Why I’m #InTheOpen: the Guevaras

Even though Jess and Patrick are still pretty new to the ~CrOssFiT UniVeRsE~, they’re still down to clown in The Open. When we asked them why they’re #intheopen, they responded separately but with basically the same answer because they are super spouses. Check it:   

“Because peer pressure.

But really, because of the community. We have loved getting to be a part of this weird group of people, and the FOMO of not going to Friday Night Lights was just too great! Patrick and I are still really new to Crossfit, so I have no idea what to expect from the Open— in my head it’s basically doing Murph once a week for a month. That sounds terrible. But I love this group! And even in our short time doing crossfit, I feel like I’ve done so much stuff I NEVER thought I’d be able to do. I’ve seen wonderful improvements in my strength and endurance and flexibility, and part of that is because I’ve had you guys around me, cheering me on through the workouts. So the unknown, daunting challenge of the Open seems much more doable because we’ll be surrounded by our Crossfit family. And in this kind of setting, gathering every week to cheer and push each other, the challenge of the Open seems worth it. Even if it is doing Murph once a week for a month*—  you guys are worth it!

*If the open is Murph every week, I 100% quit, but will be there very Friday night to cheer you guys on. -Jess”

Sidebar: Each week will not be Murph. You know, unless Dave Castro decides that it is. And then every week will unfortunately be Murph. But probably (hopefully) not. But also maybe.

“Why am I #InTheOpen? Honestly, the community. Everybody says the Open is a ton of fun and even though the workouts are terrible, we’re all struggling together. The people are what makes this box great. I’m looking forward to pushing myself and cheering on everybody else as they do something they didn’t think they could. I’m most excited about setting a baseline that I can try to beat next year and the year after that.” –Patrick

P.S. We are not sorry about the peer pressure.

IF YOU HAVE STILL NOT SIGNED UP FOR THE OPEN, GET ON IT. It’s going to be so fun and so great and so hard but so fun and so great. Games.crossfit.com

Why I’m #InTheOpen: the Lozanos

We all know Zach Lozano as Hroch’s younger, cooler arch nemesis. He’s been a member at Renew for a long time, and is definitely the one on the leaderboard that everybody loves to chase. Or roll their eyes in disbelief. It’s hard to say!! Zach’s no stranger to The Open, so you can bet yer butt he’ll be setting the tone for Hroch there too.

Zach’s wife, Andi, while a newcomer to the CrossFit community, is quickly climbing her way up the leaderboard — workout by workout. A yogi and mobility connoisseur, she’s bendier than we’ll ever be. And guess what? She’s signed up for her very first Open.

Read more on Zach and Andi’s “Why”:

“I am a terrible wordsmith, and honestly don’t know why I am doing the open. I guess peer pressure is effective.  I think Andi is writing something up though.”



“When the first announcement for The Open came, I, like many of us, immediately thought: “I’m not doing that.” I came up with every excuse on the planet:

I’ve only been doing CrossFit for 6 months.

I didn’t start CrossFit to compete.

I’m not strong enough.

I’m going to look like a fool compared to everyone else.

I can’t do *insert movement here*.

I don’t like drinking beer after I workout.

Blah, blah, blah.

But after all the negative self-talk, I gave myself a minute to think. I started CrossFit as a way to aid me in my yoga practice. During my yoga teacher training, I was about one month into my CrossFit journey, so I was basically sore 24/7. I got really frustrated when yoga teachers would queue a pose for “tight shoulders”, but my muscles were literally too tight to even get into the pose and too fatigued and sore to even hold it. It made yoga frustrating and not enjoyable.

So I let my body be the teacher instead, and I learned how to use yoga as way to make it feel better. It became more and more apparent to me that I wanted to bring yoga to the CrossFit community to 1) recover well, 2) increase mobility & body awareness, 3) build a fiery core!

I registered for The Open so I could essentially feel the pain, lol. I can make an educated guess on how to recover from a workout based on the muscles that were worked, but there is something to be said about feeling the fatigue myself. Feeling intimidated about registering for The Open is an understatement, but I’m a firm believer that you should never let fear be in driver’s seat. I’m #InTheOpen to be a better yoga instructor. I’m #InTheOpen to be a better CrossFitter. I’m #InTheOpen to be challenged, to push past mental limits, and to be a part of the best community in Austin.”


There you have it. Zach, you know you love competition. Andi, we are so freaking proud of you for joining us. You won’t regret it!

Why I’m #InTheOpen: Becca, Becky, and Becca

You’ve heard from the Flynns, you’ve heard from Russ, and now it’s time for all the ~Bex~ in our gym to band together in solidarity for The Open.

Sorry, that was dramatic.

Anyway, we tapped all the Rebeccas in our gym for why they’re #InTheOpen

Presenting: Becca Harris, better known as DJ LaRae, Becca Matimba, and Coach Becky! We almost didn’t have Matimba, but she was able to be coerced and we are so excited to see her move some weight! No holding back on those deadlifts (or literally anything) this time, Becca!

