By: Scarlett MacFarlane

The Open is Coming. If this is your first “season” of Crossfit, kind of like watching the first season of Game of Thrones, these words insight an air of mystery and excitement for you. Freshman, I advise you to start asking your coaches now about what to expect and how to sign up and just do it. No regrets. For our Sophomores, the excitement is probably still palpable and easily reignited from last year, because what Crossfitter doesn’t go back for seconds? And then, for some of our veterans to Crossfit, these words make you feel old. You’re like “ok, been there, done that” and it was fun but the overall sentiment is somewhat anticlimactic and along the lines of “I think I’m over it”.

Think again.

Hear me out because, as an athlete myself, I’m right there with you. I’ve been there, and I’ve done it too and it’s humbling. I’m not a games athlete hopeful (dramatic reveal). My entire existence doesn’t hang on my 1rm deadlift (gasp!), I don’t have a 2 minute Fran time (except for that one time I dreamed I was Francesca) and it’s fairly disconcerting to be reminded each year that unless I plan on shifting my priorities a LOT and I’m shooting for the Masters Team Division (that doesn’t exist yet) in 2027, I’m really just not destined for THAT level of greatness in fitness (no matter how badass I feel sometimes because, admit it, Crossfit makes you feel pretty badass… as it should).

But hang on a sec. Just. One. Sec.

Be kind, rewind, and take a look back at the last 300+ days since the last Open. Think of the last time you came in to train when you really just didn’t feel like it and left feeling that much more accomplished that day. Or that time you were a little nervous to test out a 1rm because you were feeling like you just weren’t making any progress and BAM, 10# PR in the books! Or better yet, that time you didn’t PR but you came back the next day anyway and stayed 20 minutes after class to do some accessory work. What about that awful day at work you had and then you came to the gym just to “grind it out” not expecting much but, instead, your friend you hadn’t seen in a few weeks was there and totally turned the grind into something reinvigorating. We don’t train every day because we want to win the games (second dramatic reveal) We train each day because we want to win at life.

The Open totally can serve as a way to test that, just as much as it can test out who those fittest people on earth are (here’s looking at you Chelsey and JP and Melody and Francesca and and and… gosh, we have some talented athletes here!)

What I’m saying is…Take a look at all the LIFE you’ve lived with us at BRICK, and then ask yourself why you wouldn’t want to spend a few Fridays in the middle of the winter showing off whatever hard-earned progress you’ve made? And I assure you, even if you can’t see it, you made progress.

There are all sorts of progress. Maybe you made a new friend here this year and, while it’s not your first, this is THEIR first Open and seeing you do it too gives them something to look up to without your even realizing it. That’s progress.

Or, maybe, you started taking B|Fit and you can FINALLY string together toes-to-bar because GO’s killer programming got your core strength in check and your lats properly firing. Safe bet, the Open is not only going to show you that progress in no uncertain terms, but it’s also going to test out how much more B|Fit you’re gonna need to do this year!

Or maybe your progress starts here. Maybe you’ve fallen into a plateau. Maybe you’ve hit that “ok, this isn’t going anywhere” moment we all hit sometimes at work, in our love life, and yes in fitness (say it ain’t so!). Guess what, the Open is one of the best times to reinvigorate your love for this Competitive Fitnessing thing we all do.  Just when you think you’ve got nothing left to gain and you’re not “getting anywhere”… the Open comes along to remind you to expect the unexpected. Trust me, I know from experience.

A quick story: Last year (Christmas 2015), I tore a few of the tendons in my ankle when I was out running. I had to take 2+ months off from all training and my first week back to Crossfit at all was also the first week of the Open. I signed up just to see what would happen. Coincidentally, that second week was my first day ever at BRICK and I did every open workout after at what was then, to me, YOUR gym. Ben coached me through 16.2 and 16.5, and according to JP’s sense of humor, I was Tyler’s fiancé for about 5 minutes (who knew?).

I had the pleasure of meeting SO many of you in those few Fridays in February and let me tell you something… This BRICK community is a force to be reckoned with when it all comes together during the Open! I didn’t know what to expect when I decided to drop in at BRICK that day, but I started coaching here less than 3 months later. I guess you guys kinda left an impression on me, huh?

Expect the unexpected. You don’t have to be the number one athlete in the world, country, region, state or even in the gym to gain something from the Open. I think if you give this year a go, you might be surprised by the impression it’ll leave on you… yes, again. Just trust me on this one, I’m your coach now, after all (she said with a wink and a smile).

That will be the last reason I give you why I’d advise you to do the Open: Us. Your coaches. We love coaching you, we genuinely love seeing you day in, and day out. You don’t get to see this part, but when that coach’s room door is closed it’s a likely story that at least one of us is talking about how awesome you guys are in some capacity (well, that or we’re talking about food or puppies). We love seeing you PR and we love seeing you fight back when you don’t. In and out of the gym, you guys matter to us and the Open is a great chance for us to just be proud, of you.

This will be my first year as a Coach at BRICK during the Open and I can honestly say I’m more excited then I’ve ever been because I get to see YOU lay it all out on the floor in front of all your friends and, I get to be a part of the support system that is what being a member of our community is all about. I look forward to contributing my energy to that “force to be reckoned with” that is BRICK, and I know I’m not the only one.

Regardless of what season of Crossfit you’re on… The Open is Coming…  spoiler alert… it’s going to be epic.

PS – For those of you who have a calloused heart as well as hands, if none of that got you motivated, there will be a PARTY afterwards and yes there will be food and beer. Now, you have no excuses left. See you there!



(Note: Members from both New York locations should register under location “Brick Crossfit W 17th Street” to make our in-house Team Event aspect, which will be announced shortly, easier to score.)