What you will learn about me is that I'm highly competitive with myself and against other people. Whether it's Scrabble, Apples To Apples, Fantasy Baseball or Running, I'm out to always improve and do my absolute best. I am a family person/God first, fitness and nutrition coach second and the rest of my hobbies etc. kind of guy 3rd. One of my interests so happens to be Crossfit.
The Crossfit Open begins Friday and I will be participating for the 3rd year in a row. Thousands upon thousands of people (male and female) will do one workout a week for 5 week, post a score and have fun doing it. For some (like myself), this is a test of your fitness levels and shows how far you've come over the last year. It's a recreational event for me, for some who are extremely skilled: there is an opportunity to move into the regional portion and potentially earn a berth to the Crossfit Games as an individual or 6 person mixed gender team made up of your gym mates. To achieve those heights, you have to workout 5-6 days a week, 3-5 hours a day and make it a lifestyle. Eat perfectly, have a planned schedule, no drinking alcohol(during the games season) and obviously have the prerequisite skill, endurance and mental fortitude to make it that far. I workout 5 days a week 1.5 to 2 hours a day, eat fairly well and am above average in skill for a person who does Crossfit. However, I don't have the time to devote my life to it or possess the necessary skills to make it that far without sacrifices. Sacrifices which I honestly won't make due to my business, relationships and overall mental being. If I truly wanted to devote my time and energy to it, I still don't think I would have enough talent and drive to make it that far. You must be a Michael Jordan, Picasso/Einstein type talent with a tremendous work ethic to make it to the games.
Here's my reality, I'm 36 years old with good strength and decent aerobic capacity for someone my height and weight. With the Crossfit Headquarters announcing a 35-39 year old Masters division this year, I'm anxious to see where I stack up amongst this group. My goal is to be in the top 15% in the World for this age group, I would say the top 1-2% will move forward to the regional portion, the best 30 people in that group will go to the Games. In the coming blogs to follow, I will explain the workout schemes, movements and scoring to clarify how The Crossfit Open is broken down. I will be participating in these workouts in Minneapolis, Minnesota at Crossfit Kingfield. Kingfield is a box(gym) which is an affiliate of Crossfit. We have approximately 60 athletes doing these workouts, some are able to do the prescribed workout, other's will do a scaled down version to suit their skill levels. Either way, the Community aspect is what Crossfit symbolizes and there is a tremendous amount of encouragement for everyone to participate and succeed.
What I have done over the course of the last 12 months was for the most part: maintain my strength, Improve my gymnastics ability (handstand pushups, handstand walking, bar and ring muscle ups etc.), olympic lifting and try to maintain my aerobic endurance. I'm not as strong in the upper half of my body, I'm stronger in my legs and mentally stronger than last year. I'm not injured for once(knock on wood), I have been eating pretty much the same (more vegetables over the last month but still eating burgers and pizza on occasion) and my core is still fairly strong. I'm not where i would like to be, yet I can't complain at all considering I haven't made my training a complete priority this year. Launching a business and improving relationships have been my top tasks on my plate. I still have exhibited the same core values and disciplines I have over the last 15 years of my life. 1 gram of protein per pound of my bodyweight, complex carbohydrates (oatmeal, quinoa, potatoes and a ton of vegetables) and healthy fats mixed in with cardiovascular and strength training. Recently I've been eating more complex carbs to enhance my glycogen stores and have the necessary energy to be able to perform at my highest capability. Focusing less on my physical appearance (I still have 6 pack abdominal features) and more on the performance aspect.
A LOT of training goes into the Open and I know this will be a 5 week test at most for me. I'm nowhere near good enough to make the Regional portion of the Games. My ultimate goal this year is to either compete as an individual or as part of a 3 person qualifying team at the Granite Games in September. Those games take place in my home state, St Cloud Minnesota, about an hour away from where I live. The field for that event will be about 90% less then the Crossfit games signup. I believe that I can qualify for a top 15-20 spot on a Masters team, especially if my teammates have a superior skill level to myself. here's hoping I can find 2 guys who can elevate me to their levels so we can accomplish big things!
Most of the men at my box who are really skilled are in the 24-32 year old age range. Which means I will have to look elsewhere for teammates. It also makes me quite proud that I can keep up with some talented athletes who are 4-12 years younger than me on a daily basis! At Kingfield, I'm one of the more skilled people and take the open fairly seriously yet know not to kid myself in thinking It's an "all or nothing" event for me. We are all a community, having fun and showing off our skill; enjoying the Open for the spectacle it is across the Globe.
In closing, I'll be sharing more of my experiences the next 5 weeks. The ups and downs, camaraderie, mental and physical games I have to go through from until the end of March. 1 workout a week for 5 weeks, all for fun and also to show where I stack up against the rest in my age level across the World. This will be an intriguing 5 weeks and I plan to elaborate upon what it's like to do these Open workouts and also watching my fellow peers move swiftly through the 2017 Crossfit Open! Buckle up and enjoy the next 40 days, it's going to be QUITE the roller coaster.
My name is Jesse Velasquez and I'm a fitness coach in Minneapolis, Minnesota. If you'd like to explore the Crossfit World a bit more, check out www.crossfitkingfield.com. Browse my website for all of your general fitness and nutrition needs. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @jcvwellness. Email me or search the website if you have inquiries about pricing, customized programming or any other fitness questions!