Our Gym Goals:
1 - Fun! The Open will be fun.
2 - Inclusive. Everyone can and should participate!
3 - Community, Character & Fitness Building. You will learn more about yourself as a person and athlete for having participated in the Open. And, your community will benefit from you signing up!
Your 2017 CrossFit Open To Do List:
Sign our Open Board
Register at games.crossfit.com
Select your home gym as your Affiliate and Team
Ballard CrossFit → Ballard CrossFit
Mark your calendars for Thursday, February 23rd. That is the start of the 2017 CrossFit Open. Then, mark your calendars for the 5 following Saturday’s: 2/25, 3/4, 3/11, 3/18, & 3/25. Festivities start at 3pm.
Get your Ballard CrossFit friends & classmates to come join you!
Get your people: family, friends, co-workers, etc. to come watch and cheer you on!
I. What is the Open?
The Open is a 5-week online test of fitness. It is the first step on the road to finding the fittest on Earth, eventually culminating the CrossFit Games.
Here are some details:
1 WOD is announced per week for 5 weeks
You have from Thursday @ 5pm until Monday @ 5pm to complete the WOD and submit your score.
The WODs are a diverse test:
Between 4 & 20 mins
Typically in AMR format, but they’ve introduced For Time & Max Load
Single modalities, couplets, triplets & chippers (much like you seen in class)
Your WOD must be judged & verified, then you will submit your score online
You can attempt the WOD multiple times and submit your best score
Rx’d & Scaled Divisions
16.1: 50’ OH Walking Lunges 95#/65#, 8 Bar-Facing Burpees… C2B
Scaled: 25’ Front-Racked 45#/35#, Burpees, Jumping Pull-Ups
Further scales… YES! Do it.
II. How we’ll be running the Open this year…
For those that have done the Open in years prior, we have some fun changes coming your way.
Here are some details:
5 Coaches will be “head judges”, roaming, making sure everything looks just right, making sure equipment is organized, etc.
Then, we’ll ask members to be judges as well
We’ll post their contact info up in the gym, and athletes participating in the Open can ask any judge to score their workout as long as a head judge is present.
Athletes participating in the Open can run each WOD multiple times, but remember the your coach/judge is volunteering their time & energy for you!
Saturday Afternoon Lights!
Every Saturday @ 3pm, we’ll have a PARTY.
TONS of energy
III. Why should I do the Open?
What makes Ballard CrossFit such a special place? What makes us a vibrant community? What sets us apart? You do.
Not your Coaches, or your facility or equipment or programming… or anything else. As an athlete at Ballard CrossFit, you make our gym the incredible, rock-star, kick-ass home-away-from-home, family that it is!
We’re all a part of this program and this community for a reason. What is that for you? What drives you to come in, pour it all out, push your body to the limit, give some fistbumps and then keep coming back for more? What is your reason?
I’ll tell you what it is for me. For me, our gym is like a 2nd home. When I step foot in the door, there is a sense of belonging. There is a sense of participating in something bigger and greater than myself. I love the sport of CrossFit, I love the camaraderie within our community, I love to push myself both mentally and physically... and, I love to be a part of that experience for everyone else! I love being able to Coach people in what I love to do. I’m hugely blessed by the athletes here at Ballard CrossFit.
For most of us, if we’re honest, this gym has significantly changed our lives. Some of our closest friendships have developed right here inside the box. We’ve spent morning after morning, afternoon after afternoon giving our time and energy to make an investment in our health. And, we love it! We look forward to it. We plan our lives around it!
If we stop to think about our gym - the impact it’s had on our health and lives, the people we’ve met, the experiences we’ve had - we can’t help but feel gratitude for our gym family. And, we each own a piece of that gratitude we feel. Each of you has contributed to that feeling of “home” - that feeling of belonging, that feeling of success in fitness - for someone else! When we love our gym - when we’re thankful for what it is in our lives - we want to be a part of someone else loving our gym. Then, we pass it on. We’re not consumers that come in and take and leave, we’re owners, who are just as interested in the success of others as our own successes! Because, our successes come from the successes of others!
So own it. Be a part of what we’re doing. Invest in yourself by investing in others!
