So…THAT just happened.

I know many of you have been eagerly anticipating the post with the final results for this Year’s Main Event. I apologize for the delay…and for the fact that you’ll have to wait just a few minutes longer. Don’t worry, they’re done…it’s just that to get to them, you’ll have to humor the Grand Poobah-Rear-Admiral of the Main Event one last time this season…and read the entirety of this blog post before you can retrieve them.

It’s not a coincidence that it took me so long to post these results, and draft this write-up. Was I busy? Sure! Ridiculously so, in fact! But then again, when am I not ridiculously busy…? No, the truth is that I’ve been somewhat reticent to post the final results because, well…that means that this year’s Main Event will be over…and having as much fun as I did…I’m not quite sure that I’m ready for that to be the case.

For those of you who know me well, you understand how profound a statement this is. For those of you that don’t…well…it’s time I let you in on a dirty-little secret. Truth-be-told…I was not looking forward to the Open this year. The reasons are many, but can best be summarized as follows: As CrossFit has grown, so has the divergence between the Sport of CrossFit, and the training methodology identified as CrossFit. Over the course of the last 4-5 years, the former has grown into a full-fledged sporting enterprise, complete with corporate sponsors, professional athletes, and internationally-televised events. Accordingly (and perhaps unintentionally) the latter began to reflect the developments of the former. The training methodology that originally sought to “enhance work capacity across a broad range of modalities and time domains” (CrossFit speak for “deliver elite fitness for everyday activities”) instead transformed into the training platform of choice for those hoping to compete in the Sport of CrossFit, and ultimately vie for the title of the “Fittest on Earth”.

Both an athlete and a fan, I don’t necessarily begrudge such developments. If anything, I applaud them. I love the fact that individuals who’re willing to commit themselves to the sport of CrossFit now have a means (and reason) to do so. I love the fact that an activity that I love sharing with people is now a commercially viable enterprise. And yes, I love watching fellow Vermonter Mat Fraser whup-up on bronzed athletes twice his size. That said, I’m not in a position where I can look at these developments exclusively through the lens of a fan. A small business owner committed to helping hundreds of athletes achieve their personal fitness and wellness goals, I have other responsibilities that require me to look at these developments differently. Accordingly, I’ve had a difficult time reconciling what’s been happening within the Sport of CrossFit with the needs of my business, clients, friends, and family. The fact is, the training methodology that prepares one for the Sport of CrossFit doesn’t also effectively deliver on the promise of a broad, accessible, and adaptable base of elite fitness. Rather, it prepares one for the Sport of CrossFit. Period, stop. Arguing otherwise is like making the argument that heavy weightlifting is the best way to prepare for an ultra-marathon. Could one conceivably help with the other? Sure. But that doesn’t mean that your training plan should consist of more weightlifting than running. Even individuals who want to train for the sport of CrossFit need to do so in ways that are appropriate for them, not a 22 year-old CrossFit superstar. Thus we employ a modified adaptation of the CrossFit training methodology – one that delivers on the original promise (to deliver an elite, broad, adaptable base of fitness), seemingly at the expense of the ‘Sport’ side of things.

For me personally, the Open has historically been the one time each year where these divergences all come to a head, and cause hugh-e-normous amounts of stress. Don’t get me wrong – all of our previous Open experiences have been memorable and fun. I’ll never forget Jackie’s first T2B, Smurf’s 13.5 Performance, or the hundreds of other firsts, PR’s, and achievements that previous year’s Open’s brought. But for reasons I can’t quite explain, no matter how amazing we’d all do, the Open always seemed to be an event that left us all looking at what we weren’t…rather than an event that celebrated who we were, and where we were at.

All that changed this year.

The Main Event completely transformed my perspective on the Open, and our community’s role in it. Over the course of the last 5 weeks, I’ve watched everyone – and I mean EVERYONE – who participated in the Main Event shine in ways that I never would’ve imagined possible in a traditional CrossFit Open Environment. Were amazing PR’s set, and Gym-Firsts achieved? Absolutely. To briefly name a few, Alena Dubois got her first, first linked, and first set of 8 chest-to-bar pull-ups in 16.1. The Mother-Daughter Team of Laura Bonomini-Lang and Calle Lang placed in the top 200 in the Region for their respective age-groups, and Calle earned her first bar Muscle-ups. Recent Grandmas /sisters-in-law Denise Farmer and Pam “Action” Jackson had huge breakthroughs (Denise scored hers with her first Bar Muscle-Up in 16.4, while Pam became CrossFit TT’s first athlete to make it to post-season play). And who can forget how Jackie Horton finally learned to stop worrying, and enjoy the combination of Thrusters and Burpees. Unlike previous Opens however, these moments aren’t where the magic stopped…but rather where the magic started. This year, individuals weren’t inspired by the actions of only a select few, but rather by the heroic efforts of EVERYONE on their respective teams. All one had to do to look for signs of support was to enter the gym. Literally. I’m serious. For 5 weeks, there were literally signs showcasing support for one another plastered to nearly every available surface in the gym, including the toilet bowl. Even more impressive was the fact that such support extended well beyond the walls of our gym. In week 1, Team Members rowed their bums raw trying to help their team secure enough meters to win that week’s team challenge (nice work, Charlotte Badger!). By Week 3, Teams were hosting Team Dinners at one another’s homes to celebrate the accomplishments of their peers, and to discuss strategies for the upcoming week’s challenge; by Week 5, the bonds between teammates had become so strong that individuals were already planning Team get-togethers after the conclusion of the Main Event. To say that I was awestruck is a complete understatement. For 5 weeks, I experienced what I can only describe as the feeling of Christmas each and every time I set foot inside the gym. Even better, that feeling continued well beyond when I’d leave the gym (in some cases, into the wee hours of the night).

In short, this Year’s Main Event was nothing short of Magical. It may arguably be the most magical thing we’ve ever done as a community. And no, I didn’t want it to end.

Many of you have thanked Meghan and I for conducting this year’s Main Event. While we appreciate your sentiments, in all honesty, it’s we who should be thanking you. All of you have given us a remarkable gift these past five weeks. We’re grateful to have had the opportunity to experience it with you.

Here are the Final Results. Grand Poobah out.

-TB