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It has now been a full week and The Open is officially over!

We were thrilled to have so many athletes participate this year and we had an absolute blast!!

One of the things I love best about the CrossFit Open is seeing people accomplishing things they worked for, or even, at one time, never thought they could. Between the weight of certain exercises, the number of reps, or gymnastics skills like pull ups, bar muscle ups, handstand push ups, and even chest to bar pull ups, athletes had the opportunity to rise to the occasion and be the best they could be.

The next best is also one of the things I love best about the WildFire Community and it’s the diversity of athletes we had participating. Between veterans of the Open to athletes who just started doing CrossFit a few month ago, athletes who did every workout Rx, athletes who scaled the scaled division, and everyone between, during this Open, just like in every class we run, everyone was welcome to participate!

Blanca & Luis, who just celebrated their 35th anniversary, are two of our Open Veterans who have been doing CrossFit for over 2 ½ years. Before CrossFit, they had a membership at 24-hour Fitness, although they didn’t go very often. They have been pillars of the WildFire Community since 2 of their 3 children, who do CrossFit themselves, suggested they come see us. In fact, their daughter, Irene, was a member before she moved to Yuma, and Coach Bri, who all of you know and love is their niece, so it was an easy choice for them to be a part of the WildFire Family.

They both started in our Boot Camp and joined CrossFit once it was done. In addition to being incredible members, and the first to cheer others on in both class and events, they continue to help with the Boot Camp, inspiring others to get their fitness journey started. 

One of the many cool things about the Open is that it doesn’t matter how long someone has been doing CrossFit, they can still compete, and have fun doing it. Mike McAtamney had only been doing CrossFit for 3 months at WildFire before he signed up for the Open. Originally from New York, Mike moved to Phoenix in 2005 where he is currently getting his Masters Degree in Music Education at ASU after receiving his Bachelors in Percussion Performance from the University of Arizona.

He has been a fixture at the 6am class since he started, and it’s been awesome to see how far he’s come in such a short period of time. In fact, according to Mike, before CrossFit, his “main source of fitness was marching band”. Marching around, carrying those heavy drums not only had a positive impact on his career, it helped him physically as well. His form, technique, and the way he picks up new skills just shows what a natural athlete he is. We’re thrilled that he’s gotten a chance to make it happen.

It just goes to show, it doesn’t matter what a person’s background or experience level is, everyone can find common ground when it comes to fitness. When I asked Blanca & Luis what their favorite thing about CrossFit is, they told me one of them is “doing things [they] never dreamed of”. When I asked Mike the same thing, he said it was during Open WOD 19.2 when he “was able to lift an amount of weight that [he] had never done before and have the entire gym cheering and coaching [him] to get the workout done”.  Similarly, Blanca & Luis also mentioned “building relationships, the family environment, and getting support for everything [they] do here” as things they love about WildFire.

CrossFit has had an incredible impact on so many people’s lives. Even with different backgrounds, Blanca, Luis, and Mike are part of the same community where everyone has the same interest in a positive and healthy lifestyle through fitness and nutrition. Mike explained how “kind” everyone is and how “everyone wants everyone to succeed”. 

CrossFit itself is very diverse, with hundreds of different exercises and millions of different combinations, everyone can find things they like and things that might not be their favorite. According to Blanca & Luis, their favorites are squats, push ups, and deadlifts and their least favorites are pull ups and double unders, although, they “haven’t given up yet”. Deadlifts also happen to be one of Mike’s favorite exercises, with his least favorite being “any kind of Snatch”.

Aside from the relationships, fun, and even the fitness, Blanca and Luis have had incredible results since starting CrossFit. They both got off their cholesterol medication. Now, their main goal is to “stay fit and healthy”. For Mike, aside from getting stronger he told me that his “main goal is to be the best me I can be”, and THAT is what it is all about.

All 3 of these WildFire Athletes had some great advice for people who are just getting started at WildFire. Mike stressed the importance of good form and technique, not letting the weight be intimidating, and that there’s “no shame” in scaling the workout accordingly. Blanca and Luis, who both with they “had discovered CrossFit a long time ago” explained that “it’s never too late to start” to “believe in yourself”, and to keep going.

Well said, and THANK YOU Blanca, Luis, & Mike for taking the time to answer our questions and help to inspire others to get out of their comfort zone and be the best they can be! Thanks for being awesome members of the WildFire Family and for participating in the CrossFit Open this year! We are very proud of your hard work and all the success you have had in the time you have been here and wish you so much more in the future as you continue your training.

For anyone new reading this blog. It doesn’t matter your age, size, ethnicity, gender, or even your level of fitness. The common ground every one of our members shares is living a positive and healthy lifestyle through fitness and nutrition. While that may or may not be you…yet, everyone is welcome to be a part of the WildFire Community and to get the coaching you deserve to be your very best!

WildFire Community, even though the Open is over, the best is yet to come. Keep on working hard, training your weaknesses, and getting involved at WildFire. Our coaches are always available to help you work on the skills you need to succeed and reach your goals. We are always going to give our best to you so you can be the best you can be!

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