The CrossFit Open is behind us. Thank gosh. It was horrible, it was fun and it was also an incredibly humbling and learning experience.
For myself, it was a chance to learn a little bit more about my current fitness level as this was my second Open. While I had my setbacks (WHAT WAS WITH THAT NEW HANDSTAND PUSH UP STANDARD) I finished far higher in the standings than I did last year.
For other people in our gym, it was incredible to watch weekly as people came in and threw down their best efforts, received their best scores and sometimes even PR’d.
For most of us, it was just a test to see where we were at but for at least one of us among the group, it was a chance at redemption to return to the coveted CrossFit Games.
Through qualifying for the online master’s qualifier and then subsequently the Games themselves, Jolaine Undershute is well on her way to putting a stamp on Madison Wisconsin this August. It was truly an inspiration to watch her achieve that this spring.
“I am extremely grateful to have qualified for my fifth CrossFit Games,” Undershute said. “As a single mother and a CrossFit affiliate owners, it’s challenging finding the energy to fit all the volume of training required. I took a different approach in 2017 by hiring an Olympic Lifting and gymnastics coach which paid off as all of my skills and lifts have improved. Taking a year away from Games competition also solidified how much I miss and love the sport and I thank all my supportive community of students, coaches, friends and fans.”
That being said, it was also an opportunity for the newcomers who participated in their first ever Open or were just looking to do it for fun and maybe even a cold beverage.
Lindsay McPhereson, Jaz Bernier, Nancy Hugunin, Kyra Warren, Eric Elliott, Lainey Wilson, Tammy Eccles and Taylor Lightfoot all did amazing as official participants in this years Open.
For Lindsay as a last minute registrant, the motivation was a cold beer promised to her from her workout friend Jaz that pushed her over the edge to competing.
“Motivation is key I guess,” she said. “For me, competing Rx was a way to see how I really measure up world wide. It also gave me the push to PR my overhead squat by 20lbs for 18.3.”
For someone like Nancy, this year’s Open was a chance to start fresh after joining Endeavor at the start of the 2017 Open.
“This year, I was away for the first workout but the second one was on my first day back,” she said. “What fun! It was intense, it showed me my strengths and the things I needed to work on. Each of the last three workouts were challenging but doable.
No matter the person, that was a unique element among all the members at Endeavor this Open. There were workouts where everyone had a strength they could showcase but that dirty Dave Castro will always find a way to expose you in the Open.
For many like Jaz Bernier, it was 18.3 with the hundreds of double unders and muscle ups. While she said she knows her double unders could improve, she would really like to get a ring or bar muscle up in next year’s Open.
And really that’s what this season now is all about—spending the time necessary to work on filling the holes that were exposed in last year’s Open. Even after a first place finish in the world in 18.1, Taylor Lightfoot is getting to work for 19.x.
“I loved it all,” she said. “It is such a great chance to show yourself how good you are but also find weakness that you can learn from and get better from. The open almost gives you a sense of a global community, everybody is doing the same thing you are, wanting to get better, trying something new, something maybe out of their comfort zone.
As she puts it, the 2018 Open was awesome. Almost indescribably awesome. I wonder what that means for 2019.
“It’s hard to put into words, how five workouts changed how I look at the gym and what I do there,” Lightfoot said. “I’m just happy I did and got to share it with so many wonderful, helpful,supportive, people.”