My CrossFit Open 2020 – all the details

5ca0de00-63bf-45b6-8e6a-c68a8bb3be67.pngThe Open 2020 (October-November 2019) has come to an end. 

To summarize, it was just a couple of months ago that I decided to prepare and train seriously to compete in the Open. I gave it everything I had but came 2 points short of winning the title The Fittest Woman in Kuwait. 

Before I start I want to give a background, especially to anyone who doesn’t already know my story. In January 2018, I had my second daughter (via second emergency c-section). I took my time returning to training, recovering and rebuilding my body after pregnancy and surgery. 

Around August 2018, the online qualifiers for the Battle of the East were starting and I decided to take a go at it. I was very happy at 8 months postpartum to qualify. Later in November I competed and documented that whole experience on my instagram account (check the highlight BOE). I exceeded my expectation, made it to the final workout, and had a blast being back on the competition floor. 

After that competition, I decided to take a few steps back. So I decided to do CrossFit occasionally and focus on weightlifting, while also continue to lose some of the pregnancy weight. Yes I prefer the long and slow process of weight loss because it’s healthier, and I can maintain my muscle mass. So I enjoyed these months of no pressure training into 2019. 

I did the Open 2019 (February 2019) just for fun and came in second place without preparing for it. But I was far off in the points and the second place athlete had withdrawn from the Open anyways. 

August 2019, I am approached by one our competitive athletes, Nasser, who talks me into seriously preparing for the Open in October with the goal of winning. I speak to my coach who was skeptical of my commitment to training seriously again. I promised to prove him wrong. So August 8, two months before the Open, I was back on his competitive training program. 

Even though it was a short time to prepare, to rebuild my conditioning and gymnastics, I trusted my coach completely and I believed in my abilities as an athlete. I was feeling confident, hungry, and completely focused. 

OCTOBER 11, 2019 – THE OPEN 2020 

(all workout details and scores can be found here: 


10 rounds for time of:

8 ground to overhead

10 bar facing burpees

Time cap: 15 minutes 

MY SCORE 12:29

Just like every year, the Open workouts for the next five weeks are announced every Friday at around 3:00 am. And somehow the mind just knows, every Friday for the next five weeks we are suddenly awake right around that time to check our phones. 

20.1, for the first time in I think EVER, I was not nervous to see burpees in a workout. My coach has been making me work hard on my weaknesses leading up to the Open. 

Attempt one: I had prepared a playlist for the workout…but I didn’t hear a single song. My mind was too focused, my body was pushing way past my limits, I finished, and then I threw up. I never feel nauseous after workouts, but the Open is different. I push my body so hard. 

I was very happy with my first attempt and so was my coach. I did much better than I expected. But of course, it’s the Open and my coach already scheduled in my repeat. 

Second was even better. I pushed, I almost cried, I threw up again…and I passed my first attempt by a whole minute! The feeling after…oh man I was proud of myself. But even better, my coach’s reaction. He literally jumped from his seat excited. And if you know him, that rarely happens. 

Getting first place for 20.1 gave me a huge confidence boost.


AMRAP 20 minutes of:

4 DB thrusters

6 toes-to-bar

24 double unders


I always get super anxious and nervous before the announcement of Open WODs. But I don’t play that guessing game. There’s no point. I was happy when this one was announced. It’s deceiving for sure, you assume it’s easy. But it’s not easy when you’re chasing after a high score. 

So time for my first attempt…to be honest, it was that time of the month. I got to the box, warmed up, and suddenly broke down in tears…Yea, I get super emotional and cry for no reason when it’s that time of the month. My coach, knowing exactly what was happening, told me to postpone my first attempt. 

Second chance, (actual first attempt)… the WOD was long, boring, and felt like it would never end. My coach and I agreed on a good strategy that we hoped would be enough for a good score. I was only 8 minutes in and I seriously thought I was going to throw up… I didn’t go too fast, but fast enough to make me feel that way. Twelve more minutes to go. 

At the twenty minute mark I crashed to the floor and crawled to the garbage bin to shove my face in. I was okay, but my stomach was turned upside down. With this dramatic ending to the workout, and I already knew another attempt at this torture was going to happen. 

Third chance (actual second attempt)…we slightly changed our strategy and I was feeling more confident this time around. Already sore from the first attempt, bruised shoulders from the 35lb dumbbells, but I completed this time with one full extra round. More drama with my stomach turning upside down and barely keeping it in with my last few double under…but i finished that extra round. 

This workout…seriously was all about going to that ‘dark place’. Who’s willing to go there…I sure was. Finished with 20.2 and I was very happy with my score. 

Second week in a row and I was first on the leaderboard. 


For time:



Handstand push-ups


Deadlift (increased weight)

50ft. Handstand walk

Time cap 9 minutes


The Open is an extremely stressful 5 weeks. I look forward to it, but I just couldn’t focus on anything else in my life during those 5 weeks. My stress level was hard to hide but I tried my best. 

In an online competition like the Open, how can you measure your performance or set a goal when you can’t compare yourself to your competitors until after the deadline for the leaderboard is set? Well you don’t…it’s all about how much effort you bring and focusing on what you can control. 