Why she’s #InTheOpen, ft. DJ LaRae

“First, It’s FUN! I love having all of us together! You get to hang with people from all the other classes that you don’t regularly get to see. Yes people are watching, but it’s also encouraging because people are cheering you on! And of course you get see people accomplish cool stuff like PR’s. And i have heard the music is pretty good too.

Second, it’s a good benchmark. You will most likely do something in the open that you have never done before – and you will try something you have never tried before – and you will remember it. I remember when Becky got her first bar muscle up, when Cara deadlifted 155 lots of times and 155 had been higher than her previous 1 rep max. It’s a good test of where you are actually at and it’s fun to celebrate!”

*Also we just got word that DJ LaRae will, in fact, be dropping sick beats for us during Friday Night Lights. Let’s rage. *air horn x4*

Why she’s #InTheOpen, ft. Becca Matimba

“I joined Crossfit a year ago. I would’ve laughed in your face if you said I’d be Olympic weightlifting, running 5Ks, learning about functional fitness and being apart of a crazy/supportive fitness community dedicated to excellence.

I joined the Open because honestly it scares me and every coach wouldn’t stop talking it. I’m fairly logical and always expressive so I weighed my pros and cons. Having parents that set the bar high and playing sports growing up instilled a high-esteem for winning, but also a fear of failure/humiliation. I don’t want to do something while still being a rookie, it warrants a lot of failure. Sounds depressing (it is) but I’m always internally analyzing the odds. But, fear isn’t something to let rule my life and it ain’t real. So I’m facing that false fear and just going to do my best, have some fun, because ultimately it’s about progress not perfection.

Also, granting full permission to remind and yell this at me mid-WOD when I want to quit and bolt out the door because it hurts.”

Why she’s #InTheOpen, ft. a very succinct Coach Becky

“I do the open every year to challenge myself physically and mentally in a way that is different from just an everyday workout. But my favorite part, and the reason I would tell people to do it, is because Friday Night Lights is a blast and hanging out and cheering each other on is a great way to build up the community in our gym!”

The Bex have spoken. Time to step up and sign up. Leggo!

The Open: In Like Flynn


Because we aren’t kidding about wanting every single available member of our gym to sign up for The Open, we’re gonna spam you from our blog, too. Every week (…ish) we’re gonna feature some folks talking about why they’re #InTheOpen. From coaches to noobs to long-time veterans. Everyone has their reason, and our hope is that their reasons may inspire those of you on the fence to go ahead and hop off on the fun side.

This week? The Flynns tell us why they’re #InTheOpen:

“I am 100% the type of athlete whom Becky Wickes loves to hate. I looooove doing the things I’m good at, and — if left to my own devices — I do what I can to avoid working on the things I’m not so good at.

It’s what makes me a really, really great coach.

Anyway, I emphasize “left to my own devices” because I discovered this nugget of information about myself early on in my CrossFit career. As such, I have to make a conscious effort to work on the stuff I suck at (or the ones I just don’t like). Because I know it makes me a more well-rounded CrossFit athlete. I force myself to go to the WODs I don’t want to go to (albeit I complain the entire time), and I make Becky do gymnasty-dominant workouts with me because she gives me grief if I slack. Forced accountabilibuddy!

The same rules apply to me and The Open. I know there will be movements I am not proficient at, but I also know that by putting myself in situations outside of my comfort zone I’m getting a little bit better with every workout. My pride keeps me from being the best I can be, and by registering for The Open (the scaled version, mind you) I can tell my pride to sit down and see what my body is capable of.”

– Sadie Flynn

“My first year of doing CrossFit, I didn’t register for The Open because I thought “Why would I pay more money to do a workout?” but I still attended the Friday Night Lights workouts to hang out/because Sadie made me. What I found was an incredibly energetic environment — full of friends cheering each other on and then immediately drinking beer. I was sold after one Friday Night Lights. In subsequent years I have (still somewhat begrudgingly) registered, worked out, hated the workout, but had fun talking about how terrible the workout was and drinking beer with all the friends as I watch the next heat suffer through it.”

– Gerry Flynn

Register for The Open, y’all. Just click here, give Greg Glassman $20, and let the good times roll.



Friday Night Lights: what and why

Not to be confused with Friday Night Lights, one of the greatest television dramas featuring love, loss, Texas Football, and Taylor Kitsch to ever grace your eyeballs. When it comes to CrossFit, Friday Night Lights is the single best part of The Open.

What is Friday Night Lights?

Well, first, if you are still like, “What’s the Open?” read this. Basically, every Thursday for 5 weeks, CrossFit HQ releases a workout. As Open competitors, we have until Monday at 5pm PT to do the workout however many times we want and submit our scores to “the man” (CF HQ aka Dave Castro aka Greg Glassman). But Friday Night Lights is our chance to complete this workout as a gym family.

How will it work?

