By Coach Nicole Di Fabio

The 2018 CrossFit Open is behind us; maybe you took part and realized you felt exhilarated by competing against yourself (and others), or maybe you sat it out in fear that you just weren’t good enough yet to participate. If you’re in either of these categories and are inspired or intrigued by the idea of competing, there are plenty of opportunities for you do to so pre- and post-Open season. Here are things that will help you to get over that hurdle.

1. Find the competition and division that’s right for you
There are competitions curated specifically for first-time competitors (and/or non fire breather types). Each competition has set standards that will help you to choose a division that best aligns with your current skill and comfort level. Divisions can include (depending on the competition) Rx, scaled, and master categories, and some organizers will even throw in a “party” category so you can get the competitive camaraderie without worrying about the leaderboard.

2. Pick your team
Many competitions are in teams of 2, 3, or 4 (although there are plenty of solo opportunities). Find teammates who are supportive and want to have a good time. If you also want to have a competitive edge, create a team that’s well-rounded. If you’re a good rower but not a strong lifter, find someone who might thrive under heavy-ish loads knowing that you can help to carry the team with your endurance efforts.

3. Don’t participate while injured
Competition days are often very long and workouts are tough, even if you’re participating in your desired division. So, if you go to your daily group classes and participate while injured, don’t assume you can pull of a safe performance under competitive conditions. Listen to your body, heal, and then reconsider signing up.

4. Know the movements
Competition standards vary greatly, so don’t assume that scaled in one completion will look the same in others. Know the movements and the weights you can move around comfortably before settling for any one competition or division. For example, some competitions might set pull-ups as a standard for the scaled division while others might ask that you’re proficient in knees-to-cheat instead.

5. Bring your friends and family
There’s nothing better than a cheering squad and awesome support. There’s so much excitement on competition days, and it feels great to share that with people who feel invested in your endeavors to explore the world of CrossFit competitions. Bonus: they’ll probably be able to capture some really Insta-worthy photos.

6. Don’t take it too seriously
True, you’re there to compete, but you’re also there for a bit of fun, and maybe even some personal growth. Celebrate the fact that in showing up to class each week, prepping mentally and physically for a new challenge, and participating in a competitive setting, you’re ready achieving way more than most. Give it your all, but whether you come in first or last, enjoy the accomplishment.

Festivus Games comes around roughly 2-3 times per year (next in October) and could be a great competition to start with.

You can also look for these competitions this Fall:

O.C. Battle at the Beach
Battle of the Ages