I took part in my first CrossFit Open last year. I had been doing CrossFit for less than a year and was terrified to put my skills to test. Around my gym, I’ve heard a lot of people say, “I wish I could participate in the Open, but I’m just not ready,” or “Maybe I can do it next year.” Well, I’m here to tell you that you can and should participate in the CrossFit Open. Here’s why:

It’s humbling

I remember when I found out that the time cap for 17.1 was 20 minutes. I was endlessly frustrated because I knew I wouldn’t be able to finish the workout (I still have PTSD from all the dumbbell snatches). But then my coach reminded me, these workouts are meant to test the fittest of the fit. It’s not supposed to be easy.

When I was faced with having to do pull-ups in 17.2, I — as well as many of my friends — was forced to hang and hang and hang from the bar, continuing to attempt and continuing to fail at getting my chin over. I saw many people get their very first pull-up that day; and I saw many people, including myself, try their absolute hardest and still not get there. But let me tell you, when I finally did get my first pull-up, months after that workout, I realized that all the times I failed before made my success worth it.

View this post on Instagram

Lift like a girl #CrossFitOpen

A post shared by Jeryl Lippe (@jeryllippe) on

It tests you physically and mentally

These workouts are hard. You’re gonna want to give up in the middle, but the gratification you feel after smashing an Open WOD is truly like nothing else. It’s nerve-racking and intimidating, but you’re gonna get through it.

It connects you to your CrossFit fam

Some of my fondest memories with my CrossFit family are from the Open. The whole atmosphere feels like one big party — the music is loud, everyone’s sweating, and you might throw up, but hey, that’s part of the fun, right?! So be a team player! If you can cheer people on and have fun with it, you are more than ready to participate.

It’s fun

Even though getting “no-repped” is incredibly frustrating, it also feels great to be judged by the same standards as a professional CrossFit athlete. Whether you’re Rx-ing the workout or scaling, you’re being watched — and if your gym buddies are anything like mine, they will be using their power wherever possible. So take the Open as an opportunity to realize that you are an athlete and should be treated like one.

You have literally nothing to lose

Unless your last name ends with “Dottir,” odds are you aren’t doing CrossFit as your career. So seriously, what do you have to lose? Imagine the stress that comes with Dave Castro’s over-the-top announcements for each impending WOD. I’m telling you, as scary as it is to put your skills to the test, there's no shame in ranking 69,870th overall (trust me, that was my actual placing last year).

Registration is open now. You really and truly will not regret signing up. Click here to participate!