19.1 is in the Books! On to 19.2...

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Week 1 of the CrossFit Games Open is all wrapped up and 19.1 is officially in the books.

I’ll admit, when I first heard the announcement for 19.1, I wasn’t impressed. I mean, 15 minutes of 19 Wall Balls and a 19 Calorie Row over and over seemed way too simple and not all that glamorous.

Then, I started to think about the strategy that would be involved in this workout. Doing the wall balls unbroken vs breaking it up into sets, going all out on the row vs holding back and taking it easy. When it was all said and done, I realize that this workout was a great test of an athlete’s stamina, endurance, and strength. While I have never been too concerned about my height, I’ll admit, never before in a workout did I wish I was taller than in doing 19.1.

Even though 19.1 only consisted of 2 exercises, both the rep count of 19 wall balls and a 19 calories row and the time domain of 15 minutes required some thought. That said, I talked to a few athletes afterwards who had a plan going into the workout that went out the window as soon as the clock started, people started cheering, and they saw people around them with different plans. One athlete specifically told me they had a plan to go slow at the beginning and break up the reps. Then, the buzzer sounded and the first set of 10 they had planned for turned into 15 and the rest of the workout hurt a lot more than it should have.

Best laid plans often go out the window as soon as the clock starts. Hopefully the first workout will be a reminder for the rest of the Open. Stick to the plan as long as you can, and in the final minutes, throw the plan out and go for it.

We had our first athlete complete the Open workout just a few minutes after it was announced on Thursday night. A few more on Friday morning and a handful on Friday evening. Then, at 10am at WildFire, we had our Main Event, where most of our athletes got a chance to complete the workout, help to judge each other, and above all, cheer each other on.

It was awesome! WildFire Athletes representing their Teams of Green, Purple, Blue & Red, cheering each other on, pushing each other to go faster and get more reps, and the congratulating each other for their performance once the clock ran out. It was no surprise that when Coach Tiffany asked athletes to show their interpretation of 19.1 in a GIF, most of them were of people falling over, face planting, or looking like they were dying.

If there were ever a time to lay down after a workout, it was this one. Legs burning and lungs on fire barely describes what athletes felt by the end of the 15 minutes. Coach Kern was telling me this morning that CrossFit Games Director, Dave Castro, explained that when they tested this workout, it was only a 12 minute AMRAP, so he knew how much more challenging 15 minutes would be, even for the best in the world.

It was also no surprise that we had fewer people re-do this workout than any other Open WOD I’ve ever seen. That said, once the workout was completed, for most of our athletes, there was an incredible feeling of accomplishment. Whether they completed the workout Rx or scaled, this workout was tough, and we are extremely proud of every athlete who participated, and we are very thankful of everyone who helped to judge, take pictures, and even come in, just to cheer their fellow athletes on.

We even had Nicole P., who just over a week ago found out she has a stress fracture in her foot, causing her to get back into a boot, find a way to complete the first workout. While we had athletes, who did a great job of participating in the workout and worked hard to complete the workout according to the standards of the open, we had others who worked hard to complete the workout as close to the standards as they could based on their current level of fitness. We celebrate all of them and are thrilled to be able to make sure everyone has a chance to participate and join in on the fun, excitement, and community that the Open provides all of us.

For several WildFire athletes, it was their first time experiencing the Open. I spoke with a few who were very nervous going into the workout, and I’m sure they weren’t alone. It doesn’t matter how many workouts an athlete has done in class, there’s just something about doing it in the Saturday morning setting that really makes being a part of the WildFire Community special.

Sunday is always the 2nd biggest level of participation. We even had George and Victoria who came down from CrossFit Flagstaff (Coach Erin says Hi to everyone by the way) to do the workout at a lower altitude. In fact, they set the tone for the day, crushing the workout and giving everyone else a standard to shoot for.

Finally, on Monday at 2 pm, the final athletes came in to complete the first week of the Open. They got to experience the same soul crushing workout that was 19.1. One athlete even re-did the workout, and while the person he beat (COUGH semi-pro CrossFitter Brian B. COUGH COUGH), wasn’t thrilled, he crushed his first score with a much better plan of action.

And with that, the first week of the Open was in the books. Whether you exceeded your expectations or didn’t quite live up to them, you owe yourself a huge congratulations and pat on the back just for participating. Remember, there are 4 more weeks to go and if this workout wasn’t in your wheelhouse (it wasn’t in mine), you never know what will come next. So, strap in and get ready for another great ride that begins this Thursday with the Live Open announcement of 19.2 from CrossFit HQ.



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