Every Friday evening, the gym will be set up with whatever is needed for the workout. You will already be assigned to a heat, and another member or coach will be assigned to be your official judge. Their job is to count your reps and make sure they are each to standard. You will come in, warm-up, and compete when it’s time for your heat. You will most likely lay on the ground for a while afterwards, and then get up and cheer your head off for the next heat.

That sounds overwhelming. What’s so great about it?

Hands down, one of the best things about CrossFit Renew is our community. And Friday Night Lights is one of the biggest community-cultivating events of the entire year. Sure you’re participating in a worldwide event (nbd), but you’re doing it with your buds, pals, workout comrades, arch nemeses, and for some — significant others by your side.

CrossFit technically is more of an individual sport, but as a gym, we are a team. There will be cheering. There will be a DJ. There will be matching shirts. There will probably be food and beer if Hroch has anything to say about it. There is a buzz about this event that is like nothing you experience in class the rest of the year.

Has anything cool ever happened at Friday Night Lights?

Yes. Every year. Last year, Luke Voss was still decently new at CrossFit and was pretty nervous going into it. He ended up CRUSHING every workout. It was unreal. And also Hroch accidentally turned the music and clock off while he was still working out but we’ve apologized, ok? Also! Val Harmon had never done a pullup and freaking finished all of them in one of the workouts.  AND two years ago, coach Becky had never done a bar muscle up and ended up getting them in the middle of a grueling workout.

I’m telling you, the energy and encouragement and adrenaline does crazy things to people. You just become the Hulk for 20 minutes and end up getting skills you’ve never done before, lifting more than you have in the past, or just exceed your own expectations by a landslide.

I am so excited to see who does what this year. Yes, it’s great to do CrossFit to stay active, but let’s put our competition stringers on and see what we’ve got in the tank. Every class is a training session, and every single one of your are physically able to participate in The Open.

Registrations starts Thursday, January 11th. Sign up here!  

And just like that, the Open is closed.


The 2017 CrossFit Open is finished. In a unanimous sigh of relief; we are no longer at the mercy of Dave Castro. IMO, I thought 17.5 was the worst one. So bad that I think Dave’s brother, Ronnie, sums up all of our feelings in this video.

Thrusters and double unders are the stuff of nightmares, man. Programming 10 rounds of 9 thrusters (that’s ninety thrusters in case you were wondering. 90. 9-0.) leaves us sucking air after approximately the 2nd round. And THEN, tossing in 35 of potentially one of the most frustrating skills in all the CrossFit land can be (read: was) downright defeating.

HOWEVER, from what I heard (because vacation), everyone at Renew not only rose to the challenge, but crushed it. Coach Becky even wrote a sentimental insta post about it. That’s how you know it’s real. I would link it here, but I’m scared of her.

This is where I leave you:

  1. Everyone beat the time cap by a landslide. I think that’s an accomplishment in and of itself.
  2. Becky did all 10 sets of the thrusters UNBROKEN like the superhuman she is. I still can’t get over that. She was also really nervous about the double unders, but from what she said, they went better than she anticipated!
  3. Brian Lange went to happy hour before competing and finished in 11:31 scaled. Maybe that’s the key to a successful workout? Jury’s still out.
  4. Shannon and Val went sub 10:00 scaled! Sub 10:00!! Reminder: 90 thrusters. Even a PVC pipe would be miserable.
  5. Cara looked at Hroch halfway through the workout and said, “I will die from this.” She finished in 21:28 Rx and is, in fact, still carrying a pulse.
  6. Charles thought it was only 9 rounds, so after his 9th set of double unders, he threw his rope and laid on the ground. Jon had to break the news that he wasn’t actually done, and Charles continued to lay on the ground for about another minute. He eventually finished at 26:46 RX.
  7. Hroch finished first in our gym, at 10:27 RX with Matt Williamson hot on his tails at 13:08 RX. Kbye see you both at Regionals, probably.

And now, the moment you’ve long been waiting for… THE FINAL LEADERBOARD:



End of The Open shoutouts:

  1. I want to give a huge thank you to Becca Harris for DJing and keeping the hype alive throughout the nights!
  2. Also, mega thank you to all the members who helped judge! Shannon jumped right on it every week! Also, Andrew, Jess, and Jon were there for just about every time I needed a last minute judge and were more than willing. Love and blessings to you all.

Congratulations and GREAT JOB to everyone who participated in The Open this year! I know I haven’t been around Renew for as long as most of you, but it truly was an honor to compete alongside all of you. I loved seeing everyone jump in with both feet and tackle these workouts.

Also, thank you for sticking around after your heats and cheering everyone else on! I love when the morning and evening crews collide; coming together as the little amazing community we are. I greatly enjoyed meeting all the new faces, high fiving old faces, and sucking wind alongside both.

Let’s keep this community bonding streak rolling with the Community WOD this Saturday from 10-11ish! Get some R&R today and tomorrow, and I’ll see you guys on Saturday!