The Open as gratitude…
For each of us, there are a bunch of influences that have brought us to where we are in our fitness journey - coaches, fellow athletes, etc. Giving your very best in competition is a way of recognizing their influence & sacrifice in your life. In giving your all, you honor their contributions and show appreciation for your community!
The Open as the next step in your journey in fitness…
Growth takes trial. Growth takes struggle with difficulties and challenges. The Open will challenge you. And, in that challenge, you’ll grow and learn more about yourself as a CrossFitter. You’ll learn about your strengths - you’ll surprise yourself in some areas. And, you’ll learn about your weaknesses - where you need to re-vamp your efforts and come back stronger than ever.
The Open as a source of growth in community…
Nothing needs to be a solo effort in CrossFit. Not only will you experience growth participating in the Open, you’ll be a part of that growth for others! You’ll get the experience of facing off against brutal workouts, and you’ll be source of encouragement and growth for others as they do the same!
You never know what kind of influence you might be having. You never know who might benefit from seeing you give your all. Or what comment you gave that might’ve been the encouragement that somebody needed to hear. Or who might push a little harder because they know that you’re in their corner!
You Coaches wouldn’t ask you to do this if we didn’t truly believe that this would be a good thing for you and for your community.
Some inspirational quotes...
“Find your weaknesses, make friends with them, then beat them to death!”
“Walk away having left it all out there: No matter what, I really believe that no one will judge you based on your performance. We all may want to see someone or another do well. But the reality is that we are all so incredibly motivated by ANYONE that pours their heart out and lays it all on the line. Regardless of the outcome walk away knowing it was all you had.”
“Remember, CrossFit is not the Games. The community of people that throw down every day is CrossFit. As Rx’d or not, a regional or games contender or not. Soccer mom to elite athlete, we make up the community. The overwhelming majority of the community may never walk on the Games stadium floor but will have far more impact on their local community and possibly even farther by their daily efforts in the gym. THAT is CrossFit.”
It’s Open Season, Ballard CrossFit! For our gym family, this is a great time of year. We wanted to share with you all a little something that Andrea DosSantos wrote. Andrea is our current January Member Of The Month, a long-time Ballard CrossFit all-star and a leader of the #6amnation! The first portion is something that Andrea wrote as she considers participating in the CrossFit Open. The the next portion is the response of one of her dear friends, fellow #6amnation athlete, and our 2015 Ballard Award Winner, Alisha Aaufi.
We’ll be posting some of your Coach’s thoughts on the CrossFit Open a little later this week. And, we hope to see ALL of you at our Open Happy Hour this Friday night at 7:30pm at the Gerald!
The CrossFit Open as defined by CrossFit Headquarters...
"The CrossFit Games Open is the world's premier test of fitness. Since 2011, the five-week five-workout online competition has accurately ranked the fitness of thousands of competitors.
Held in CrossFit affiliates and garage gyms, the Open is designed to be accessible to all athletes while rigorous enough to challenge the world’s fittest. Fourteen-year-old high school freshmen compete in the Open, as well as their 77-year-old grandparents and everyone in between."
Each week they announce the WOD (Workout of the Day) and then the athletes have 4 days to complete the WOD while being judged by a certified judge. In 2014, the last WOD 14.5 (5th WOD of the 2014 Open) was the following:
WOMEN - (includes Masters Women up to 54 years old)
21-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps for time of:
For time! Never before in an open workout. “Argh! Why do I do this to myself”, I was thinking during the torture. Just thinking about it now I get butterflies in my stomach. In the middle of doing the WOD, I did not want to finish. I said so to Erin, my friend and coach, who knows me very well. She said, “You will be very pissed with yourself if you don’t finish.”
Why the butterflies? I was worried about the 50 people staring at me and cheering as I jumped up and over the bar, got down and then up off the ground, and finally lifted a 65# bar. All while being bigger than I want to be, sweating, and generally feeling very miserable. At the end, this picture was captured.
Looking at this photo, and others taken that night, transports me back to the energy and emotion of that night. There is also a video of my last five reps and captures the moment I completed the WOD within the 30 min time cap. I was overcome with joy and very proud of myself. I did it! Erin was right, she is one smart lady and an amazing coach. I would still be angry with myself if I had quit.
