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The season takes it’s toll on all of us. Regardless of how much you’ve looked forward to it it’s a long time to live in suspense and adrenaline and worry and elation and fatigue and doubt and satisfaction and resolve and inquisition. And everything else.

It starts with the build up to 17.1. Castro and his dumbbells and his cryptic clues. They’re not clues, they’re mind fucks.

All day Thursday we guess what’s going to come up. Maybe we stay up late. Maybe we wake up at 1am just to watch it.

Friday or Saturday you perform. Sometimes you’re in the zone, you get your pacing right, your technique on fleek, and your mindset ready to embrace and push into the suffering.

Then it’s over. In a blur it’s gone. Are you happy with your score? Yes. Kinda. No. I’m not sure.

As the immediate pain subsides and the DOMS kick in (it’s nice that the pain just morphs from one to another) your thoughts on the workout change. You see others perform it, and the inevitable comparing begins. Oh, they did this part unbroken, but tripped up here. X did great but Y did way worse than I thought (thinking emoji)

You wonder why you abandoned the strategy. Why’d you try something completely new? That was silly. Did it really hurt that bad in hindsight.

The debates to repeat rage in your mind. I could totally repeat. But I am sore. It’s one and done. But I know I can do better. Will it fuck me up for next week? What if I repeat and I’m worse? What if I skip it and it costs me a place?

Monday rolls by and submission closes. Hopefully you have entered your score right after the workout and not texted your coach at 10:30 on Monday night asking for your score like everyone else is doing. When are they going to validate it? Oh look, I beat this person. Damn, I did better. Shit, I did worse. That’s odd. What does it mean?

As the weeks roll on and you tick things off the list workouts that killed you go by, you don’t get a chance to play to your strengths because they put too many other things before it. Something new and challenging has come up and exposed your weakness. And the inevitability of where your fitness actually is reveals itself. Nowhere to hide. The repeat went better but not as better as it could have been, or on that day you were worse than before.

Now, as the cumulative fatigue kicks in you feel less inclined to watch your nutrition. The cheat meal after The Open becomes cheat weekend. You’re less inclined to hit up your foam rolling and mobility. And less likely to put your all into the workout because you’ve slipped down the rankings.

Heck, there’s a point at which you just want to get back to training, without this pressure. Didn’t you wait for this all year? But you miss training without the care and pressure for a bit. You look forward to fixing your niggles and rebuilding, even though there’s still some Open left.

And there is some Open left. We can wish it away! It’s probably going to involve more sucky things that will put us in that pain zone. Sure, we know that’s where the growth happens, but where’s the energy to push into that zone and leave it all out there?

Let’s remember how we felt at the start of this Open journey. Let’s remember all the smiles from the first timers who smashed there expectations. Let’s muster up for one more shot. And then, only then, let’s think about the 2018 Open Season.