Rally the Troops, CFA! The 2012 CrossFit Open is Here!

It’s that time again! The 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games Open is here! With registration beginning tomorrow (February 1), and the release of the first WOD on February 22nd, CrossFitters from all over the world will be able to showcase their abilities in hopes of being crowned the “Fittest in the World.”

Last year’s Open at CrossFit Austin was an amazing experience, and one you can join in this year! You may not be striving to become the next Annie Thorsdottir or Rich Froning, (and even better if you are) but I can assure you, the dynamic of CFA during the Open is electric and something you WILL want to be a part of! Instead of spouting off reasons as to why to join the Open, I’d much rather recap last year’s CFA experience in hopes that it will get you excited to be a part of something that not only is fun but makes our CFA family that much more motivated and supportive.

I remember when the first WOD of the Open was released. They were late in releasing it, causing everyone to stay up well beyond their normal bedtime, hitting “refresh” every five minutes on the CrossFit Games website. As soon as it was released, Facebook exploded with CFA members updating their status’ with the Open’s first WOD. The road to the Games had begun!

Every Wednesday (this year is will be Thursdays) for 6 weeks, CFA’s WOD was that of the Open. Whether you were registered for the Open or not, you were doing the WOD that CrossFitters from all over the world were doing. It was a big deal! Members were coming in early and staying later to support others who were doing the WOD (registered or not). I remember some coming in at 4:30 pm to cheer others on, get their shot at the workout at 5:30 pm, and then stay to support others in the 6:30 pm class. Every Wednesday, CFA turned into a mini-competition arena with music blasting and our members playing the roles of competitors, spectators, judges and coaches – all at once. We even had the “media” there, as I remember Geno recording the evening classes as they completed the WOD. We had athletes of all levels performing the WODs which brought out a newer and higher level of intensity from everyone!

I know for a fact the Open brought a stronger sense of community and pride to our CFA box. It was a great way for members to push themselves and others beyond normal limits. It added a competitive edge where we could check our individual standings and also see if our efforts could keep CFA within the top 30 boxes in our region. The Open allowed for more work to get done faster among CFA members as everyone’s hard work and intensity motivated their fellow athletes to push even more. Rankings among individuals within CFA were going up weekly because they had friends, next to them, pushing them to produce bigger numbers.

For the most part, the Open took over the lives of CFA coaches and members for six weeks. It was six weeks of having set times or days to perform the Open WOD. It was a great opener that unknowingly prepped CFA for the proverbial “Road to the Games!” Last year, after the final scores of the Open were tallied, we had two people qualify as individuals to advance to Regionals, we had a high enough score to qualify a team to represent CFA at Regionals, and we had our very own Darlene Price qualify to compete at the Games in California in hopes of being crowned the “Fittest Woman in the World” in the Master’s Division. That being said, CFA had no idea how well we’d actually do. Miguel finished strong with a 15th place finish in the individual Men’s Division at Regionals. Our team went into Regionals ranked 19th and left with a solid 7th place finish. And Darlene? Well, if you haven’t heard, she went to the Games in California and came home as the 2nd Fittest Woman in the World!

All of these things couldn’t have happened without the community the Open had strengthened within CFA. I can NOT wait for this year’s Open and am excited to see our CFA members, new and old, exceed all my expectations again. Again, I encourage everyone to participate (if you don’t, I will personally stalk you and make you do wall balls until you do)! Throw yourself into the adventure of the Open and get excited for the hype and improvement it will bring to you and your fellow CrossFit Austinites! You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain! If anything, it’ll help solidify why you joined this crazy community we call CrossFit Austin!

GET EXCITED!  -Coach Leigh

Want to get involved? Sign up for the Open here!