Happy Open everyone! And what an Open it has been, especially here at CrossFit Surmount.  I had the privilege to watch 19.2 this past Thursday at our Thursday Night Lights event and I think I can speak for everyone in attendance that it was a magical moment!

Since that night, I’ve had many conversations with first timers and veterans discussing what the Open means to each of us. Themes such as competitiveness, inspiration, drive, perseverance, comradery, progress, and community are just a few that have popped up in conversations.  I know for many of us, there may be times where frustration creeps in, but remember, it’s about how far you’ve come rather than how far you have to go. For anyone out there that may experience a bit of frustration during the Open or even self-doubt or didn’t sign up this year because of uncertainty, then this blog is for you! Offering up a new perspective that maybe you hadn’t considered and viewing yourself through our eyes. 

For those that may not know, Nick and I have owned CFS for 2 years.  When we first took it over, we sat down and came up with a vision for the gym, mission, and values.  These make up our philosophy and guide us in how we make decisions in choosing what is right for our members.  If it isn’t evident, Nick and I believe strongly in inclusivity for all fitness levels and capabilities.  We believe fitness should be fun and people from all walks of life have the right to come to a place where fitness is celebrated in a welcoming, fun, safe, and professional environment. We believe to be engaged in your health and well-being for the long run, it needs to be sustainable.  And for something to be sustainable then it comes down to support, perspective, enjoyment of the process and journey, and celebration!

The key words here are journey, enjoyment, and celebration.  The Open does just that.  It gives us the ability to reflect on our own journey, especially if you’ve been doing CrossFit awhile.  Of course, there’s competitiveness and pushing the line, encouragement, and drive that are all a part of this time of the year. These are also essential parts of motivation, action, effort, and smashing goals.  But this is not the only part. I challenge you to really think about your workouts and experiences. Does the Open (or any other time in the gym) bring out any self-criticism that may override the joy of the process and journey?  I think it’s human nature for us to want to do better, want to work harder, want to get it just right, but not at the expense of losing sight of perspective and celebrating how far you’ve come. Celebrate, honor, acknowledge your performance! That’s the magic sauce for staying on this fitness train!

Everything I’ve said, I speak from my own experience, clients’ experiences in my professional practice, and stories from you all! If you haven’t figured out, I work with minds and mindset for nutrition and as it applies to exercise and fitness.  As for my own experience I’m a self-proclaimed, Type A perfectionist that is constantly striving for…well…10-15 years ago, I would have said I’m striving for a faster 5K time, a more “advanced” yoga pose or another professional certification.  These days, and after much self-reflection, plus learning, growth, therapy, and evolving in my yoga practice, I’m just happy to be moving and having fun along the way! So, what am I getting at? I’m saying, if you attach your effort to a result and that result doesn’t go as planned, there could be some disappointment involved. Sure, there are goals to work towards. Goals help drive action and motivation and inspiration. But what if the self-criticism that may come from not attaining that goal results in taking away the joy for not just a few minutes after a work-out but where you beat yourself up constantly for not “doing” or “being” better? Then I think it is time to reevaluate some goals.  I spent about 4 out of the 5 years of CrossFit constantly beating myself up for not being the fastest, the strongest, the….whatever other adjective I could come up with.  Fitness is meant to be fun and if you leave the gym more frustrated than when you walked in then it’s time to reflect and maybe add in some more celebration.  For me, I was attached to a result and if I didn’t hit whatever I set out to do then my day was ruined (ummm anyone else out there like me? did I mention I’m a perfectionist? I’m working on it and I’ll say I’ve come a loooong way!) Maybe I’m on the extreme end, but I’m using my experience as an extreme example and hopefully some people can relate on some level. Ultimately, I chose to let self-criticism steal my joy.  It’s stunted my growth as an athlete and person. I ended up letting myself get in the way of my potential. So, this year, my 5th year of CrossFit, and my 3rd Open, a new perspective has emerged and it’s one of appreciation and awe.  Seeing how far I’ve come physically and more so mentally. 

While I reflect on my own CrossFit journey, Nick and I also find we reflect on many of yours.  We’ve seen you where you’ve started. And we see you today.  Everyone has progressed by leaps and bounds.  You may not see it day to day, you may get frustrated and want to quit, but we see it and every small progression forward is a victory and something to be celebrated! Starting out squatting to a box and now doing 75# SQUAT CLEANS!!!!!! What????? Burpess to a box and now to the floor??? Signing up for Thursday Night Lights when it’s your 2ndmonth into CrossFit? Showing up and scaling a workout when really you want to stay home because of an injury? Attempting double unders in a workout when you know you are more proficient with singles? Re-doing an Open workout for the very first time to see what could take place? Your first RX workout? And even, backing off the intensity and/or weights and going a bit easier on yourself because that’s the right thing to do for your body at this given time. HUGE causes to celebrate and honor yourself.  Write it down people.  These are bright spots and they go up on the wall.  And then you shout it loud and say it proud! Nick and I are extremely inspired, amazed, and proud of each one of you! I honestly cannot express that enough.  But it can’t just come from us, you must be proud of yourselves too! That’s when change happens! We see it…do you?

 – Meredith