[/caption] One down and four to go. There were a host of great performances over the last four days, but what I’m happiest about is the number of people who participated and the support the competitors received from all our members. We had 17 people compete in 2012. This year, we have more than 40, and we’re adding a host of names to The Order of the Jolly Roger. I’m very proud of everyone who decided to register and be a part of five weeks of total fitness chaos. It’s not an easy thing to do, and there were definitely some nervous people waiting for their heats to start. That’s normal and OK. I was nervous too—when I did the workout and when I watched all my friends do it. A few nerves are to be expected, but really, we’re just doing another workout, and it’s just another class. Now that the first one is done, things should get easier in the next weeks. We’re all old pros now. There were certainly some impressive performances over the first week. We managed to start off the competition with a great team score, but there were many more great moments beyond that one aspect of the Open. It was fantastic to see everyone who came out to watch and cheer; the support is greatly appreciated. I was very happy to have Aaron kick off Friday night with a single burpee, just so he could be part of the team despite his injury. I was also lucky enough to judge several athletes who managed substantial PRs, and I saw some very determined performances in the gym. Though I was judging at the time and didn’t see much of his lifting at 135, Kurtis deserves special note for displaying excellent form on the bar with a very nice full squat snatch. In the long run, moving well is more important than moving fast. During the Open, of course, you have to move pretty quickly and there are some form breaks, but we always strive to move well. Once the Open is over and the clock stops, it’s going to be time to focus on form and perfect mechanics in training. If a PR of 100 or 165 went up a little rough in the Open this year, we’re going to make 120 or 185 go up beautifully next year. It’s important to remember that training is not the test. The Open is the test, and so we’re pushing very hard right now. But once we’re back in training mode, it’s important to fix things and get better, and sometimes that means stepping back from a PR to work on form. We’re going to do that, because you can only press out a snatch to a certain weight, and if you want the big lifts, you need excellent mechanics. If you doubt this, talk to Brett. He invested about two years drilling mechanics at light weight, and he was rewarded with a 300-lb. clean at FrostFit. That’s one of the best things about competition: it pushes you just a little further, and sometimes a little pressure is just what’s needed. And that’s where the nerves come in. When you feel nervous, you have two choices: you can become afraid and let worry take over, or you can accept the butterflies and understand that they’re there to signal the possibility of something great to come. When 13.2 rolls around, choose the latter option and do something great.  


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