Now you’ve started your first or 10th Open!

You will never forget that feeling. You’ll never feel it any other time. That mixture of nerves, awkwardness and the unknown, the excitement, the adrenaline, the fear, the peer pressure to join in the organised fun.

Competitions will come and go but the open will be the ever elusive icing on the cake. Its the one that matters. People who never compete, do the open. Its the truest test of you! No other event will ever compare.

The full day of nerves beforehand, will I RX or scale? Will I die if I RX or live to see the next wod?! Should I go easy on myself and scale, I dont really know what to expect, lets not die. Should I ask the coach? What should I ask him? Will he make me RX. What if he makes me RX And I die?!

So many questions and one very simple answer. Do you, boo.

Do you, always.

You arrive at the gym and you barely recognise the place. Coach Jack welcomes you as you venture inside . Its early but the place is already buzzing. What is this place? Where did all these people come from?! These surroundings are warping your senses. What is going on! You slowly start to see people you know, the faces becomes more familiar, you find a friend or 10 and the chats loosen out the nerves a little. You stand back and just take it all in. This place is amazing. Time to start warming up.

What is this awkwardness though?!! You’re in the place you’re more at home in than anywhere else and yet you suddenly forget how to warm up and become a newbie again! Until Coach Gillian comes along and mammies you into your stride. You’re off like a bullet, its going to be the best warm up ever. You are going to get so warm that you consider RX’ing again. Until you realise… Theres a whole hour until your heat… cold down, warm up, you’ll inevitably start the wod colder cos you chatted too long!

Pre wod pee anyone or maybe two?! Its no ordinary day after all! And that look as you try to creep back but Coach Christopher expected you back at least 10 seconds earlier cos you’re now holding up the heat. He starts the clock as you get your ass back to your spot. He knows you’ll make it in time. Hes a cute one, that one.

10 second countdown! 3-2-1 – cue the ultimate rush of adrenaline that pushes you off far too quickly despite Coach Jamie giving you the talk before the wod!

It’s just a wod

But its not. It’s THE wod, the first wod, the one you’ve been waiting and training for. It’s your GO time. You’re out there, BLASTING through reps at no mans pace! This is not going to end well.

Hold it together, settle yourself, talk yourself back to your pace and stay there! Talk to yourself, hurry yourself up, slow yourself down. Find your breath and go.

Can we take a minute here for those judges, much love!. There’s always that one judge, you might not have had him or her yet but there is a perfect judge out there for everyone. They are with you in the cave, pulling you out of the depths as you gasp for air. If you haven’t felt that connection yet, wait for it. You work, they count, they breathe, you die, you hear their voice but you see nothing only the bar or the floor. But it’s team work. It happens every year. You won’t forget them.

And it’s done.

You didn’t die, well maybe a little but you didnt expect it to be roses.

Theres clapping and fist bumps as your breath rings loud in your chest and your ears buzz with the noise you didnt notice building until it was so loud, louder than your breathing. You’re recovering on the ground, as your tongue turns a metallic taste of gross as you start to experience your first bout of Fran lung  but people are clapping for you, telling you how awesome you are. Cos you are, you are an awesome human and you made it out alive!

You peel yourself off the floor, the legs start to come back to life. You gotta do it, you gotta get to that cake table for Brid Phelan’s porridge cake, sorry lads but it’s an institution and no open is complete without it and nothing will ever compare!

You forget. The euphoria and analysis of performances start and theres fun and laughing and sweaty hugs and cake and Cadburys. Is this heaven? Did I actually die in that wod?!

But you do forget, you forget the pain, the metal taste in your mouth, the nerves, the breathlessness. And you remember the cheers and successes, both yours and your mates.

You know you’ve forgotten when you start to wonder what next week will bring

The night is over

Its time for some leaderboarding until 20.2!