The 2020 CrossFit Open starts this week and with it our Intramural team challenge.  Both are about fitness, community and fun!  Here is how to have a healthy and fun Open/Intramural experience:

1. Register and Join a Team
If you have 12+ months CrossFit experience and are uninjured, register for the Open.  It is a great experience that will motivate you to push as you haven’t before.  Whether you’re registering for the Open or not, join an Intramural team and discover how much fun it is to participate in a community event with other Empower members.

2. Don’t Take Results Seriously
It is all for fun.  Use your scores to measure your personal progress but remember, whether you place 15th or 1015th place, it does not matter, this test leads nowhere, you are not qualifying for the CrossFit Games.

3. Log Your Score
Your score submission deadline is 5pm every Monday but don’t wait until then, enter your score as soon as you complete the workout, before you forget.  It is a hard deadline with no forgiveness, no excuses, no exceptions.  Every year a few competitors are disqualified because they failed to submit their scores on time.

4.  Know Your Affiliate
When you register for the Open, make sure you list Empower as your affiliate.  If you don’t, I cannot see or validate your scores and you will be disqualified.

5. No Leaderboarding
If you must, check your ranking when you submit your score (I wouldn’t even bother) and don’t look again.  I promise you, your ranking will not improve.  If you’re 15th on Saturday you will not magically move up to 12th by Sunday, you can only move down the leaderboard as more scores are entered.  So when do you check your results?  After week 5 when all results are in.

6.  This Week Doesn’t Matter
The Open is a 5-part test.  Your performance on any given week does not determine your final outcome.  I may beat you weeks 1 through 4 but if I fail to submit a score for 20.5 you will beat me.  A strong athlete may dominate a lifting event but perform poorly in all the cardio/gymnastics events and end up with a poor overall average.  There will be down weeks and WODs that don’t favour your skillset but don’t get hung up on any one week.

7. One and Done
Except in the very rare event of extenuating circumstances I WILL NOT validate the scores for any second attempts at a workout.   Do your best.  If it doesn’t go your way, learn from it and move on.  Like the CanWest or life itself, there will be no redoes.  Doing the WOD again does not make you fitter, it just makes you better at that particular test.  It also exposes you to increased risk of injury and impairs your recovery for the following week.  Sure you might edge out your buddy by taking a second crack at the WOD but what’s to stop her from doing it a second or third time to edge you out?  This is playing for ego, not fitness or fun.  If you have a legitimate crack at qualifying for the next level of competition, then redoing a WOD may be justified, otherwise forget about it!

8. Scale as Needed
Speaking of fitness, there is no point crippling yourself in order to score the RX.  If the loads or movements are outside your current capacity, choose the scaled option.  I’m all about breaking through previous performance thresholds but let’s not be reckless about it.

9.  Set Realistic Goals
You cannot “win” these tests.  They are designed to challenge the fittest in the world and honey, that ain’t you or I.  Competition will push you to higher levels of performance and you may score some exciting personal bests but competition will not magically transform you into an elite CrossFit superhero.  If 1 pull up at a time is your current best, you’re not going to suddenly bang out 10 unbroken this Saturday.  Build your game plan around your current skill level.  Aim high.  Sometimes you’ll outperform your expectations, other times you won’t.  That’s the nature of competition.  Don’t beat yourself up if your performance falls short because that just isn’t fun, is it?

10. Be Prepared
Familiarize yourself with the workout Thursday or Friday night.  If you are registered for the Open arrange a qualified judge.  Arrive Saturday 20 minutes in advance of your scheduled heat.    Warm up thoroughly.  Use the washroom before your heat is called.  Heats will start with or without you at their scheduled time.  We cannot guarantee there will be qualified judges available unless you have pre-arranged one.  Everything’s less stressful if you arrive early and prepared.

11. Uphold the Highest Standards
Judges are responsible for upholding the movement standards for the global CrossFit community and the integrity of CrossFit Empower.  It’s a tough job.  Athletes, thank your judges for their commitment to making you a better athlete by holding you to the highest standard.  It is better to get “no-repped” than to get credit for a rep that everyone watching knows shouldn’t count.   Your judge took time out of their life to complete the online judging course and time out of their Saturday to judge you so that you could compete.  Show them your love and gratitude!

12. Remember It’s All For Fun!
Don’t take it all so seriously!  You and I are not advancing to the Games, we’re doing this for fun and community.  Give it 100% effort but don’t stress out about the outcome.  Celebrate your victories, groan about your defeats and then go fill your plate at the potluck table and cheer on the next heat.  The spirit of the Empower Open is celebrating each other.  When your moment in the limelight is done, share the love and attention with others.  Smash is not wrong; we mostly do this for the BBQ!