This one is going to ramble. You’ve been warned.

In short, I have enjoyed the Open season. This time around, my third, it has been a cool adventure. There were times when I quesioned my judgement for shelling out $20 ($25? I’m not even sure) to see my name online on the Crossfit Leaderboard. Seems a bit wasteful. Hell, that’s two six-packs of quality beer right there. Still, it has value.

Over the past five weeks, I got to spend time with friends near and far going through the process and sharing the experience. We’ve shared hopes and goals, fears, strategies, victories, disappointments and frustrations either in the box or online. Anything that allows me to connect with people is worth the price of admission.

Also, I got to spend quality time with my friend and Open partner (three years running now). While he didn’t register due to some nagging injuries, it was still great to spend the time with him and grind through the WODs as best we could. Get well, Einar. We’ve still got to get a team competition or two on our calendar for the upcoming year!

I challenged myself at new levels. With 15.4 I made a run at the Rx workout that included handstand push ups. I was hoping to be another one of people who could brag online, “I got my first handstand push ups in the Open.” It didn’t happen, but that’s ok. I’m pleased I took the shot at it and satisfied with my score when I tested the scaled version later.

You Can’t Measure Happiness…or can you.

They say that you can’t measure happiness. I’m going to respectfully disagree and I offer the following as evidence.
It is impossible for me to reflect on this season in a vaccuum. I have to look at it compared to last year. If you’re inclined, you can check out any or all of my posts on Open Season 2014 at the links below. Fair warning, they’re not real pleasant.

Open 14 WOD Posts


Open Attitude Summary: for all of those folks who felt this year’s Open gave lip service to the concept of all-inclusive, I was right there last March, so I feel ya.

You’ll notice there’s no link for 14.1. Apparently it pissed me off so much that I didn’t even write about it!

Last year our family had so many huge potentially life changing ‘what if’ questions looming over us. Mom went through heart and brain surgery in a 30 day window over the course of March, right in the heart of Open season. While you do your best to go about life as business as usual, there’s no denying that it impacted everything. The questions, the uncertainty and insecurities of everything associated with her health just bled over into every other aspcect of our lives, including the gym. There were so many days I questioned even going. I thought I should be somewhere else doing something else to help my parents and family. Still I went, and to a degree, it kept me grounded.

This year, it’s a whole different ball game. Mom is healthy. The entire family is healthy. Jobs are good, kids are great. Marriage is fabulous. All the pieces are right where it feels like they ought to be. Life is good and I am happy. So how did that impact the Open? Check this out.

Per the Crossfit Games leaderboard there were 8,160 men ages 40-44 registered worldwide in 2014. I finished in 5,393 place. If my arithmetic is correct, that’s just outside the 66% mark. So two thirds of the men registered performed better than I did.

This year, there were 17,340 men registered worldwide in the same age group. I came in 3,170! Again, assuming my math is right, and that is subject to scrutiny, I placed inside the top 20% (18% actually)! That sounds to me like progress.

Now a couple token caveats.

-) I’m looking at all participants registered. I’m not taking the time to work out the percentages for only those who submitted scores for all 5 WODs. But I’m applying that consistently across both years.

-) Scaled: I scaled two events this year. I have no idea how or IF the leaderboard accounts for scaled entries. Again, I’m presuming that HQ has factored that in as they establish rank positions, so I’m taking the ranking at face value. I’m guessing that anyone who scaled only one or no events is automatically placed ahead of me, but I didn’t take the time to figure it out.

What do I make of that? Simply that one can not underestimate or undervalue the importance of approaching life from a position of confidence and positivity. Life is good. I’m comfortable in what I’m doing in every aspect of my life and I feel like that’s reflected in the scores. Granted there are lots of variables at play that impact my overall score. Am I fitter than a year ago? Man, I hope so, but 50%? Nah. My benchmark WODs are not that much better. I haven’t made gains on any of my lifts on that kind of magnitude since last year’s Open. I’m better, but not that much better.

Is the athlete pool different from a year ago? Of course. Are the WODs different and potentially more in my favor this year? Possibly. Are all of those things so substantially different that they could add up to a 48% gain on the leaderboard? I don’t believe that. The biggest difference between 2014 and 2015 is my head space. Life is very very good right now and for that I’m extremely grateful and I feel it’s reflected in my performance.

So to the folks who would say, “you can’t measure happiness,” I would answer, “well, it depends on the metrics you use.”