This past Saturday we just did the last Mock Open workout, and completed the Intramural Draft to get our first round of teams picked! Can you feel the energy building? What will 19.1 and that wiley Dave Castro bring? How much will you improve from last year? Will you be able to overcome that thing that stopped you dead in your tracks last year? If this is your first Open, will you be able to hang in the scaled division even? You feel that? That’s called negative pressure, and it mostly sucks! Here are some tips to back off the line, and have a more enjoyable Open experience in 2019: Lower Expectations “Blasphemy! I thought the Open was when I find another level!” Nah, we don’t rise to the level of competition, we fall to the level of our training. Besides that, setting quantitative expectations (“I should be able to lift X or do this many rounds”) just adds pressure and stress to our already stressful lives. Instead, set intentions for your workouts, such as “I’m going to try my best to focus on me.” You can even say “I intend to try to lift X pounds,” but that slight difference in wording takes a lot of pressure out of it, and gives you the flexibility to adapt and stay focused if you don’t hit that target, or on the flip side if you do hit that number and you still have room to grow, to set a higher intention and see what happens (again without pressure that you need to make it happen)! Raises Expectations “I thought you just said lower them?!” That’s right. Lower your quantitative expectations, and raise your qualitative ones. Hold yourself to higher movement standards. You know those reps that were just a little short that you let slide in the class workout when you were the only one that knew? Don’t let it slide for the Open. Also, take better care of yourself outside of the gym. Stretch and do mobility work a little more. Sleep a little more. Use your standing desk and squat more. Show up to class a little more. Laugh and share and savor the moments a little more. Practice Gratitude Who are we? We are the ones that are celebrating our health and fitness through a friendly annual team competition. Give thanks for the many facets of that, large and small. Do Your Best It is slightly contradictory to say let go of expectations and try hard, isn’t it? The trick is to let your best be exactly what it is right now, not some expectations you set last year, last week, or even 5 minutes ago. And it is always enough! Let The Spirit Take You When you see someone pushing themselves, get excited for them! Let their success be a part of yours, and carry that momentum through to your own efforts. Take It With You The Open is just 5 weeks of the year. All of the things described above can be practiced year-round. The point is to take the energy and growth that happens when these things are in focus, and carry them through to make sustainable habits and a lifestyle you can always enjoy. -Mauricio CrossFit Cypher