The 2019 CrossFit Games Open series is officially underway! And if there’s one thing the CrossFit Open is showing the 46 participants who registered at our gym is that we can ALWAYS improve.

In the first Open workout, we were asked to perform a grueling 15-minute circuit of wall-ball shots and rowing. Although the movements didn’t require a lot of skill, the simplicity of the workout didn’t allow for much rest. To me, this workout was a test of mental toughness.

The goal of the Open has always been to EXPOSE WEAKNESSES.

In the second Open workout that we completed this past weekend, the movement complexity jumped from a 2 -to a- 10. In the RX’d division, we were asked to perform Toes-to-Bar, Double-Unders, and Squat Cleans ranging from 135 lbs to 315 lbs for males, and 95 lbs to 205 lbs for women. After completing the workout I think we can all agree that no amount of mental toughness was going to get you through this workout if you weren’t proficient with Toes-To-Bar or Double-Unders. If that wasn’t hard enough we had to perform these movements due to the time cap, the weights felt twice as heavy as they actually were.

As much as CrossFit™ has done a great job of making the workouts for various ages and divisions, it doesn’t mean they want to make it easy. The Open was never made to be a test you could Ace like a math test. In fact, the goal of the Open has always been to EXPOSE WEAKNESSES. If I were in Vegas right now, I could definitely bet that CrossFit™ will find your weakness.

Which brings me back to my original point. There is ALWAYS an opportunity to improve. Instead of getting frustrated and upset because you are being asked to perform a movement in the Open that you aren’t good at, be grateful that they EXPOSED you to things you still need to work on. For all of us who really want to improve, it’s a process that never ends.

I would have better luck getting struck by lightning than I do qualifying for the CrossFit Games.

The process of always wanting to improve has never been about being the best. In fact, for 99.9% of us, it’s statistically impossible for us to be the best at CrossFit™. Just think about it for a moment…in 2018 over 500,000 people officially registered for the CrossFit Open. In that division, they took the top 50 males athletes to the CrossFit Games.

Because I hate math, let me make this even easier to understand…

There are only 50 male slots for the CF Games non-Masters division. Divide that by the 500,000 participants in last years Open. You get .0001%. I would have better luck getting struck by lightning than I do qualifying for the CrossFit Games. So if it’s not about being the best, what’s it really about?


I know it sounds so cliche but isn’t that truly why you push yourself so hard in a group class? Isn’t that why you took the risk of CrossFit in the first place? We believed that by joining such a “hardcore” program like CrossFit™ that we would get in the best shape of our lives.

I would want nothing more than to provide you with some magic cue or secret drill to help you with your Double-Unders and Toes-to-Bar but the honest truth is that no such thing exists if you don’t consistently work on these movements on your own. This may sound unpopular to say as a gym owner but I don’t believe that group training is the end-all-be-all to maximizing your fitness potential. Although group training provides a good foundation toward the path of exceptional fitness, it’s the extra work you put in on the side that is going to be the separator between good to great.

To do that we have to take an honest look at what we still need to improve on by viewing our physical weakness as an opportunity to improve. As uncomfortable as it may be to acknowledge that you may not be great at something “the obstacle is the way” toward something great in your life.

So what do you say?! Are you up for the challenge? Do you want to strive better than you were yesterday?

If you join me on this journey I want to be clear that there is no sure path to success. It takes a lot of hard work. And even if you do everything right you may never get there. But I can promise you the pursuit in itself will make you a better person. It did for me.

-Mario Ashley, MBA

Naples Strength & Conditioning, Owner