Three years later, I still have the random person who comes up to me and says that picture inspires them. Really? Me and my sweaty big old non-CrossFit body inspires you?
The CrossFit Open session is coming again. I have participated for two years and loved every minute of it. But at the same time, I have dreaded every minute of it. However, this year I feel different for some reason.
I have been doing CrossFit for three years. Three years! It’s the only physical activity, sport, or exercise I have consistently done in my life. But after all that time, I am still not where I want to be. I am not able to do dubs; where you jump once and the jump rope goes around twice, box jobs, pull-ups, wall climbs; the list goes on and on. I have definitely not improved this year. I think I am slower than ever and not as strong as I was last year, or as strong as I wish I was. So why do I keep doing CrossFit? I still love it! What surprises me the most is how many times “my box”, Ballard CrossFit, uses that picture. I cringe each time I see it and am reminded of that night. But it now inspires me! Dig deep, as my coaches say.
I keep doing it because I am a better person for doing the CrossFit Open. It pushes me more than anything I have ever done. I am proud of myself each time I finish a WOD and it rekindles my love for CrossFit all over again. It makes me love “my box” more and more. It makes me realize that I am a part of a strong community that will know and fully understand what I am going thru and how to support me. I am always the last one to finish a WOD, so they all know how to cheer me on!
It also pushes me to be better. Not only better at CrossFit, but to be a better person in general. To be close and intimate with that uncomfortable feeling just before they say 3-2-1 go. Doing the work during the WOD and then everyone watching you as you are last! I know that CrossFit makes me feel more for people that I encounter in life that are struggling with something. It makes me a better community member at my box and a better mom. I know that taking what I have learned in CrossFit and applying it to parenting has helped my kids be more empathetic and it has helped them understand and push through some uncomfortable situations. I love them knowing that mommy is very strong and it is ok to push your body and your mind to be better in your sport…in your life! I am proud that I am a strong role model for my son and daughter.
I started writing this to help me through all my thoughts, emotions and fears in regards to the Open. I now I want to do it; but feel so conflicted at the same time. This is my sport. Time to step up and take the challenge. Be a better athlete, person and box member. Maybe I will get a dub? Maybe my first pull up? I encourage any CrossFit athlete to sign up for the Open. Regardless of where you are physically. It will change you forever and I promise you will not regret it.
This is my friend Andrea. She wrote a piece on the photo above and it inspired me to write something in response.
The photo shows Andrea right after finishing the last workout of the CrossFit Open in 2014. The workout consisted of two god-awful movements – a fat pile of thrusters and over-the-bar burpees (if you don’t know, google…and then thank god you’ve made it this far in life without knowing what the hell those are) to be completed as fast as possible, within a 30 minute time cap. That was the task at hand, and Andrea completed every damn rep. If you ask Andrea about this picture, she’ll tell you how it was one of the toughest workouts she’s ever done. But then she’ll tell you how it was also one of her best moments. She’ll tell you how she was so happy Erin was there as her judge – that she needed her – to tell her she should to finish when she wanted to quit. Not for a better or faster time, not to be a better athlete, not to get a better workout, but to do it for herself. And she did!
This photo has been seen by probably every member at our gym. I’ve been with Andrea when members she doesn’t even know have come up to her and told her how inspired they are by it. It cracked me up how confused she was when they walked away, like “That was weird… Inspired? By me? Ok…” Well, yeah. Inspired. Inspired is perfect. That’s exactly what I feel when I look at this photo. When I look at this photo, I see our gym. I see the reason I go every day. And at the same time, the reason why I get a little knot in my stomach right before I go every day. I see our community. I see pride. I see support. I see an athlete who fights, and a coach who fights alongside their athlete. I see resilience and exhaustion. I see pure joy.
Right now, Andrea doesn’t know if she’s going to do the Open this year. And I didn’t write this to convince her that she should. Honestly, if she really doesn’t want to, I hope she doesn’t – I hate doing shit I don’t want to do. Here’s what Andrea wrote at the end of her letter to herself:
“I started writing this to help me through all my thoughts, emotions and fears in regards to the open. I know I want to do it; but so conflicted at the same time. This is my sport. Time to step up and take the challenge. Be a better athlete, person and box member.”
