The 2017 Crossfit Open is about to start. On Thursday at 5pm PST, Dave Castro will announce the first workout – 17.1. I’ll be glued to my computer screen waiting anxiously to see what he has in store for us.


For the uninitiated, the Games website describes the Open as follows:

Where grassroots meets greatness: Compete with hundreds of thousands of athletes in five workouts over five weeks. Do it for fun, your affiliate family, fitness or to reach regionals and fight for a chance to make it to the CrossFit Games.

Every Thursday for 5 weeks, starting on 23 Feb 2017, a new workout is announced. Athletes have until the following Monday evening (5pm PST) to complete the workout and submit their scores for that week. Every competitor is then ranked Рregionally and globally. Eventually, at the end of the 5 week period, the best-of-the-best in every region secures a spot in the Crossfit Regionals. Their next test on the way to the main event, The Crossfit Games. In 2016 there were 324,307 participants Р58% male/42% female Рfrom 175 countries.

In 2016, I had been doing Crossfit for about 6 months and the other athletes at my box, I Will Crossfit in Dublin, California, convinced me to sign up as well. I was quite reluctant because I had little experience and I felt I would not be able to complete many of the workouts. In the end, I was so happy I did sign up. The Open cemented my love of Crossfit. Before the Open, I considered myself a runner (hence the name of this blog) and a triathlete who had started Crossfit to add some strength work to his routines. After the Open, I eventually stopped running and triathlon training to focus on Crossfit and increasing my skills and abilities and fitness in that sport. I have not regretted that decision for a second.

The Open gives you an opportunity to test yourself against others in your box, in your region, in your age category, in the world. Somehow, due to the atmosphere and intensity that seem to prevail throughout, you find yourself trying new movements and skills for the first time. If you’re fired up enough, that’s often when you achieve¬†one of those moves. Last year, 9 people in our box got their first muscle up (me included). And that feat was repeated all around the globe. It was an amazing feeling. I scaled some of the workouts and others I did as prescribed. This year, I plan to do them all prescribed.


So, if you’re uncertain about whether to sign up for the Open, my advice to you is ‘GO FOR IT!!’ You won’t regret it. You’ll love it. Stop back here every week for updates on how I’ve done. If I do the workout on Friday or Saturday I’ll let you know how my strategy went for that week – did my rep scheme work, how much time did I take between reps, and that sort of thing. If I find any useful tips online I’ll post links to those as well.

Good luck. I’ll see you #InTheOpen.

PS. I know there is a ton of jargon in that post. Let me know if you need me to elaborate on anything.

Open Workout 16.1 – and so it begins


Yesterday morning I started my Crossfit Games Open journey with 16.1. (This is how the workouts get named – 16 referring to 2016 and 1 referring to the first workout. Next Thursday we’ll get 16.2).

On Thursday evening, before I left work, I tuned into the live announcement of the workout. It was cool to watch the pros Chyna Cho and Emily Abbott go head-to-head and crank out the reps. Also cool to see the amateur athletes, Joanna Prado-Pacheco and Scott McCoy, complete the workout in the same arena and at the same time as the pros.

At first glance the workout seemed pretty manageable. Not easy. But I felt I could make a go of it. As detailed in an earlier post, I’ve recently managed 95# thrusters so thought I should be able to complete a few reps of 95# overhead walking lunges. Right? I didn’t sleep too well on Thursday – too nervous. I even had a dream about doing the walking lunges.

Friday dawned all too soon. The day of reckoning. When I arrived at the I Will Crossfit box I went over to the rack and tried a chest-to-bar pull-up. I managed one but it felt tough. We completed a comprehensive warm-up, then gathered at the white board for instructions from our coach. We signed our workout score sheets/tracking sheets and headed to the bars. I added the 25# plates and walked over to the measured off 25ft area. I raised the bar to front rack position and realized it wasn’t going any higher. I would be able to lift it overhead but I wouldn’t be able to maintain it in that position while performing walking lunges. I made the decision to go for scaled rather than Rx’d. I didn’t want to start out the Games Open not being able to complete at least one round.


The first round went well. I felt strong and I kept a measured pace rather than going too fast. That became my focus throughout – keeping a good rhythm going and not moving too quickly. It was tough going from about the middle of the 3rd round. The walking lunges and, surprisingly, the burpees were going well. The jump chin-over-bar pull-ups were more challenging, though. After starting the first two rounds with 8 in a row, I was having to break them up into sets of 3-3-2. This slowed my overall pace quite a bit but I was able to maintain the pace for the lunges and burpees. In the final 3 minutes I was had made it to round 6. I managed to finish that up and got 10 reps into round 7 for a total of 166.

I was happy with my start. Psyched about the next round and hoping I can improve as the competition progresses. Currently I’m in 83rd place in Northern California for Masters Men (40-44) in the Scaled Section. I’m in 2440th place worldwide  :-).

How did 16.1 go for you – anything you learnt it would do differently? Did you go Rx or scaled?