If you are one of those people that finds the Open fun then I am jealous! I don't think I am alone when I say I DO NOT find the Open fun! For 5 weeks, fun is the furthest thing from my mind!
The Open is the culmination of a year's worth of training for most of us. It is where we really see if we have improved (or not). The pressure we put on ourselves to do the best we can in the workout each week is huge. This pressure lasts for 5 weeks! I don't know about you but I don't particularly enjoy the pressure!
This is how my week typically goes:
You get some obscure photo clue from Dave Castro. You tell yourself you aren't going to bother guessing but find yourself in several discussions about it. The Open is now on your mind.
It's announcement time. You watch the livestream on your tablet or laptop while simultaneously messaging your friends!
When it's over you read and watch everything you can about workout strategy and what you are going to do.
You go to bed Thursday night thinking about tomorrow and what you are going to do. You run options over and over in your head wondering what will be the best strategy. You estimate what your time or score might be based on how the games athletes did.
Hopefully you fall asleep.
You wake up ready to do the workout today. At this point not many people have done the workout so you don't have many people to learn from (watching the games athletes do a WOD doesn't normally help us normal people!).
You head into the gym and as soon as you walk in the door the butterflies start and the heart rate goes up....and you literally haven't done a single thing except walk in the door! You try to calm yourself and you may be partially successful but it's not like "any other workout" no matter how many times you tell yourself.
You warm-up and then just want to get going. At this point you just want the first attempt to be done.
Once the workout is over you may or may not be happy with how you went. I'd say its about 50/50 probability on this. As soon as it's done you proclaim "you are never doing that again".
Through the day you continue to message friends you know, getting info on your arch rivals and what score they got. It's all friendly competition of course but we all have those 1 or 2 people that we compare ourselves against every year (you know you do it).
But by the end of the day it is a 100% certainty that you won't be happy with your score. Like childbirth, you have mysteriously forgotten the pain of only a few hours earlier and think to yourself "I didn't go hard enough". You are contemplating the redo.
You spend the weekend trying not to think about the Open. If you have kids this is probably easier to do but the mind still wanders.
On Saturday you try to train. It can't be anything too taxing to disrupt the redo you are now definitely doing on Monday.
You start thinking about what you are going to change when you redo the WOD. Did you really give it your all Friday? Can you do better? Can you beat so and so...
You might check the leaderboard to see if there are any early scores in but you know it's pointless as the Saturday leaderboard really doesn't tell you a whole lot.
Meanwhile social media is jammed with Open posts! There is no escaping it!
It's the night before the redo. There is no avoiding the internal talk now. You work out the plan of what you are going to do different. That plan changes 3 times before you fall asleep.
It's redo time. The motivational self talk begins on the drive to the gym. You got this. You can do this. This is what you trained for. You have to find something. Get in the pain cave. It's only temporary discomfort.
The butterflies begin and heart rate escalates as soon as you walk in the gym again. This time it's a little different. You have a score and it's ok so it's not a disaster but the pressure you put on yourself to do better is huge. You know where the pain points are in the workout. You know your limitations. You wonder if you push too hard will you crash and burn.
You do the WOD again and it's either elation (did better) or extreme frustration (you wasted your time redoing only to do worse). In both cases that redo is harder and more draining. You go home feeling flat and spent.
You submit your score, glance at the leaderboard and then tell yourself you won't look at it again until tomorrow. Ok...I will only look at it one more time. One more?
By Tuesday, the leaderboard is not 100% official but its pretty close. You finally switch off the Open for a day and go back to normal life. Until Thursday when it starts again!
You REPEAT this for 5 weeks!
By the end of the 5 weeks you are ready for it to be over. But will you do it again next year? Of course!
It is not a "fun" time for many but it's what we do. We care about how we perform. We train all year for the Open. We want to do our absolute best and with that comes pressure. Every year you look back and are happy that you did it. You are proud of your efforts but you are also very happy that it is 47 weeks before it starts again!
It's almost go time for 18.3! Good luck everyone!