With just over 3 weeks until the start of the 2021 CrossFit Open, everyone I know is starting to ponder this question.
We have no idea if the gyms will be open in the UK in fact, it’s looking slightly pessimistic at the moment. So unless you are one of the lucky few who have been able to continue training at a gym (or at a home gym), then there is going to be some debate about whether it is worth it.
CrossFit HQ has announced the limited equipment list that you will need to complete the Open as prescribed (RX level), scaled or in the foundations category for new starters.
- Barbell and weights
- Pull up bar
- Jump rope
If you don’t have access to this list (or space at home to use it safely) then you can opt to complete the equipment free workouts. It’s great that Eric Roza and Dave Castro have thought carefully about making the Open accessible to as many people as possible. But if you’ve not got access to space or the equipment, then the “equipment free” workouts will score lower than the foundations division, and this is a real turn off for many people. As a consolation, it appears that you can mix the type of WOD’s that you complete. So maybe you can do 2 of the WOD’s RX and then the third as the equipment free option, if you haven’t been able to get a pull up bar screwed to your kitchen wall!
So what this comes down to is your motive for doing the Open.
Obviously we want to have fun. But by nature, most Crossfit athletes are competitive. Against each other and against themselves. We have had it drummed into us by our coaches and other athletes, that the only competition that matters, is against yourself. Let’s be honest - even though most of us will never rank that high on the worldwide leaderboard, we still want to do better than our friends and our “previous year self”’. In fact, the CrossFit interactive leaderboard is back this year, so there are lots of ways to compare your performance to your friends, box members, age, profession etc.
Are we going to be satisfied with our final position on the board if we can only do the equipment free workouts? Usually over the course of the Open, we are tested for strength, stamina and skill. How much of this can be demonstrated with body weight movements - and how will this be judged?
But let’s go back to the beginning.
Where you started your CrossFit journey. Surely the buzz of joining the “cult” was all about suffering the WOD together? No matter what level, age or experience. And isn’t that what the Open is for? A united world putting themselves through the same WOD, at pretty much the same time?
It has been an extremely disconnected 12 months. With both CV19, BLM and a whole year of disruption to CrossFit as a whole. Isn’t this the time that we should join together and support our CrossFit sport which we all love? Unless you have a realistic chance of qualifying for the CrossFit Quarter Finals, maybe we just look at this as a series of giant, fun and challenging zoom classes?
So let’s have some fun. Let’s get behind our incredible sport, which has the ability to bring together people from every walk of life, age, size, shape, ability and show it what it means to us. We might not be able to have our “Friday Night Lights” in the box, but we sure as hell can get some banging tunes on in the kitchen and have a Billion Burpee Bonanza!