2017 Open Lessons

A list of 5 things I’ve learned during this year’s Open.

We’ve talked about our “tribe” in the past. As much as I like this term for our community, I think a more appropriate term is “pack.” As in a pack of badasses. I’m so, so, so thankful to have the opportunity to be a part of each of your lives.


1) You clowns can all do double unders

I’ve been saying it for years- all it takes is 5 minutes of practice a day. What I didn’t know was that all it takes to get you to actually do it is making it part of a challenge or competition.

Don’t stop practicing. Come in 5 minutes early or stay after class and get a set or two every time you come it. It pays off. You’ve already seen the results

2)  We’re really a pack of drinkers that have a small CrossFit problem

Could. Not. Make. It. Five. Days.

Seriously. 5 days. Not even a week. I feel like if I were to also own a brewery, this group could single handedly keep the business afloat…

3) As fit as this group is, we all need to focus on the “Flexibility” domain

The most common complaint over the last 5 weeks has been during ROM WOD, and it’s “this is the hardest part of the class!!”

We’ll do our part to ensure we continue to focus on mobility and flexibility, but help us out. Do some mobility at home, at work, take a yoga class, stay after for ROM WOD. You will be shocked at how much improving your flexibility will increase your strength, your times, and your overall energy levels. It’s a never-ending battle, so never stop fighting it.


4) Each and every one of you is a badass

For all the first double unders, pull ups, muscle ups, and PRs over the last 5 weeks… you are all capable of far more than you give yourselves credit for.

I’m incredibly proud of each of you. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been counting for someone and welled up with tears at the effort I’ve witnessed you giving. Nothing about this Open has been easy for anyone, regardless of which division you’ve been competing in. To watch you each come in and battle for every single rep week in and week out gives so much validation to everything we’ve worked so hard to build at ABV.

Don’t let this momentum end here. Keep reaching for the next PR, the next goal, the next Open. You should know, I will no longer accept “I can’t…” from any of you. Know I know that you can. Remove that mental block from yourself. Not only can you, but you’ve got a whole pack of badasses supporting you every step of the way.

5) Our community is simply incredible

I’m proud of everyone’s scores. I’m proud of everyone’s efforts. I’m proud of everyone’s fitness.

But that pride pales in comparison to how impressed, blown away, and thankful I am for our community.

As much fun as this has been, at the end of the day it’s just numbers on the whiteboard that will be erased at the end of the week. What’s more important is how incredibly supportive you have all been of one another. The athletes that had to work out in the morning, but come in the evenings to cheer everyone on. The athletes that have been out with injuries still showing up to support their teams. The kids running around on Fridays watching their parents set the standard for fitness. The comradery after the events and throughout the weekends. THAT is more impactful and carries more weights than 5 workouts.

When I started ABV I had this notion that it wasn’t about changing or improving any one individual’s life, it was about building a community that would positively impact everyone around them. My thought was that instead of focusing on the individual, we could affect more change in our local community by focusing on the community itself. Because of this, I’ve always been willing to do anything to preserve and protect our community, the atmosphere of inclusiveness, and our philosophy of “We don’t care where you are in your fitness journey, we care that you want to get better each day you come in.”

I’ve caught some flack for that over the years. My steadfast refusal to treat any athlete as above the rest has prompted more than a few athletes to leave our ranks. My insistence on doing things the right way for the right reasons has rubbed people the wrong way. My bluntness and lack of politically correctness have certainly pissed people off.

What I’ve learned in the last 5 weeks is that it has all been worth it. That focusing on the community, the coaching, doing things the right way for the right reasons, and working on getting a little bit better every day has resulted in an impressively strong, supportive, fit, and fun pack of badasses.

And even more than that, you are each making our community, and the larger, local community, better in your own unique ways. Setting the standard for your children, getting you neighbors involved, talking about fitness with your coworkers and bosses.

Don’t stop. Don’t stop any of this. Keep kicking ass. Keep striving to be a little bit better every day. And keep improving the lives of those around you.

Sincerely, respectfully, and with incredible pride,