Handstand push-ups…we all knew they were coming. This is one of, if not THE biggest weakness of mine. Leading up to the Open my coach had me working on handstand push-ups A LOT. I did get stronger…i managed to string a couple of strict handstand push-ups too! I was feeling really good about my progress with the movement. Maybe I was feeling too confident with my previous two wins in 20.1 and 20.2, but I wasn’t feeling nervous about this workout. I was excited to test my work. 

But what actually happened is…I had to repeat this workout three times. There were lots of tears, stress, and thoughts of wanting to quit in the middle of the workout. During my first attempt, my coach stopped me half way in the workout because the strategy wasn’t working for us and I started to fail reps. My second attempt went better, but the score wasn’t good enough. I left myself and my coach disappointed. My third attempt…went better. But still not good enough. I beat my second attempt by one rep only. 

I was extremely upset. Not because of my score because going into this workout I already knew my competitors will be way ahead. I was upset because I worked so hard and I DID see progress…but it just wasn’t enough time. I needed more time to regain my strength, more time to build up my capacity with this movement. I mentally checked out from this workout and was ready to move on to week 4. 

I got third in this workout. I was now tied for first place on the leaderboard. 


30-30-30 box jumps 

15-15-10 clean and jerks (increasing weight each round)

30-30-30 pistols

10-5-5 clean and jerks (increasing weight each round) 

Time cap 20 minutes 


That last week with 20.3 crushed my confidence. I had to work real hard this week to build up my confidence and believe in myself. Talking to my coach, having him believe in me, reminded me to believe in myself. And thankfully, my mindset shifted and I was feeling positive and confident going into 20.4. 

I really liked this workout. I repeated it twice and enjoyed doing it both times. My quads won’t agree with you because it took a week for my legs to recover from this WOD. But anyways, these are movements I like, and who doesn’t like a heavy lift. My strategy was great and even better in my second attempt. I did just as good as I expected. 

To fill you in, I haven’t focused on rebuilding my olympic lifts for months. It’s been almost two years since I got even close to my lifetime PRs in the clean (90kg) and snatch (70kg). So honestly I was happy to have cleaned that 80kg bar 3 times. Even though I missed the jerk every attempt. 

I was happy with my performance. Everything went well, my strategy went well, my strength (again) just needed more time to catch up. And I was okay with that. I didn’t work on heavy jerks for a while. We had focused on other weaknesses in preparation for the Open. 

But, obviously, this isn’t the score I needed to keep me safe on the leaderboard. 

At week 4 of the Open, I dropped to second place. 


For time, partitioned any way:

40 muscle-ups

80 cal. Row

120 wall balls

Time cap 20 minutes


Going into the last week of the Open, I was praying for a workout that would help me secure a spot to the Games and earn the title Fittest in Kuwait. I was so close. Best scenario would be I was hoping for a win in the last workout. That would have me tied to first place. Then the tiebreak would be the athlete with the most first place wins. That would have been me. 

I was very happy with the announcement of 20.5. Another movement I had been working on and felt really confident with were ring muscle-ups. I have yet to give myself dedicated time of consistent work to improve this movement and can’t string multiple reps. But I felt much more efficient and stronger than before. 

20.5 was tricky because you needed to find the strategy that worked best for you. Given the freedom to break up this workout any way you want was challenging. But I was happy with the plan my coach set for me and we attempted this workout several times. A total of four attempts! And guess what, I got the same number of reps every time except my first attempt was one rep less. 

My fourth attempt wasn’t planned. I had already done my third attempt earlier that day, just finished coaching my classes and was about to leave the box at 6pm when my coach pushes me to go for one more try. It’s the last workout, it could be my ticket to the Games, and I had to push one more time. Even though it was my strongest and best attempt at 20.5, like I said earlier my score was the same as my previous attempts.  

Not knowing how my competitors did, I can only focus on what I can do. I was proud of my performance in this last WOD. My muscle ups felt better than ever. So now I just had to wait. 

The waiting…it’s the worst. So freaking stressful! 

But I told myself, whatever the result was, I was proud of my effort these 5 weeks of the Open.

The final scores went up…and I didn’t make it. I was ONE REP short in 20.5! 

The final leaderboard had me in second place. Not what I wanted. Not what we worked for. 

But, as excited as I was for the Open to begin, I was so glad it was over. I was ready to get back to training and prepare for what’s next. To continue building my self to be the best version of myself. And as we wait, CrossFit HQ eventually requests video recordings of our workouts, then we wait again. And the waiting continues because they won’t finalize the leaderboard until January! 

But anyways, assuming the leaderboard won’t change, I am the second Fittest Kuwaiti, for now. 

With only a few months of focused training with my coach, returning to training after a second c-section, and juggling motherhood and work with two kids, this was my best effort. 

I want to add that this is a testament to all moms. You don’t know how strong you can be. Don’t let anything stop you. Barely sleeping, still breastfeeding, sick babies, tackling life, school holidays, and all that wonderful #momlife drama that I’m blessed to have….I was proud of myself.

On that note, I just want to say…that I’m claiming the title FITTEST MOM IN KUWAIT. 

Got a problem with that? Then meet me on the leaderboard next year ;). 

Lots of love to you.

Thank you for reading and making it all the way to the end.  

WIN OR LEARN, no failures. 

-Haya Alsharhan


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