By Coach Erin
At the heart of every CrossFit Open is the affiliate. It’s where memories are made on Friday nights for the three week test, as athletes gather to compete against themselves, and many many others across the globe.
Friday Night Lights is a term most known from football, but in the CrossFit world, it’s a term coined due to the weekly Friday gatherings to complete that week’s open workout, which are released on Thursdays. And what better place to get that workout done than in a box with all your friends cheering you on.
For many affiliates, there may be a few members who have a great shot at making quarter finals, but, the true beauty in all this is to see those first timers, those getting their first muscle up or double under with a large group of their fellow athletes cheering them on the whole way through.
CrossFit in recent years has done a great job of bringing the Open back to the affiliates. There’s been incentives released to get higher sign ups per affiliate, and codes or discounts for different products. Another fun thing they do is take the Open announcements directly to boxes and instead of just featuring Games athletes, they’ve used those local athletes to show us the workout. In the 2022 Open, they did a live virtual competition between Annie Thorisdottir’s CrossFit Reykjavik team against CrossFit Hendersonville, an affiliate with over 300 members located in Hendersonville, TN.
The Open is only three weeks long, then it’s done for a year. In terms of its impact on the community, that lasts forever. You get the chance to meet people in other classes, you get a chance to push yourself out of your comfort zone, and this is, for most of us, the only opportunity to compete alongside Tia-Clair Toomey, Justin Medeiros, and those type athletes we see on TV. There’s a bit of magic of knowing you’re completing the same workout at the same time.
As a coach and a CrossFit athlete, I encourage you all to come out each Friday night and soak up the atmosphere. Hopefully you’ll plan on working out but even if you don’t, just enjoy being around the sport and like minded individuals. That’s truly the best part. It’s all of you that make up the community.
See you on Friday nights!