The Crossfit Open: Before and After

April 01, 2018

Photocredit: Crossfit South Hills

I spent all five weeks of the Open feeling like I was in the Walking Dead. As soon as I let myself get comfortable, as soon as I thought I was safe, something horrible would inevitably happen. Dave Castro would get me.

18.1 happened. Oddly loved that workout. Anxiety begins. 18.2 posted. I was in CA on a family trip and fueled on wine and gluten. PR’d my power clean. Anxiety increases. I am not safe. 18.3. Literally had to readjust my plan halfway through to add speed in the mix because I didn’t think I’d make it past the muscle ups and with 4 minutes left on the other side going fast was suddenly required. Terror setting in. 18.4. I technically wasn’t limited by handstand walking because I didn’t make it there. Somehow calling that a win. Oh, holy shit. 18.5. Meh. Moderately painful. Over in seven minutes. Didn’t hate it.

Huh...okay, okay. 

So what was different? Were the workouts not awful or did I just have a good attitude?

I’m voting, both.

I went into this Open determined to be a positive human. Instead of groaning when people talked about it; I’d be excited! Instead of opting to conveniently be in the middle of a bodybuilding cycle, I would clear my schedule. And instead of fixating on all the ways a workout could and would go wrong, I’d be curious. I’d make sure to smile at least once during a workout. I wouldn’t be in such a rush that I couldn’t encourage the person next to me. And I wouldn’t feel bad about my performance or where I stood in the gym. I would just be pumped.

Weirdly enough, this plan was incredibly successful!!

But the workouts felt different too. Nothing seemed to mean just to be mean. Besides 18.3 if double unders so weren’t your thing, there wasn’t a WOD designed to stop you in your tracks and then stare at your weaknesses for the next 13 minutes….And if there was one of those, going scaled has become a viable option for so many humans. Love that!

"I went into this Open determined to be a positive human."
On the other side of this fitness adventure, I feel like we’ve grown up. CrossFit and I. Like we’ve entered a new era of our relationship. Instead of being in our early twenties and constantly trying to one-up the other, both too scared to leave, but really shitty when we’re here, we’ve moved into the more evolved partnership of our thirties. We’re good. We’ve got nothing to prove. But we’re curious to see what we can do together. It’s what happens in any relationship, fictitious fitness one or otherwise when both parties stop trying so hard to be right and start being curious.

I spent all five weeks waiting for the ball to drop. Waiting to be proven not strong enough or not good enough. Maybe that ball did drop and I just didn’t notice. I was more worried about smiling and seeing how the workout would unfold. Or maybe it didn’t drop. Maybe CrossFit, at least in the Open, has grown up a bit too. It’s not so scared either.

It’s good. We’re good.

So tell me, how was it The Open for you? 

This is a guest post from Maddie Berky. Maddie has been a coach and athlete in the CF community for the last 5 years at CF Verve in Denver, Co, and was a regionals athlete in 2014. She's currently a holistic nutritionist and life coach specializing in all things food, sex, and worthiness. For more Maddie, or to work with her, check out or follow her on Facebook or Instagram @madwellness