Random Thoughts from a Restless Mind

Dr. Darrell White's Personal Blog

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Open Drama

Wow. Just…wow. Quite a bit of strum un drang around the 2013 CrossFit Open, eh? Says here it’s really nothing new, the drama and the controversies. Re-runs of stuff from Games of yesteryears, just playing on more screens and viewed by more people who have more time on their hands than sense in their heads.

Yah…I just went there.

What’s got so many panties in a bunch? Let’s see. Everyone who has a great score must be a cheater. Of if they didn’t cheat they surely must be using PED’s of some sort. This canard took flight in Games 3 when a qualifier was first put into play. Funny, though, that you never hear this coming from any of the athletes who are likely to rock the Regionals (check out Freddy Comacho on FB, for example. No whining from that 3 times Games competitor). Seems there are a whole lotta folks shooting off their fingertips before they shoot off any neurons; if the mere possibility has somehow crept into THEIR head, well then, it must be a dead-on FACT. Because they just know, ya know?. Never mind that year after year it all just seems to work out even though year after year the Games grow bigger, change, and improve. Anybody think someone who should have been in the top 15 in any Regional got bumped out by a cheater last year? Really?

What else? Oh yeah, fairness. It’s not fair. Somehow, somewhere, someone at HQ is just out there doing stuff that’s…that’s…unfair. There’s a conspiracy here. Really. Gotta be. Just because someone has a limited frame of reference regarding what it takes to pull off something as audacious as an Open competition with >150,000 entrants, surely they know all the better than the rest of us. And the newer they are to CrossFit the better they know. Naturally. To be fair there are some folks who sincerely try to follow all the rules, do their very best in that effort, and for whatever reason they mess up. That’s truly a bummer. I really mean that. But how do you do anything other than invoke a strict enforcement of the rules for everyone, regardless of sincerity in the mess-up? How do you measure fairness if you allow even a bit of color into a black and white process? Fair tends to be hard.

Which brings me to the most important part of this whole harangue: there are real, live people involved here. Just like you. Just like him. And her. People who are trying their best on all sides of every issue. Doing the workout. Judging the workout. Administering the Open. Watching literally thousands of videos. And not for nuthin’, reading all of the vitriol being vomited through cyberspace and befouling our little corner of the planet. Listen, I’m no pollyanna. I know there really are a tiny few people who are trying to get over. They really deserve all the  venom you can dispense. But it’s rare. There really aren’t that many of them, and they always seem to do something to draw attention to themselves. Have at ’em. My pleasure.

For everyone else, though, let’s have a little perspective. Expand your frame of reference to include the notion that it really IS fair. That almost no one is trying to cheat. That even the very best athletes are approaching this in almost the same way as you and I, as a challenge to be met. An opportunity to participate in the collective, the community of our CrossFit. That every PERSON is doing his or her best to put forth something that they can be proud of. Something that will put a smile on the face of a Brother or Sister CrossFitter. Every athlete. Every judge. Every HQ staff member. YOU.

Stop. Think. There’s a CrossFitter on the other end of your post.


Approaching The CrossFit Open

The first workout for the Open, the gateway to the CrossFit Games, will be announced Wednesday, February 22. You’re in, right? Registered and ready for the first WOD? Maybe you didn’t register but you’re gonna do the workouts anyway. Great! What are your goals? What’s your strategy? You thought about this, right? Re-visited your CrossFit goals, your life goals, and how the Open fits in? Right?

Like I told you last week, you are I aren’t going to the Games. Not gonna happen. Sorry to be the one to break it to you. Only ~1000 of us will go to Regionals as individuals, and maybe another ~2000 or so as team members. Probably not you and me, though. We’re doing the Open for all the reasons I mentioned last week. We’re part of a community and this is how we take part. We’re fortunate enough to be able to do pretty much exactly what the best CrossFitters will do, just like we’re playing Pebble Beach after Phil and Tiger. We’re gonna do this because we own it. We’re CrossFitters; registered or not we do the Open.

But how? Think about this a bit. This is important. No going on cruise control here. What are we going to do?

The Open WOD’s will arrive during our training. We can simply apply them as such, another training tool, and just do them in the course of the week as another WOD in our program whether we send in our score or not. If memory serves, the Open WOD shows up as one of the Main Page CrossFit.com WOD’s as part of the flagship’s programming. Perfectly legit way for us to be a part of this gig. We can also work them into our training as a test, use them as a little measuring stick of our own personal fitness. You know, my whole “you vs. you” thing. Another perfectly reasonable application.

Or we can ramp it up a bit and compete. After all, The Open is a part of the CrossFit Games season, and this is the Sport of Fitness. There will doubtless be scads of local competitions using these WOD’s, some within individual Affiliates, some just among friends. Any place there’s a clock or a scoreboard (or both) and more than one athlete you’ve got a contest. We don’t need $250,000 on the line. Bragging rights, a new tee-shirt, last one to buy a round at the next Affiliate gathering? The prize isn’t the prize. Why the heck not?

Maybe you’ve been aiming for this for months, ramping up your training, tightening your nutrition, clearing your schedule. For you this is serious. Each week is about planning your attempt, the timing, pre-WOD rest, maybe a dry run on Thursday and a redline effort on Saturday. Maybe you’ve got a real chance and maybe not. Who cares? The point is that YOU care! In your mind you are not like me and most of us, and you’ve been just itching for these five weeks since, well, LAST year’s Open.

The point is simple: this is your CrossFit Open. Think it out before you start the journey. Drive the Open, don’t let it drive you. Pop the clutch. Grab the wheel. Decide what it means to you,where and how you’re traveling. Three more days to set your course.

Occupy the CrossFit Games!


Occupy The CrossFit Games

The CrossFit Games season is upon us. The Open begins in 10 days. Do you care? Should you care? Why?

You, me, we are the 99% of CrossFit. Seriously, the chances that you or I will make it to the Regionals is pretty similar to the proverbial snowball thrown across the River Styx. It ain’t gonna happen. Is that the kicker?

The Open is going to be too heavy and too long for you and me. It sure as heck was last year. I don’t expect that we will see too much more in the way of load this year (I think Tony Budding and Dave Castro did a remarkable job making it inclusive last year), but I also don’t see it being any lighter, either. Will that be your tipping point?

It’s impossible to plan for the Open WOD’s. They come right in the middle of the week, and if you push your Open attempt back to the weekend you have to decide how you will prepare once you know what’s coming. It wreaks havoc with your training and your schedule. What’s gonna give?

Do you care? Yes, you do. Why? Because where else can you play Pebble Beach, the same track as the big boys and girls, for $20? The Open is your chance to take a few laps at Indianapolis Speedway or that fancy-dancy roadway in Germany whose name no one can pronounce. Old or young, big or small, you get to dig in at home plate and take your hacks at Fenway Park, field a punt at Candlestick, line up your PK at Wembley.

You are part of a much larger whole, whether you are a member of an Affiliate gym or a solo CrossFitter in a Globo. This is the time of year when everyone still comes to a central cyber-gym, congregates around the CrossFit table, and dines on our particular fitness cuisine. Together.

You…me…we are the 99% of CrossFit, and the Open is ours. You do care. You’re damn right you’re in. Register. Post.

Occupy the CrossFit Games.