The Open As a Learning Experience Knows No Bounds

One of the biggest misconceptions of owning a fitness facility is you are able to do fitness all the time and stay in the best shape ever. I am living proof that it’s not the case. I absolutely concede that many of us who fall into this situation as owners could do a better job prioritizing, but it happens nonetheless. One thing that pertains to this whole situation is that being the owner, the employee at the top of the business/staff ladder, you won’t always be held accountable by your colleagues. The responsibility rests with me/us, but we all know having someone keep you honest is great to have for anything we work for. Long story short, my fitness has gone haywire over the years despite living at a gym half my hours.

A little history that will bring us all around to why the Open is something you should look forward to signing up for. This story I’m going to relate talks about my life as a competitor in CrossFit and how eventually I found myself in a situation I swore I never would be in, that being easily beaten by my members in the Open. workouts and overall. Yes that can be seen as egotistical but it was more a challenge for myself and a way to motivate. 1 year was all that lasted until I was unfit to a point I was facing a battle for my life to be at the top in my own community. And here we will travel back in time a bit, remember this point later on…

When I started CrossFit I had aspirations to be at the top of the world, performing on TV, sponsored by Reebok and paid to workout. I can say I didn’t due to my career aspirations taking precedent, but really it’s just like my baseball career. I was good, but when the genetic handouts happened in my development process in my mom’s belly I missed out on the necessary fast twitch, high athletic genes needed to be a top 10% athlete. I will admit every day of my life that I am luckier than lucky can be to have qualified and competed at the CrossFit Games in 2011 with our Fenway team because it happened due to perfect timing for our team to compete. That year was the first year of the Open and the Games at the Home Depot Center, so it was LA-GIT! CrossFit was still small time compared to present time, however, so my teammates and I were just good enough at the end of Regionals to qualify for the Games. The next year we wouldn’t have been close as the competition was already that much better. 2011 was perfect on the team side, but possibly the most competitive individual Northeast Regional ever, especially for the Women.

Anyways, I bring up 2011 because it was the peak of my CrossFit competing career. The next year I was an alternate for the CrossFit Southie team that made the Games so technically I am a 2x Games competitor, but that really isn’t true. That was the last year I was even close in the Open ranking wise or could even consider myself a serious competitor. Woburn opened in 2013, my excuses became stronger than my will to train, and there went my competitive CrossFit career. Back to where I left off above, the 2014 Open was when I realized how far my fitness had fallen. Not only was I not even a factor in our region but I wasn’t even the handsdown best in our community. Admittedly bold and slightly full of myself to focus on that, but I saw it not as me being so great and where I should be but rather motivation to keep working to stay where I wanted fitness wise but also serve as an example for our members.

So the point is I shit the bed, and badly. Like throw out the mattress bad. 2014 saw a workout with escalating deadlift weight and box jumps, and I was terrified. My deadlift was attrocious and my conditioning especially with box jumps was a joke also. Saturday comes around and our entire community is ready to throw down, and I realized I was about to embarrass myself in front of our entire community. Embarrass not because members would beat me, but embarrass because it was going to be so bad that my performance would be hard to watch for witnesses.

If that is what people came for, I didn’t disappoint. As usual back then when myself or the other coaches went in a heat for the Saturday Open Throwdowns there was a noticeable focus on my station at the start. The furor of the crowd quickly changed to confusion, pity, and more confusion as I died in front of our entire membership box jump by box jump. I barely finished deadlifts for a score that would be on the low borderline of acceptable.

My main point for this entire blog is what happened next. As I seriously fought back tears while I propped myself against my box, days of built up anxiety and self loathing finally released in the form of embarrassment, a very unexpected thing happened….


I got hearty high fives and congratulations, plenty of people telling me how awesome it was to watch me, and genuine expressions of thanks for giving my best effort while they watched. I was somewhat stunned. I expected a silent room, mothers holding children back as tears welled up in their eyes, tears for their fallen hero they just watched break one final time before their very eyes. I played the scenario over and over so many times I could act it out without a mistake, the look on the faces of our members, the silent confusion, and the half assed attempts at saying something to me to break the awkwardness.

Instead I got the exact opposite.

What the Open did for me was it taught me something when I thought I was done learning from competitive sports forever. That day in 2014 doing the Open showed me that what really truly matters is giving the work your absolute best effort. Yes people love seeing greatness, which is why we all will wait like excited little kids on Christmas for Stacey to do each week’s WOD like every year before. But the very thing I always say makes CrossFit so great is we all can relate to it and each other through the shared experience of facing, attempting, and performing a workout. The Open gives us all a chance to do that with the added pressure of “competition” which teaches you things about yourself you won’t understand until you go through it. The above is a true example of that exact fact.

Sign up for the Open. You won’t regret it. You will also get a chance to watch me die every Saturday in front of your very eyes.




Strength : Overhead Squat


WOD : “11.1”
15 Snatch 75/55
30 Double Unders

S: 10 Snatch , 60 Singles
L1: Scaled DU



1. 10m AMRAP
10 Barbell Rollouts
20 Windhield Wipers
30 Flutter Kicks


2. Conditioning
Row 2000m
50 KB Swing 53/35
30 Plate Geups 45/35
Row 1000m


The Program : 730am in charlestown. Be there, be on time, let’s get better. 4 more weeks

1. Strength and WOD

2. Front Squat
5 @ 75%
5 @ 85%
stay with 3 more sets of 5, 4, then last of 3 and try to increase to 92% by last

3. 7M amrap
10 Bar Muscle Ups
20 KB Swing 70/53