Dave Castro Doesn’t Define You


Ah… it’s that time of year. For the past 4 weeks and with 1 to go, CrossFitters across the world (myself included) have been jumping through hoop after hoop set by none other than the Ring Master himself, THE Dave Castro.

2015 is my 3rd year participating in the CrossFit Open. It took until this year to finally get the dependable AV technology to watch the Open WOD announcements from the comfort of my own home on my TELEVISION… not my phone, iPad or laptop.


Anyhow, the Open is a great exercise in observing the different behaviors and attitudes that people develop over 5 weeks. I’ve seen people who were so serious about the Open going into it, pull a complete 180 and say in all seriousness “f*ck this, the Open is so stupid” after not getting a score they’d hoped for. Others, who aren’t normally comfortable in a competitive environment and tend to fly under the radar, step up and shine.

So you got no-repped for not touching the bar on all your T2B in 15.1. Missed a C&J PR attempt as the clock expired.

Maybe your shoulder mobility is so terrible that you’re getting the height but couldn’t get a score due to the fact that you couldn’t touch your chest to the bar in 15.2. Perhaps you really suck at squatting to depth.

Everyone and their mother freaked the you-know-what out when Muscle Ups were announced as the first move in 15.3. While it’s a must-have for competitive and sponsored athletes, the MUP is the long term dream of many a recreational CrossFitter.

Then came 15.4. The AbMat(s) you’re used to putting under your head to soften the thud during a usual WOD? GONE. Now, with the line on the wall, how many HSPUs do you truly have in you?

FUN FACT: Dave Castro is not personally out to make YOU, reader, YOU RIGHT THERE READING THIS RIGHT NOW, miserable. The Open is about identifying weaknesses, to weed out the best of the best, as the CrossFit Games season progresses.

It’s up to you what to do with both the announcements and your results. You can pout in the corner that one of your WOD buddies got more HSPUs in 15.4 than you when you normally beat her on the daily. You can troll comments sections online and lash out on HQ for decimating the field because you can’t do MUPs. We all react differently.

My approach? To take my score, no matter what it is, as valuable feedback on what movements are my strongest, and which need more work than I thought.

Perfect example: 2 years ago, in 13.3, I was still relatively new to CrossFit. I went through my 150 wall balls, ripped through the 90 DUs and still had 3 minutes on the clock to complete as many MUPs as possible. I couldn’t (nor did I expect to be able to) do a single one.

Fast forward 2 years to 15.3. On Friday, I’d hopped up on the rings and kipped around in a true crapshoot hoping for a miracle, but it all ended up in the goose egg that I expected. I scaled the WOD on Sunday morning, and my legs were sore for 3 days after. Still got a killer workout.

You’d think in 2 years I could have figured out how to get a MUP by now. Truth is, it’s a skill that I work on next to never. So, did I really have a leg to stand on if I chose to let the Rx standards upset me? No. My pulling strength is well below average and my shoulder mobility is nonexistent. Pair that with JUST being able to get my first legit unassisted ring dip to proper depth in the last few weeks and I knew I wasn’t playing with a full deck.

Am I angry that the Open included a movement that I couldn’t do right out of the gate? No. But I’m aware of something that I need to work on. Not just “let’s do some drills for a week or 2 in February”. I mean, hang some rings in your house and do ring row, dip & strength progressions 3+ times a week for MONTHS ON END before moving on to the rings.

As you head into this final weekend with one WOD left, go into it with your head held high. We had some seriously crazy workouts thrown at us this year. Surely, we all have our bright spots, and a few sore spots too. Take the results for what they are, and commit to work on where you feel you fell short in the future, instead of not even bothering to do a WOD or submit your score. Can’t use it as a metric for next time unless the bar is set somewhere.

We all have goals, and it’s frustrating to fall short when it’s on HQ’s timeline, with a big shiny leaderboard to play around on. However… Dave Castro doesn’t define you. The hard work you put in at the box the other 47 weeks of the year does.

Look back on how many PRs you’ve set in the past 365 days and be proud.

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