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Why I compete in the CrossFit Open

Michelle Dukowski
March 5, 2021

Let me start by saying that I am not competing in the Open because I have any hope of winning or doing particularly well by any external measure. I will certainly not place in the top 10 or even close to the top 100. I might adapt movements or skip them all together because I am still working through injuries. 


But I am competing anyway. And I can’t wait! 


The CrossFit Open is so much more than a three-week competition (although it’s definitely that as well). It is the entire process. It's watching the announcement and trying to guess the workouts, followed by equal levels of excitement and anxiety because I know how hard it will feel. It is showing up with my community and doing it together. 


The Open shows us we are so much stronger than we think, that we are capable of so much more. 


I love the Open because it pushes me to challenge myself beyond my normal range. Doing the workout that everyone around the world is doing—even if I end up doing it at home, in my second bedroom, alone at 5am—brings a level of give-a-f*ck that I normally don’t tap into. Because I know that my score matters, really matters! 


But it’s even bigger than that. I love watching seasoned athletes workout alongside those  tackling it for the first time, and then they cheer on the new athletes who are giving it their best shot. 


It’s about seeing people who thought they couldn’t do it come out and try their hardest. Then they become cheerleaders for friends who also thought they might fail. We become more than we were when we began the workout. And we leave as better people because of it. 


For me, the Open is much more than a weekly test of fitness. The Open is a chance to give to our community more than we take for ourselves, to cheer on our friends, and show up for each other when we need it the most.  I am proud to be part of a community that has not let this tough year dictate how they show up.


The Open shows us what we are capable of—that it’s okay to push outside our comfort zone, knowing that this is where growth happens, and that through everything that has happened we are a community striving for a better tomorrow. 



Seizing the Day


The Open is a chance for something more, and that is why we do it. Because it is our opportunity to push our limits, to walk out of the gym (or living room) stronger than when we walked in. We know that we saw the challenge and faced it head on. 


We show up, do something uncomfortable, and because of that we know that we can embrace the rest of our day with courage. How you show up to your workout, just like how you show up to your day, is your choice—and the Open is our chance to make the choice to push for something more. 


This year has been anything but normal, and every day that you enter the ring you make a choice to be better. You are choosing to take control of the things you have control over, to let go of the things you don’t, and to leave it all on the table knowing that you gave it your best. 


And that is why I do the Open. Because how I show up to this challenge is how I show up to it all. Ready to be uncomfortable, ready for the possibility that I will lose, ready to put everything   into something where the outcome is uncertain. Because at the end of the day I know I did my best. And for me, that will always be enough. 


Learn More About the Author
Michelle Dukowski
Coach & Co-Founder
Having spent most of her life as a competitive soccer player, finding her way into the professional fitness industry seemed a natural fit for Michelle.
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