Competing in the Open isn’t what makes Andrea a good athlete, person, or box member. It’s that she’s going to be there anyway to take part – in one way or another – because of the passion she has for this gym and her friendships with everyone there. Obviously I want her to compete (like everyone) – she’s my homie! And she would KICK ASS. I throw down with her almost every morning, so of course I want that for the Open too. And I have no doubt in my mind that people will be inspired by her if she competes. But at the end of the day, this is about finding sanity, joy, and health in the midst of life. It’s hard to find that, but we have it here. And Andrea is a big part of that for a lot of people, myself included (since day 1!).
The Ballard Awards are a very special tradition at Ballard CrossFit.
Each year, we celebrate our amazing community at our annual Holiday Bash. We trade our tight lulu workout gear for shirt & tie and dress and we party! We party HARD. The atmosphere is always electric at our Holiday Bash and for good reason! At Ballard CrossFit, we genuinely enjoy each other, support and care for each other and are committed to each others' growth and success in this crazy journey called fitness!
The Ballard Awards are designed to highlight particular athletes that contribute to the wonderful culture of our gym. We have 4 categories: Most Improved Lady, Most Improved Dude, Most Inspirational Athlete and The Ballard Award. Then, we ask members to vote for who they think is most deserving in the previous year in each category!
Here are the results from our 2016 Ballard Awards!
1. Most Improved Lady - Kendra Lednicky
This years most improved lady has worked her booty off in the gym this year - and it shows! This time last year she was in a band for pull-ups, and this year has not only achieved RX’d pull-ups but also now has unassisted chest to bar pull-ups as well! She is constantly pushing in WODs, doing heavier barbell loads and even using a 20# medball for wallballs! She is working on her technique in barbell club, and is following our strength program as well! Kendra works a full-time job with an hour commute each way, so getting to the gym is no easy task for her - but she has made it happen! Congrats, lady!!
2. Most Improved Dude - Chris Gilroy
Chris Gilroy is one of those guys you want to hang around with. His work ethic in the gym is the reason he has sharpened many of his lifting skills and gotten stronger without any injuries. When he gets to work on a WOD, he cares more about how he executes each task and doesn't care as much about the clock. He leads by example in the gym and is loved by many. A warm congratulations, Chris!
3. Most Inspiring - Brianna Johnson
Brianna has long been an inspiring athlete to many of us in the Ballard CrossFit community because of her high performance as an athlete, but she has become an even greater inspiration this year as she trained at a high level right up to the birth of her beautiful baby girl, Kenna. Not long after Kenna was born, Bri was back in the gym working to get her first strict muscle up. Then she got another one…and another one. Bri showed all of us that being an expectant mother doesn’t have to sideline you.
The inspiration is enhanced by Bri’s ever positive and supportive attitude. Members and coaches alike are proud to call her a friend and we look forward to seeing what is in store for Bri and her family!
Congratulations, Bri! Thanks for your contributions to Ballard CrossFit!
4. The Ballard Award - Aaron Smith
Aaron Smith is a great candidate for The Ballard Award just by his work ethic alone. He works HARD in the gym! He's made huge progress in our program, he's involved in every event and supplemental program we offer, he pushes himself every time he steps foot in the gym... we could go on and on!
But what truly sets Aaron apart is the way he supports and encourages others. To know Aaron Smith is to love Aaron Smith! He is one the most encouraging, positive men you'll ever meet. When you see him in class or in the gym, he'll greet you with that infectious smile and take a real interest in you and how you're doing. He truly embodies the community of support that we strive for at Ballard CrossFit!
Congratulations to Aaron Smith, our 2016 Ballard Award Winner!
Hey Challenge Participants!!
First of all, a huge congratulations for participating and completing the 2016 Nutrition Challenge! It was more intense, longer lasting, and stricter than previous years and you all embraced the challenges of the last 8 weeks! Now that we’ve had some time to analyze all the results, we can say with confidence that this was our most effective challenge to date - more fat was lost, more lean mass was gained, more PR’s were obtained in the gym, and more (hopefully) permanent lifestyle changes were formed than ever before!
