Building Family with the Open

How to use the Open to get your members involved.I never thought $20 would be so bi-polar.

OK, I told myself. If I sign up for the Open, I get to join a team at my Box for their Project Teamwork event held through the five-week competition. I’ll get to experience the Open for the first time and being a journalist in the CrossFit industry, that would probably be beneficial.

However, that 20 bucks means I’ll have to do workouts with moves I can’t even do properly yet. I’ll have to scale on the already scaled WODs. I won’t really help my team get points, will I?

Plus, do I have $20 to spare??

But the thing that sold me wasn’t the peer pressure from co-CrossFitters I got on Facebook. It wasn’t the email from my Coach saying he saw I wasn’t on the roster, a link to sign up and a statement that I’d thank him later (we’ll see about that last one). Sure, those things had their weight in my decision, but not enough to sway me.

The fact was, I wanted to be involved. Trying out the Open, attempting something I had not even known about a year ago was intriguing, but to be on a team sounded awesome. If I really want to be part of my Box’s community, I need to participate. I need to show up Thursday and watch the live streaming of the Open and see two of our own top athletes compete in the WOD. I need to go Saturday and participate in 15.1 even if it scares the heck out of me.

Ultimately, it comes down to me. It comes down to my reasoning and desire to do the Open. Yes, all the above played some role, but in the end I had to choose. Me. My choice.

But that was influenced by what my Box was doing. Again, the aspect of joining a team and competing alongside my fellow members was a large part of my choice. My Box sent out emails, posted on Facebook, announced it in class and even hounded people — in the nicest way possible — to join. The Affiliate made known in his blog that it’s a time the whole membership can come together and truly become a family.

As CrossFit Boxes become more like third places to people and second homes to others, how are you instilling upon your members the importance of getting involved? Why not use the Open as a time to show them what you are truly made of? Make it an event. Make it about building a tight-knit community.

You’re not just a Box full of people. You’re a place of family. You know it. I know it. But do your members?

Heather is the editor for Box Pro Magazine. Contact her at