A Decade in The Open

Friday, March 3, 2024 marked the beginning of our tenth CrossFit Spur Intramural Open. CrossFit Spur members look forward to the intramural open the same way school children (and teachers) look forward to their holiday break.

It’s a time when the entire community comes together on Friday night to workout, relax, meet other members, cheer on their peers, grab a drink, a snack and socialize.

Each of the three CrossFit Open workouts begin on Thursday at 3pm with a live workout announcement. Anxiety, nervousness and excitement follow for the next 26 hours as intramural participants wait for “3, 2, 1, GO!” to signal the start of their heat.

Sounds terrible, right?

It’s a tough thing to explain unless you’ve had the experience of participation, but I’ll do my best to describe what the Intramural Open means to those who sign up every year.

Before the existence of CrossFit Spur I had already participated in two CrossFit Open seasons. As someone new to the sport of CrossFit I had no idea what The Open was or why anyone would want to participate but, like most others I gave in to peer pressure.

Technically The CrossFit Open is the official start to the CrossFit Games season. The online competition casts a net world wide to find the fittest men and women to advance to quarterfinals, then semifinals and finally to The CrossFit Games.

Unless your goal is to make it to the CrossFit Games why would anyone want to participate?

After my first CrossFit Open, I quickly realized it has very little to do with making it to the CrossFit Games and everything to do with community.

When I opened Spur in 2014 I knew I wanted to get as many people as possible to sign up for The Open. Convincing people to sign up for a qualifying event that they have almost no chance of advancing past is a tough sales pitch to make. I needed to sell people on the aspects of The Open that aren’t so easy to see. So in true CrossFit fashion I decided to take something that’s difficult and terrifying to and make it fun.

The Intramural Open was an idea that I stole from another CrossFit box and modified with a few of my own ideas. Everyone loves competition, even if they say they aren’t competitive. And for most people ‘who can have the most fun’ is a far better selling point than ‘who can workout the fastest’.

I eliminated all of the performance based scoring criteria and created my own effort based scoring system. I want to reward people for having the courage to sign up, show up and put forth their best effort no matter the outcome. Things like team uniforms, props, bringing friends and family, cheering for others and enjoying fitness earn more points than having the top score.

While we still take the workouts seriously, the entire event is surrounded in community support and enjoyment.

Elite level athletic performances are no doubt fun to watch, but they are nowhere near as impressive or exciting as someone getting their first pull up, setting a new personal record or finishing a workout they didn’t think they could.

That’s where the true spirit of the CrossFit Open lies, and if you’d like to see for yourself stop in on Friday night.

CrossFit Open 24.2 – Friday, March 8 – 5:45pm
CrossFit Open 24.3 – Friday March 15 – 5:45pm
Spur Open 24.4 (unofficial team workout) – Friday March 22 – 5:45pm