PRISMania Blog I Dave Castro is Trying to Kill Me

Dave Castro is Trying to Kill Me

(Or Why I’m Taking Advantage of the Scaled Option in the 2015 CrossFit Open)

I’m a competitive athlete. And by that I mean I compete in multiple disciplines, but I’m by no means world class. I do it for the fun of competition, to meet new people and learn from them, and to share some great experiences. One such experience is the CrossFit Open, both the bane and boon of many a new CrossFitter. It’s where many would traditionally hit their first very difficult movement, and Facebook would blow up with the feat and encouragement.

My first Open showed me how CrossFit the competition varied from CrossFit the training methodology. It created a friendly competition amongst those of us partaking, and helped keep the juices flowing for five weeks. Some firsts were made, boundaries pushed, and calluses torn. I truly enjoyed it.

PRISM CrossFit Coach Ryan Leander Texas

Since then, my enjoyment of the Open has waned, due largely to my competitive interests lying elsewhere. But for the CrossFitter at large, I used to wholeheartedly encourage an entry into the Open if for no other reason than to post scores and rib friends. But at 14.5, my opinion changed.


14.5 showed us all that’s great with competition CrossFit – the encouragement, the camaraderie, the community coming together to push every last athlete past the finish. 14.5 also showed us all that’s bad with competition CrossFit – if you’re not in the top tier of athletes, your body was brutalized, with some times being counted in DAYS, not minutes. The requirement to finish in order to post a score led to some bravery and stupidity. And it led me to not enjoy the Open any longer.

That is, until CrossFit announced that for 2015, there would be a scaled division.

Being a competitive athlete, I appreciated the scaled division as it would allow those who are less proficient in the movements to be able to post “respectable” scores. It’d help our members and the community at large. It’d stop the 14.5 madness. But then 15.1 was announced.

To say that I was dismayed at the movements listed is an understatement. Dave Castro took two movements and weights which I’d crush and made the bridge to those easy reps nearly impassable with 15 toes to bar. Gymnastics movement…my kryptonite. The kryptonite of MANY CrossFitters. As the first movement in a series of hell. The 15.1a portion didn’t even register…all I kept thinking about was the last time I’d done toes to bar for reps, and how my hands looked like I’d wearing razor-lined mittens due to the massive kip required for me to hit this movement.

Look, it’s not like I thought I was going to Regionals – it’d take a series of very unfortunate events to occur to about 10,000 people in the South Central Region order for that to be a possibility for me. But I DID want to at least post a score better than 30, and I definitely wanted to do so without sacrificing my hands, and at least two weeks of training, in the process.

Back and forth I went. I don’t WANT to go scaled…but I’m going to struggle hard, not have the intensity intended of this workout, and will most likely wreck my hands. I don’t WANT to go scaled…but I’m training for a strongman competition and have to keep my hands healthy, and I coach five classes/day and boy, that’d be tough with the skin ripped from my palms. I don’t WANT to go scaled…I NEED to go scaled.

I’m an owner, a coach, and a competitive athlete, and I’m doing the scaled division because it IS an option, it WILL allow me to maintain intensity, and it’ll allow me to continue along in my training. I look at the Open workouts as ANY OTHER WORKOUT. If the whiteboard has a bunch of handstand walks and ring dips, you’d better believe I’m scaling that because I know my body and limitations. If the whiteboard screams muscleups, my body screams scale. Why should the Open by any different? Because I laid out $20 and have my name on the web?


So then, WHY do the Open? Because it’s a great community-builder! Friendly rivalries between classes, family members, between boxes…remember, quantifiable information is only great when you have something to compare it to, and everybody needs a rabbit! Push yourselves, push your community, but have fun with it!

Approach the CrossFit Open as you would any other training session, and you’ll find it MUCH more enjoyable. And if you look at the WoD and KNOW you can tackle it Rx, with intensity, go for it! If you’re going to flop around for an extended period of time…well, you know what to do.

See you at the bar!

-Coach Ryan

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