The Open, it is such an awesome time of year. You have your veterans, newbies, fire-breathers, and the people who are there to just have a freaking awesome time. There are some CrossFit Affiliates out there that do not promote The Open, and that have no desire to do so. We are the complete opposite at Celebration CrossFit. It truly is the best time of year, is it stressful on the back end? You bet. But, I would never consider NOT hosting The Open because it is the most community rallying event of the year.
“A look from the inside”
We first started the Open in 2014, Coach Erik was the only person that competed that year. To be honest, at the time, I don’t even think I knew what the Open was. I just thought Erik was doing a regular ol’ workout each day. But, I do remember him telling me that the workouts he was doing were CRAZY hard (this was before CrossFit HQ introduced the scaled division).
Moving onto 2015, we were about to approach our 1 year mark as an Affiliate, and we had 7 people participate in the Open that year. This took place at our old location in downtown Celebration (you can see the picture below). That old location is where Celebration CrossFit was born. A lot of blood sweat and tears created the soul of CCF, and it all started at 610 Sycamore Street. In 2015 we didn’t host weekly events. The 7 athletes that signed-up for The Open would come in sometime between Friday and Monday to complete the workout. Granted we only had about 25 members at the time, so it was A LOT easier to accommodate athletes’ time requests. We could get away without having any structure during the Open. I remember Amedee, one of our veteran members, did 15.2 in her church clothes. It was not a serious event like it is now. Once 15.5 came along, one of our most trusted members of all time, Jason Carpenter, suggested that we all get together on Friday night and do the workout together. And, that, my friends, is when Celebration CrossFit’s Friday Night Lights event came to fruition. We all got together, drank some beers, did 15.5 (27-21-15-9 Calorie Row & Thrusters), and stayed until about midnight. It was a blast. We knew we had to continue it in 2016.
When the 2016 Open was approaching, Erik and I knew we had to do it “big” — at the time, that still wasn’t much. We wanted to make it the “event” members always talk about. That year we had 18 members sign-up to participate in The Open. That was a lot for us in 2016. I think our membership base was at about 50 people. We weren’t quite sure how we were going to do it in our new (current) space. But, we knew we had to do it for our members. We decided to host a Friday Night Lights Event each week, and that’s when everyone participated. We didn’t offer any other time options. But, now looking back, I wish we had, because more members would have participated. But, we all live and learn, right? 2016 was a year to test the waters, and see how would could improve in the years to come. And, we did just that. 2017 brought bigger and better things.
In 2017, we had 47 members sign-up to participate in The Open (you can see majority of them pictured below). I thought we would maybe have 30 people sign-up… boy was I wrong. I was TERRIFIED that it wouldn’t work in our 1500 square foot location. I seriously thought we would be there until 2am every Friday night judging people. Not sure if any of you have caught on yet, BUT… I am a bit of a perfectionist. So, when I host events, the event must operate smoothly. 2017 was also the year that we introduced The Open “Intramural Style” … aka… CCF athletes battling it out for a 4-River’s catered party. Our athletes were out for blood! So, I knew that Erik and I had to deliver, if not, over-deliver for the Open. Week 5 arrived, everybody was still participating, and athletes LOVED it. We knew we were on to something.
Present day and time, we are about 3 hours away from CrossFit HQ releasing 18.1 for the 2018 Open season, and I am nervous and terrified that something is going to go wrong. That Dave Castro is going to program assault bikes for one of the 5 workouts (something we don’t have), or that something big won’t go right regarding scheduling, etc. (that’s the perfectionist in me coming out again). But, I am also EXCITED and PUMPED to see everyone stroll into the Box tomorrow, as the 18.1 events commence. I will have the honor of seeing each any every person show what they are capable of as they work their asses off. I might see some tears, bumps, and bruises over the course of the 5 weeks. But, I know all of the hard work that the CCF Staff puts into The Open will be worth it… because at the end of the day, it isn’t about my fears regarding a smooth operation. Its about all 60 of our 2018 Open competitors have a fucking awesome time and reaching new feats of strength. So, I am going to do everything in my power to make sure that happens.
CCF Athletes, here’s to you and here’s to the 2018 Celebration CrossFit Intramural Open — Let’s do this thang!!!!
Kaycie Lipetz, Owner & Dir. of Operations at Celebration CrossFit