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Blog Post: Looking Through The (Open) Keyhole. Part 5.

Coaches foreword

So the Open has now closed shop for another year. We are tremendously proud of you all for having a crack. You guys did so well it has us bursting with pride that you were willing to lay it out there. Now is the the time to celebrate the good. Analyse the bad and then learn from your overall experience.

Even if you believe it didn’t go well for you or you feel you didn’t match last year we bet you’re not looking at the whole picture. From our perspective we saw great, huge improvement from everyone returning from last or year or before that. For those that were first timers this is your benchmark set for years to come!

Relax & have fun this week. Next week training for 2017 (& life itself!) begins!!

Now onto our final instalment of our “looking through” series. We have lived through Steph’s eyes for over a month now. The time has flown so quickly yet felt so slow at times. We hope you have enjoyed reading about how Steph felt & tackled her way through this years Open. Lets one last time read on and see how the dreaded repeat that everyone didn’t want to see went for her….



Sixteen Point Five


As the 2016 Open season has now come to an end, I sit here and reflect on what an experience it has been, what I have learnt, where I have improved and what I now need to do to ensure I continue to improve.

It is always an interesting time, the announcement of the final workout. By method of deduction I am pretty sure most of the CrossFit community were convinced of thrusters being in the workout with much of the socials clogged up with the top athletes making sure their thrusters were down pat, though none could be too sure of the format or what would accompany it.


The Burpee over bar was certainly a surprise as I myself had even discounted a repeat of 14.5 due to the movement being used in 16.1. You saw my prediction from last week – boy was I wrong!

When it was finally announced my heart sank.

I have spoken about my encounter with 14.5 before but it is amazing having done it again and looking back on why I think it affected me the way it did, I have realised important it is to go back and conquer those workouts that have left their own unique scar. (I’m coming for you “Eva”!)

“14.5” sent me to a very dark place the first time around. 29kg for a Thruster was a weight that scared me and hence the workout already had a hold on me before I had even started. It was a heavy workout combined with a “no time cap” ruling which again made me feel as though I was never going to see the end of it. However, I did make it (24.43) but it broke me mentally to get there. I have never cried during or after a workout except for this one and it has not happened since. I don’t think I’ll ever forget how I felt during this workout.


Looking back at it now, it has actually been a great thing for me. It is one of those feelings I can use during a particularly tough workout to compare. The mantra usually goes something like this….”It’s not as bad as 14.5, it’s not as bad as 14.5” and not surprisingly it always helps me through. I know I am not the only one who had this experience with 14.5 and I am sure there were many who faced it for the first time in 16.5 but in many ways this is what makes this a great workout. Its gruelling, it’s physically and mentally tough and it takes everyone to that dark place no matter how long it takes you. For some this workout had to be split across 2 days and I applaud anyone who managed to come back and finish it off because let’s face it, quitting would be easier.

To be honest there was not one fibre of my being that wanted to do this workout again, but I am so glad it came up and I am so glad I did it. It did not defeat me the first time and I was not about to let it defeat me this time. I managed to scrape over 7 whole minutes off my original time and it is this which gives me confidence that this will continue to improve. This is the reason Open workouts are repeated, the measurable aspect of CrossFit it what proves to you that what you are doing is working! It is the motivation to continue to work hard, sure you might be able to see how you have improved by your place on the leader board but as I said last week, the leaderboard is forever changing, evolving and growing. The only real benchmark you can use is you and what better way to compare than the exact same workout 2 years later.

I wanted to also leave you with some stats on my Open experience. I did them for my own information but feel it’s important to share them with you.

  • Firstly because for those that have come to the box at this point in my career probably have no idea where I started,
  • Secondly because I hope it will inspire you to do the same, (If this is your first year, write your scores down somewhere safe so that you can keep coming back to them year after year).
  • Thirdly because I always see so many people on the leader board missing scores. If for any reason you felt you couldn’t or didn’t want to enter a score then you are definitely missing out.

This end part of the Open, this moment of reflection is always so inspiring for me. To think of how much we are all capable of improving over time in terms of both strength and capacity is jaw dropping. I only wish that the 2015 Open was in my realm of possibility so that I had more numbers to compare!!

Worldwide : 36,438 / 52,019 (70%)
Australia : 2,826 / 4,320 (65%)

Worldwide : 17,011 / 130,180 (13%)
Australia : 1,258 / 8,877 (14%)

Looking at these numbers proves to me that I am getting fitter and stronger and at the end of it all this is all that matters. I know I am never going to be so good at exercising that I’ll get to compete at Regionals or the Games but I am getting better at being me so that’s pretty cool ☺ 
I hope you all enjoyed the open season and reading these little insights of mine, I certainly got something out of writing them so I thank-you for taking the time to read!

PS. Here’s to muscle-ups by 2017!!
S xx

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