Crossfit Open returning Friday in Albert Lea

Published 1:39 pm Monday, February 13, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The CrossFit Open is returning to Albert Lea starting Friday and running each concurrent Friday through March 3. Each session will start at 4:30 p.m. and last until 8:30 p.m., and this is the sixth year CrossFit InnerDrive has hosted the event.

“The Open is basically to test all the hard work you’ve put in throughout the year, and to have … a good community base that night, celebrate together as a gym,” said Casey Kortz, co-owner of CrossFit InnerDrive. “Judge each other, push each other past the capabilities that you think you had and then more come out. And then just to celebrate after.”

To her, CrossFit training included weight-lifting, endurance training, gymnastics and everything a person could do outside a gym.

Email newsletter signup

“Everyday life stuff, so even a simple deadlift,” she said. “Could be something in your normal routine as picking something up off the floor. Everything relates to daily activities that you do in your life.”

According to co-owner Braeden Cordts, the CrossFit Open — which serves as a type of fitness checkup — has been happening for over 10 years.

“That was their way of getting a large community basis,” he said.

And because there are thousands of CrossFit gyms across the world, this was the company’s way of connecting everyone.

Workouts won’t be announced until the Thursday before the event, and Cordts admitted neither of them had any idea what could happen.

“In the past it’s been anything from 20 minutes doing as many rounds as possible of dead lifts, wall balls and rowing, to you’re trying to lift as much weight as you possibly can in seven minutes,” he said. “It’s always changing.”

While it may seem like a workout, you’re also competing against other members of different CrossFit gyms around the world doing the same things.

“The last time grown-ups did something like this was in junior high, high school when you would go to a football game on Friday night lights and you would have the huge community aspect,” he said. “That’s the equivalent. This is grown-up high school Friday night lights.”

But the competition isn’t just for adults, and Kortz noted children could participate as well.

Workouts at the gym are based around the Open and preparing people, so in that sense the duo are always planning for the event. But in terms of running the event, planning started roughly two months ago.

This will be Kortz’s fifth year competing.

“It is very hard,” she said. “It’s testing my abilities but also pushes me outside of my comfort zone.”

Cordts will be in his sixth year.

“When I first did the Open I just started CrossFit, and so I learned a lot of the movements during it,” he said. “After that I just got hooked on the competitive aspect of it and throwing down with people that you work out with every day.”

Both acknowledged the best part of the Open was getting people together.

“That’s why we’re in this business,” Cordts said. “We want to make everyone healthier and fitter and happier overall. And when you get the whole community together and everyone connects on a different level, that’s what really, really excites me about this.”

“I love making little differences in everyone’s lives,” Kortz said. “It relates to my teaching. I like to help people, and if I can help in the fitness world to make them healthier and then happier long-term that’s the goal.

Kortz is a PE teacher, and said she tries to incorporate simple movements into her class.

Everyone is welcome to participate in the CrossFit Open, and membership is not required. To qualify to have your scores submitted for the worldwide competition, a person has to be at least 16.

Following the open, the top 10% in each division will advance to the next round.

The CrossFit Games, the next step after the Open, will be in July in Madison, Wisconsin.