Tips to Crush the Open…

Jingle 6Today is the day a lot of us CrossFitters have been waiting months for.

18.1.  The announcement.  What will it be?

I’m not here to predict (we’ll all find out soon enough).

I’m here to offer up tips and advice so you can “crush” the Open.  We all have different goals for the Open and different ways we’ll crush it.  Some of us it’s doing all the workouts RX (or as prescribed).  Some of us want to beat our score/rank from last year.  Most of us want to test our fitness against others.  Most of us want to do our best.  So read below for tips to achieve your best:

  1. DON’T CHANGE ONE THING!  Keep your workout routine the same and approach this WOD the same.  Eat the same way.  Sleep the same way.  Workout the same way.  It’s just another workout.
  2. DON’T IGNORE THE MENTAL GAME.  Understand what you can control and what you can’t.  You can’t control others.  You can’t control what the WOD will be.  You can control how you perform.  Don’t psych yourself out over this.
  3. BE IN IT FOR THE LONG HAUL.  This is a 5 week competition in essence.  5 workouts you need to do your best on.  That being said, there will be one or two workouts that will play to your strengths.  Maximize these.  There will be one or two workouts that won’t.  Minimize the hurt potential on these.  Go into each WOD thinking you will crush it.
  4. WAIT TILL AFTER WEEK 5 TO CELEBRATE.  Have a beer after week 5, not week 1, 2, etc.  Don’t waste a day or two of training because you’re hungover or ate junk food.  Respect the process.
  5. SLOW AND STEADY WILL WIN THE RACE.  Don’t be so hyped up with the hype that you go all out in the first 2 minutes of the workout and then have nothing left.  Be conservative.  Your score will reflect your patience.
  6. HAVE FUN!  Most of you will do this on Friday Night during Friday Night Lights with the community that drew you to CrossFit in the first place and the reason you keep beating up your body day-in and day-out.  Enjoy the party.  The atmosphere.  The camaraderie.  The magic that happens once a year.

I keep telling myself to breathe and relax because I REALLY want to beat my ranking from last year.  I’m trying to sleep enough.  Eat enough.  And not do anything stupid.

Believe in yourself.  Because in the end that’s all that matters.

One Week Till the Open…And I’m Getting Anxious…

I usually get anxious right before competitions.

But a week before?

I’ve spent the last year preparing for the Open.  One whole year of my life.

I’m stronger.  I’ve improved all my skills.  I’ve added new ones.

But I don’t have all the skills.  Nor all the strength.

And that worries me.

All it takes is one move to show up that

1) I either don’t have or

2) I suck at

And everything I’ve worked so hard for is thrown out the window.

My body has tweaks here and there.  My right fingers are swollen.  My right calf is tight.  My massage guy is sick.  My muscle activation lady is sick.  I know my glutes are tight.  I am bruised from Jason.

I remind myself that I choose this.


Because it gives me something to cling to when there’s nothing else in my world to cling to.  It’s the constant and the rock in my life when all else is a storm.  It’s something to strive for.  To achieve.  And to keep achieving.

It’s a passion.  And passion is so rare in life that when you find it, you cling to it with everything you’ve got.  You don’t give up.  No matter the pain.  The frustrations.  The defeats.  You keep going.  One step at a time.  With the belief great things will be achieved…

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2018 CrossFit Judges Course

Every year in order to judge CrossFit athletes at all levels you have to take CrossFit’s judges course.  It’s an online course with modules that teach you correct movement standards, competition faults, and aids in counting reps of movements.  The movements involve squats, presses, pulling, hanging, and other miscellaneous movements.  It costs $10.

Having just finished it, I would say it gets easier with time as a coach, but it’s still tricky enough that you need at least an hour or probably closer to two to make it through the course in one sitting.

Counting others’ double unders takes much practice and if you’re rusty, now’s the time to start practicing.  You also get the chance to catch others’ mistakes.

I love doing this course because inevitably you always learn something or remember a nuance you forgot.  Plus, every year it changes based off of what you’ll probably see in the Open so it’s a great aid in guessing the workouts.

Even if you don’t plan to judge, this is a great review and one not to be missed!

Happy learning!!


I Become Obsessive When I Can’t Do Something…

Anyone else like this?

