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So you didn't get the open score you expected.... Should you quit?

CrossFit HQ has done an excellent job fooling people into believing that competition is fun... It's not, it's extremely stressful, hard, and draining. Perhaps I have been in the wrong crowd for the last 10 years of the sport, but I have yet to find an individual that becomes more enjoyable during the Open. The reward you get at the end of competing is very rewarding, and the data collected gives you something to shoot for for next year, and a better idea of if the things you have worked on over the year have paid off. So, the open is worth it...but man, you would be hard pressed to tell me it's fun.

Because of its unique nature, it isn't like a live competition where you can perform and then put it in the back of your mind. The 5 days you have to perform the workout allows for multiple re-tests and time for you to sit in your thoughts about how you can improve, how you didn't get the score you wanted, how you "didn't push hard enough," or "didn't beat so and so in the gym." These thought processes can lead us to a downward spiral, and by the end of the 3 weeks you are exhausted.

That being said, mindset is important to performing well in this competition. One thing I think that CrossFitters have a hard time understanding is their floor (the score they will get on a lower performing day) and their ceiling (the score you will get on the your best possible day.) In track and field these concepts are well understood because you run the same race over and over again. While CrossFit is mixed, it's hard to understand these two levels of performance. BUT, if we can grasp this concept, we will have an easier time managing our emotions after a competition. Most of our planning for an open workout is to achieve our ceiling, as it should be, but the reality is, we are going to fall somewhere between our floor and our ceiling, and, sans terrible life stress or a poor pacing strategy, it's unlikely in 3-4 days for your retest you are going to achieve your ceiling. This doesn't mean if you are a bubble athlete you shouldn't battle for reps, but if you are comfortably getting into QF, don't waste the energy, or training days thinking about and or retesting a workout that has no bearing on your season. You will just leave yourself worn out by the end of 3 weeks with no ability to push in a workout.


One workout does not define you, and your season isn't over just because you didn't hit your ceiling. So, after this week's retest, focus on running your marathon. Forget about this workout, get off the leaderboard, and focus on the things that will help you achieve your best score possible in 23.2. Recovery, sleep, nutrition, and touches on movements you might see in your training. Control the things you can control and when the next open workout rolls around you will have a much better mindset and performance.