The Crossfit Open is officially over. Now the top 60 individuals and top 30 teams in each region start preparations for their next stage. For them, this was the first hurdle in the process of trying to become the fittest on earth. But, what was the Open for you?

While many of you didn’t sign up for the open, almost all of us did the workouts in some form. What did you get out of this 5 week series? The answer for thousands of crossfitters, unfortunately, is disappointment. A lot of people ended each workout disappointed that they didn’t get 10 more burpees, 3 more snatches, a muscle up or more pull-ups. Maybe you saw others in the gym or on the leaderboard with better scores and started kicking yourself about your own performance. I admit, I regularly end these workouts and instantly start thinking about how I could have done better. But that misses the point.

The open is a great chance to evaluate yourself compared to where you were last year and where you want to be next year. If you were part of the open last year, did you perform better? Did you get more reps on 12.5 than you did on 11.6? Maybe you were able to snatch more in 12.2 than you could have ever hoped for a year ago. If you didn’t participate in last year’s open, then you have an even bigger change to be proud of. Imagine doing any of those crazy movements this time last year. It is amazing what can change in 1 year. I would bet that most of us are in better shape now than we have been in a long time (if not ever).

I wish that I had placed higher on the leaderboard. I wish I could be a better burpee-er. I wish…No! I am thrilled that I was able to complete these events and that I am healthy enough to enjoy working out. After working to raise thousands of dollars for ‘Pull for Dominic” and seeing him there on Saturday, we have no right to take our health and fitness for granted with a lack of appreciation.

That doesn’t mean I will be complacent and stop pushing hard for improvements, but I also need to be thankful for the progress and the difference a year makes. The open may not be your first step on the road to the fittest man or woman on the planet, but it can be your next step to realizing, and using, the amazing gift of health and fitness that you enjoy.