In your final pop quiz, we asked you guys to reflect on the challenge and tell us what your best experience was during the Challenge. The responses were overwhelmingly positive - we wanted to share some of what your community experienced throughout the last 8 weeks! The changes below are incredible! Please note how many of you guys correlated what you ate to how you felt/performed/recovered in the gym! Science works!
Best experience was with the other people doing the challenge. Either in person or on the Facebook page, the support was amazing and I like to think we all helped each other through it.
Best experience was having people in class mention that I looked like I had more meat on the bones along with hitting a number of new PR's during barbell club.
Losing the “Dad weight” that I had started thinking was just me now. I’m 39 and in the best shape of my life.
How I felt! The two main areas were, one, having more energy, especially in mid-afternoon not feeling tired. Two, performing better in workouts, in part due to good fuel in my system and more so do to a loss of weight. Being 8 to 10lbs lighter to perform T2B, Pull Ups, Squats, etc. helped me hit a number of PR’s.
The weigh-in was really eye-opening. Seeing the breakdown of lean muscle v. fat really helped me not dread the number on the scale, or put as much importance on it.
Best part: how I felt! In the WODs and in everyday life. Light, happy, energized, focused. I also didn't mind seeing the weight drop before my eyes and feeling my pants not fit anymore.
Last week, I put on a shirt that used to be tight and it was flowy and almost too big. THAT rules.
Best experience was just feeling better. I felt as though I was able to get through the workouts without taking long breaks, definitely felt like my cardiovascular endurance kicked up a notch during the challenge.
My favorite experience was the motivation/structure the challenge provided me. It forced me to stay focused on a goal and kept my eye on a 'prize' (Results!) It makes me proud to say I haven't weighed this little since high school!
Best experience has been seeing the #gainz during CrossFit. I feel strong and I'm able to lift more weight and do body weight movements faster. It's motivation to keep eating right.
The way that I felt throughout the challenge was definitely the best thing about this challenge. I PR'd six lifts during the challenge, and I was able to up my workouts to six days/week instead of four. My body just recovered SO much faster when I started rewarding it with post-workout protein and carbs. It really was unbelievable!!
Breaking habits with food and alcohol. Re-claiming my life. Sounds cliché but it is true. I lost weight. Fit into clothes I haven't worn in years!
Alright, now for the results!!!! As stated at the beginning of the challenge, the results were calculated to give us % of fat lost OR % of lean mass gained per person during the challenge.
We had 83 people sign up for the challenge. 59 of those people completed it by dunking the second time. Of those 59 who completed the challenge, 29 people are eligible for prizes as they turned in all scorecards as well as completed all 4 pop quizzes. Together as a group, we made some SIGNIFICANT changes to our body compositions!!
We lost #371 of fat!
We gained #47 of lean muscle!
96.7% of participants lost some amount of fat
68.3% of participants gained lean mass
66.7% of participants lost fat AND gained lean mass at the same time!
FAT LOSS CATEGORY
Chris Shier is our clear winner for this category! He went from 11.4% body fat in September to 7.0% body fat in November! Chris lost 9lbs of body fat, from an already lean frame!
Kristina Detwiler is our winner, for the second year in a row! She went from 21% body fat to 15% in the 8 weeks! Kristina lost 9.9lbs of fat! Congrats, lady!
Congrats to Isaac Spinell! He went from 20.4% body fat to 15.6% in the 8 weeks! He lost 10.5lbs of body fat! Isaac joined Ballard CrossFit just 2 months before the challenge started, and has made huge strides in a short amount of time!
Brianna Johnson is our runner up for most fat lost! She went from 22.5% body fat to 16%, and lost 10.7lbs of body fat!! Impressive work for this lady, starting the challenge just 4 weeks out from having a baby!
LEAN MASS GAINED CATEGORY
Garrett Butler is our winner for the most lean mass gained! He put on an additional 3.8lbs of muscle during the 8 weeks! Keep up the good work, Garrett!
Emma Butler is our clear winner for this category. She gained 7lbs of lean mass! Additionally, she lost 4lbs of fat! Nice work, Emma! (These two are doing something right in their home meal prep - husband and wife winners for mass gained! Love it!)
