The Open - What you need to know, and what you need to do

With this year presenting a unique combination of a more inclusive Open, less access to equipment and gyms, and new categories, it is important that those who have entered take some time to familiarise themselves with what will be required. Understanding the process will go a long way to improving your enjoyment of the process, and reducing any stress associated with it. If you haven't found this article on your own, you may have found yourself directed to it as a reference to help answer any questions you might have had. Not all sections will apply to all people, but a solid read through of the whole article should help to remove any confusion.

Beginning on 11th march 2021, one workout per week will be released for each of three weeks. There are teen age categories, an open category for those aged 18-34, and masters categories for those aged 35 and above. Your category will be automatically calculated from your date of birth provided at sign-up and is set using your age at a certain date, rather than your age when you enter.

Uniquely this year, there will be 3 divisions; Rx, scaled and foundations. There will be an at home version released for each workout (tip: keep a close eye on CrossFit's social media channels for hints!) and you can choose which version works for you. Key point: you are responsible for making sure you understand the workout, the rules, and the movement standards. You can of course ask for help, and I'll do what I can to assist, but you have entered a competition through CrossFit, and need to take ownership of that. Most notably, please prepare your space safely for the workout, and make sure you act early if you are unsure either what is expected of you, or if you are not sure something is safe or sensible for you to attempt. Advice can be given and questions answered in these scenarios, and it is better to be safe than sorry! Your first port of call should always be for clarification, as CrossFit own and administer this competition, however if you still need guidance, I will do my absolute best to interpret the rules and guidance for you.

Once you have completed the workout each week, you will need to upload your scores for validation. This must be done by the time stated on the CrossFit Games website. Please note I have nothing to do with this, and cannot help you enter after the deadline. If you want an accurate placement on which to base progress in future years, then it is definitely in your best interest to submit a score each week. This is also of course how you get the most from the Open experience.

If you choose to enter the GTF Internal Open too, there are a couple of things you need to be aware of. Firstly, you must have entered the CrossFit Open under the affiliate CrossFit GTF. Without this, I have no visibility of your entry, and your scores cannot be registered under our affiliate. Secondly, you MUST ENTER BY 21st FEBRUARY (enter here) in order for the t-shirts to be delivered in time. Please note there will be a blanket collection window for these to be announced at a later date. Thirdly, you agree to partner someone at random to complete the workouts with over Zoom (or any other video call). You're more than welcome to have more than one pairing on the call, but both members of each pairing must be present. You will assume responsibility for judging your opponent, and vice versa.

The responsibility for making arrangements for workouts and Zoom calls lies with you. Speak with your nominated opponent, and arrange a mutually convenient time. Feel free to use the community group to suggest times that multiple pairings can get together if it suits. This ensures that everyone has the opportunity to compete with a judge, and along with other members, so please do your best to make this process work.

Please remember the Open has always been accessible, and this year more so than ever before. It's a great opportunity to get your family members, friends and colleagues involved and remember, everyone who enters under the CrossFit GTF banner, is eligible to enter the GTF Internal Open and have their scores count towards GTF Red vs GTF Blue. The leaderboards will shortly be organised and made public, so make sure you're involved!

The key thing is to enjoy this. I have met far too many people (and was one myself not too long ago), who put pressure on themselves because they have decided in their head they should achieve a certain standard. This is bad enough to see in elite athletes, but it breaks my heart watching people who do this for fun beat themselves up over the handstand push-up they thought they were entitled to and didn't get, or the fact someone beat them who they didn't think should have. We all do this for fun. Of course we want to push and challenge ourselves and each other, and there is nothing wrong with that, but the best way to accomplish that is to relax, enjoy the process, and help others celebrate their successes. By all means set goals and targets for yourself, but reaching them or not doesn't change who you are, or mean your training wasn't worth it, it's just a bunch of data we can use to make future progress. With that said, I'm excited to see you on the leaderboard!

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