I’ve been doing CrossFit for a couple years now, mostly on my own, but I’ve also at a couple boxes around the city too. I was never able to find the money to fully commit to a gym though, so I only did a few workouts a week & mostly chose ones I was comfortable with. It’s hard to improve much when you’re only doing workouts you’re comfortable with.

In January of last year, a friend of mine gifted me a 6 month pass to a box in Airdrie & I fell hard for CrossFit. I registered for the open, surprising myself with my performance on every single WOD. I was hooked. The excitement of seeing my improvement in a measurable way reminded me of competitive swimming in a lot of ways. (I blogged about hereherehere…You get the point. I had become one of those people.) 
Unfortunately, the gym I was at closed before that six-month membership was up & I was left at a bit of a loss. I’d made some big goals for the next year, but still couldn’t make a membership work. I’d hoped things would come together for me in the fall & I’d still reach some of my goals by the time this year’s Open rolled around. 
In the meantime, I signed up for a weekly CrossFit in the Park class & would drop in at another gym from time to time. N & I were also in the process of training for our half marathon, so I was feeling pretty good about my fitness. 
Fall came & I took a shift at the YMCA so I could use their gym facilities. As the fall wore on, it seemed like those goals I’d made after last year’s Open were slipping further away. 
I realize there are lots of people who make CrossFit work for them without going to a box & I definitely believe that. It’s not that I wasn’t still doing those style of workouts either. I just felt more limited since I was always waiting for equipment or showing up with a couple different workout options in mind for the day. I’m still working at the Y twice a month now, but haven’t found a way to get back into CrossFit on a more frequent & permanent basis. 
I decided to do the Open anyway. I’m not in anywhere near the shape I was in at this time last year, but I signed up about a month ago. I’m trying to keep the fact that I haven’t been doing CrossFit in the same capacity in mind every time I do a WOD & don’t perform at the level I know I’m capable of. I’m a pretty competitive person though so that’s been a bit of a challenge. 
The Open is one of the most inspiring & motivating events I’ve ever participated in though. I’m working out in a gym where most people don’t know me & somehow I walk in feeling like I’m part of something great. Everyone is supportive & encouraging &, most of all, proud of me even when I’m feeling discouraged by my performance. 
Whether you disagree with the principles of CrossFit or are a die hard fan, there’s something to be said for this incredible community. With every single heat, you hear cheering from every corner of the gym. Everyone’s got your back, whether you’ve been there for years or it’s your first few months, whether you’re in peak fitness or coming back after a break. I can’t compare it to any other sport I’ve been a part of.

I’m not going to lie; it’s not easy seeing the people you were at the same level as doing so much better than you this year. (That’s also not to say I’m not happy for them!)But while I am having a hard time when I find myself unable to do the WODs at the level I was able to last year, I’m also happy to be back in the gym, happy to be getting stronger again, & happy I decided to participate. 

If you have the opportunity to check out an Open workout, I highly recommend it. I know it seems intimidating, but it’s honestly one of the most welcoming communities out there.