Winning his second prize of the Nutrition Challenge, Chris Shier is our runner up! He put on 3.4lbs of lean mass (in addition to all the fat loss!)
Brianna Johnson, again! The runner up in both categories! Impressively, she added 4.7lbs of lean mass!
BEFORE / AFTER CATEGORY
Larissa MacCartney is the winner for biggest visual change in before and after pics! Larissa lost 13.4lbs of fat and gained 2.4lbs of lean mass, and the changes to her body composition are dramatic!
Anne Kelso is our runner up for this category! She lost more fat than anyone in the gym (21.6lbs of fat!) and we can for sure see it in the pictures! Amazing work, Anne! Keep it up!
Are you a successful athlete? What makes a successful athlete?
1. A successful athlete is Coachable.
Coachable athletes are humble. They’re willing and eager to receive feedback. They know that they have more to learn and they know that they need guidance along the way. They trust that their Coach has their best interests at heart and they listen closely to feedback on ways in which they could be performing better in the gym.
As athletes, we’re always growing, always pushing, always looking to improve and be more efficient. Coachable athletes get this and it makes them better athletes. They are constantly learning and gaining new information, and then they employ that information in their training.
As athletes, we are the sum total of the coaching we’ve received. We each have a team of people behind us that have contributed to our athletic career. Coachable athletes recognize the care and investment that they’ve received, and they look to grow that investment all the time.
On the flipside, proud athletes often make little progress. They don’t think they need coaching which results in blindspots in their training. And, inevitably, they get stuck.
2. A successful athlete is Driven.
Driven athletes constantly want more. They want more knowledge, more time in the gym, more opportunities, more personal records, more. They recognize that these gains take hard work and they discipline themselves to the task.
As athletes, we’re inspired by other athletes that are driven. We love to see an athlete dedicate themselves to improving. And, when they reach their goal, we eat it up! We love to see hard work paying off.
Driven athletes have purpose every time they step foot in the gym. They often take detailed notes as to what they’re doing and how it compares to what they’ve done in the past. They test, retest, succeed, fail - and learn from their failures. They set tangible goals and they dream big. They are often thinking in the midst of even the hardest of WODs. “What was my goal here? Can I do more? Can I hang on for a few more reps? Can I make this movement more efficient somehow? What other experiences have I had in workouts that can help me here?”
Driven athletes inspire us! Driven athletes make other athletes better. Other athletes learn from their dedication and look to imitate their successes. Driven athletes breed driven athletes.
3. A successful athlete is Encouraging.
Successful athletes appreciate others. They recognize that the community they enjoy is built on caring for and supporting others. They recognize that the support and encouragement they’ve received is fundamental to their success - and they look to give that same support and encouragement to others.
The success of CrossFit is rooted in our ability to be a community of people that cares for each other. Encouragement is infectious. When we receive it, we immediately desire to give it. When we recognize how important the support and investment of others has been to us athletes, we long to pass that on!
We remember those people that gave us encouragement when we felt like giving up. We remember those times when someone followed up with us, kept us accountable, sent us an atta-boy/girl. Those little moments of encouragement and support got us through tough WODs, self-doubt, laziness, etc. They made us feel like we belong. They made the gym feel like a second home.
When we stop to think about the people that are in our corner, we appreciate the value of looking to pour into the lives of others. Encouraging athletes breed encouraging athletes and a community that is vibrant and full of life.
4. A successful athlete is Positive.
Positive athletes come into the gym with a mindset of wanting to get better, and choose to stay positive even when confronted with difficulties. They never complain, whine, or make excuses. Instead, they expect hard work, difficulty, and inevitably, they expect their success.
Positive athletes recognize the importance of facing their weaknesses - movements that humble them or worse - movements they can’t do. When an athlete runs into a movement they can’t do, they have two options:
1 - Leave. This program is too hard. This isn’t for me.
2 - Stay. I want this. I’m pissed that I can’t do this. So, I’m going to stay and work hard at it.
Positive athletes stay motivated when things get frustrating. They find the positives in the midst of difficulty. They believe they will overcome.
Positivity, just like encouragement and drive is contagious. We all have someone that comes to mind when we think of a positive influence in the gym! We look to position ourselves near them, and we’re encouraged by their positive outlook.