I’ve always been a competitive person and finding Crossfit in summer 2012 gave me that physical outlet after being a collegiate athlete. At first I was so scared to even step foot into the gym, imagining it filled with meatheads and being judged for my skinny runner arms and lack of any real physical strength.
But I found just the opposite--a welcoming community with everyone from super strong athletes to soccer moms, each more than willing to help and guide me through the movements.
After five years, I decided to compete in my first Crossfit Open series. The Crossfit Open is a 5-week competition in which a workout is released each week, athletes must complete and have their scores validated by a judge, and are then ranked on a worldwide leaderboard.
I wanted to see how I stood against more than just my friends in the gym, but the world.
Showing up to the first night of competition, I had no idea what to expect from the workout or myself. I anxiously watched as my friends competed in the earlier heats and waited until it was finally my turn. Turns out, competing under the lights every Friday surrounded by those who want to see you accomplish new things, can push you to a new level. Each week, I posted a personal best in the respective lift/skill we were required to perform, and it has only inspired me to push myself harder in the gym to achieve more.
What I learned is that seeing your friends accomplish new things and achieve new goals was just as gratifying as seeing my own name climb the leaderboard. My friends were hitting new personal bests every single week and seeing their elation felt as though I was achieving it right alongside them.
As excited as I was to finish within the Top 100 of division/region, I was just as proud seeing my colleagues achieve things they never thought possible and push themselves to a new level of fitness. In five weeks, I learned more about the people I work out next to than I have in the three years we’ve known each other, simply because we were enduring the same challenges together.
I could not have done this without the love and support of my gym family at Crossfit Kuleana.
For any crossfitter out there, my advice is to sign up for The Open. No matter your experience or skill level, do it. You’ll see yourself grow as both an athlete and a member of your gym community.