My current goal is to have handstand walks by the Open.

I know, it’s a lofty goal, and I don’t know if I’ll make it.  But I’m working my butt off trying.

And it’s become a bit obsessive at this point.

Every chance I get I’m flipping around.  I’m trying to hold my handstand longer.  Trying to get my kick ups right every time.  Doing my WodPrep course I signed up for on my off days from strength.  Having my gymnastic daughter teach me all the tricks and spot me.  Practicing, practicing, practicing–that’s what I’m doing.

And it’s hard to stop.

I had to stop to write this post.

But only after a got in one more handstand!

Any time I can’t do something I become obsessed until I can.  Because I know with enough practice and hard work I can do anything.  This applies to life as well.  Writing novels.  Learning a new computer program.  Changing jobs and mastering it.  I constantly have to be challenged or I get bored and move on.  This is why CrossFit is my passion.  Because there’s always something to work on, something to improve, or something to learn.

Without it (or whatever it is you crave in your life), you’re just going through the motions and life loses its meaning.

And who wants that?

Finally!!! I’m Back!!!

10 Minute AMRAP:

10 hang squat snatches 55 lbs for women

30 double unders

This was our WOD today and I crushed it.  I pushed hard.  Till the end.  All double unders unbroken.  Sets of 5 on the hang squat snatches.

I felt good.  No coughing.  And I did well.  It played to my strengths.  And I loved it!

Finally!  After a few months of feeling “blah” I feel great.  I hope to continue this up until and through the Open.  We’ll see.

Hey, Dave Castro!  This WOD would be perfect for 18.1 if you’re taking suggestions.


2018 CrossFit Open Registration Begins Today!


Hey all!

If you’re like me, you’ve been training for the 2018 Open since the last Open workout of 2017.  In 2017, you learned your weaknesses and formulated a plan to improve them (along with everything else).  You’ve been counting down the days for 18.1.  You’ve been praying you get your last skills honed in time.  You’ve been plotting how to do better.  And lastly you’ve been excited about the process!

Here’s the information:

Follow THIS LINK to get to the registration page.  Log in to your account or create one if you don’t have one and the registration link is there!

As they say, let the Games begin!


Lessons from The Open…

17191817_1440997459275441_2754411502224978425_oThe Open exposes all of our weaknesses across the board.  There is no escaping this fact. It reveals our complacencies, our strengths, and our total inadequacies.

For me, I couldn’t be happier.  I met all of my goals in the workouts (except for the bar muscle up in 17.2).  I PR’ed my snatch at 95 lbs.  I crushed 17.5 as it played to my strengths.  I got off the rower in 17.4 and got one Handstand push-up.  I finished 126th in my region for my age group and finished 56th in my state for my age group.  I am SUPER excited about this!

However, the most important lesson I have taken away is my renewed desire to improve all of my weaknesses, to get stronger, to be the best, to crush all the Open Workouts in 2018.

What I wish I would have done:  I got complacent in my double unders.  I have them but they are not consistent.  I stopped practicing them months ago and it showed in 17.5.  I could have shaved 2 minutes off my time if I hadn’t of stumbled in the double unders.  They are so taxing and I get so winded.  I haven’t learned to breathe through them and they definitely aren’t consistent.  It bothers me.

Same with my muscle-up.  I knew it was coming back in September.  But I got so frustrated that I couldn’t do them that I stopped doing them all together until the Open was almost upon us and then it was too late.  I would rip trying to get one and then be done for a week waiting for my hands to heal.  Again, I got frustrated with it.  Because I have the strength.  It’s the technique.

Same with chest-to-bar.  I got so frustrated kipping them that I only stricted them.  So in the Open, I stricted all of them and lost time.

So, I have set new goals for the entire year to improve upon.  I want to increase strength so 155 lb deadlift is not heavy for me and a 95 lb snatch is not a PR.  I want to increase skill so double unders and pull ups are second nature and I don’t have to think so hard about them.  Keep up my cardio so I can still kick butt.  And push myself beyond my limits and my mindset to achieve what I haven’t been able to.

Summary:  The Open exposes our weaknesses like no other.  But it shows us areas to be stronger.  Be better.  And succeed.  Both in CrossFit and in life.