The 9,251st Fittest Man on Earth

Last year, the Open was my first competition. I loved it and have done several local competitions over the year.

I’ve improved a lot in the last year, but how much? There’s not really a good way to measure up against the rest of the CrossFit community, other than the Open, so I was really looking forward to the 2013 Games.

I learned a lot in my 2nd Open…

  • CrossFit works. If you’re consistent and dedicated, you’ll see amazing results and do things you didn’t think were possible.
  • The CrossFit community an a whole, in different regions, and in each box is more amazing than we realize.
  • There will always new ways to format a WOD.
  • Expect the unexpected. Be prepared for the “unknown and the unknowable” is what we like to say in CrossFit.
  • We all have weaknesses and we will always have weaknesses. With hard work, we can turn some of them into strengths and improve others.
  • Competition can bring out the best in people.

My goal for this year’s Open was to be above average and finish in the top 50% of men. After the first workout I realized that goal was too easy and I bumped it to the top 25% of men. No small task, considering I finished 16,395th out of 22,183 in 2012, which put me beating 26% of the men.

After 5 workouts, I ended up 9,251st out of 46,227 men (those that submitted scores for all 5 workouts), which is the top 20%! Bottom 26% to top 20% in one year…HELL YEAH! I couldn’t be happier with that progress.

This year’s Open was actually a rough start for me. I placed 18,903rd in 13.1 and was pretty disappointed right after the workout. Here is what I wrote in my recap…

I was disappointed (and still am a bit), but then I realized that last year in 12.1 I got 92 burpees in 7 minutes and in 12.2 I got 36 snatches in 10 minutes. In this combined 17 minute WOD I got 82 burpees and 60 snatches. Hell of an improvement, so I’m going to chalk this up as a win. The snatch is one of my weakest movements, so I ended up pretty well and I’m way ahead of pace to finish above average in the Open.

It was nothing but up from there. In 13.2 I placed 10,012th in the world, jumping me up almost 6,000 spots in the overall ranking, to 12,969th. The workout they decided to reuse from last year was my best 2012 result, so I was thrilled to give it another shot a year later. I had a great improvement for 13.3, doing muscle-ups for the first time in a WOD! I ranked 9,246th on the workout, which would be my highest ranked workout for the 2nd year in a row, moving me up to 10,326th in the overall ranks.

I’m not a fan of redoing workouts in the Open, but due to timing my plan was to tackle the 4th workout twice. I hit 13.4 right after the announcement, because I was starting the road trip from Phoenix back to Saginaw the next morning and wanted to get in a score in case I didn’t make it home in time for a real attempt. Then I gave it another go back at my home box Survival Fitness. The extra time to come up with a strategy allowed me to make a nice improvement on that safety score. I ended up placing 10,568th is the world on the workout, moving me up once again overall, cracking the top 10k at 9,851st in the world.

I was really hoping not to see C2B Pull-ups and Thrusters come back for the final workout, but I should have known better. After throwing down in the workout, I’m glad I had to do them though. In 13.5 I was 11,527th which moved me up to my final spot of 9,251st.

What an amazing journey it’s been in the last 12 months of CrossFit. I’ve improved in so much, but the Open shows us what we need to work on. I’ve created a list of things to focus on for the next few months. Some of them are directly related to the Open workouts and others are things I knew going in.

  • OLY (snatch, clean, and jerk) technique. Keep improving hip extension.
  • Get unbroken MU and figure out wrist turnover during the transition.
  • T2B completely die out over the course of a WOD. Hips stop working, so need better endurance.
  • Get 1RM back squat closer to deadlift.
  • Strengthen upper body.
  • Increase OHS.
  • Learn C2B butterfly pull-ups.
  • Handstand without a wall and handstand walk.

How was your Open and what are you going to work on?