice doesn’t go as planned)

Regardless of the subjects’ choice, the results are sadly the same.


The “Let Down” Look

A stage of grief enters shortly after the subject finishes the WOD. Another round of “Damn you Castro” is uttered, then the internal “I should have done more Snatches” or “Who would have thought Double-Unders?” muddies the mind.

The sadness overcomes the subject, and the thought of what might have been enters in. The glory lost, the articles written on the game website, the endorsement deals that would never be.

Others in the Box try to console them but to no avail. This leads to the next inevitable look.


The Look of “Confusion”

How did this Happen! Minutes or even days later the subject reflects about what went wrong. “Damn that CF-L1 shirt”! “Had I worn the other one I would have done better.” “Dang Plyo-Box!” “If it didn’t have that chip on the corner, I could have done way more”. “What was that judge thinking, No rep, my ASS!”

WARNING: The confusion in this self-deluded mind is as real to them as the sun rises and sets.

They deserve to be on the podium!

There is nothing that will stop them!

They spent their $20, and will NOT be denied. Their confidence begins to build, and they are ready once again.


The “Next Week, Baby, Next Week” Look

Within seconds of realizing that their lackluster score on the previous WOD was due to outside circumstances, a new determination can be seen. 

The determination then turns to pure joy as the subject readies themselves for the next weeks WOD announcement.

The average Reebok CrossFit Games Open competitor has no chance of making it to the finals, but it is fun to dream. Sure you could compete without dropping a dime, but hey you wouldn’t get to see your name on the web along side so many others. 

Although I cracked a bit of fun, mainly at myself, I believe that the Open is one of the best things going for CrossFit. It allows people to see where they are at, where they need to be, and it cuts out a lot of excuses like age. It also allows those without well-defined Fitness goals to set one big one each year.

If you haven’t registered, it’s not to late. Do it now, I promise you’ll have a blast, if for nothing else, to see where you stack up.

See you on the beach.

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