With summer vacations in full swing, we thought it would be the perfect time to encourage everyone to visit a local CrossFit box while on their travels. Ryan and I LOVE having visitors at CrossFit 727 and know our fellow box owners feel the same. Despite what you may think, you can get WAY more out of the experience than just a good workout. Here’s six reasons why I think you should take the time to drop into another box the next time you travel.
1. It’s not as intimidating as you think.
Walking into a new place is never easy, especially when you don’t know anyone let alone the area itself. But 9 times out of 10, the box you will be visiting will have just as many friendly members willing to stop over to say hi and welcome you, just like we all do. Scaling and/or modifying movements is also nothing to be worried, it is something all trainers are used to. Just ask questions and communicate with the trainer and you will do great!
2. Getting out of your comfort zone is a good thing.
To piggy back off point #1, even if you aren’t intimidated, there is a good chance that attending a class at another box will get you out of your comfort zone. You won’t have your spot near the fan, access to your favorite barbell or pull-up station and you may not even have a bucket of chalk to use (yes, this actually happened to me once). Instead of looking at these things as WOD sabotage, embrace the fact that it is different and adapt. After all, one of CrossFit’s principles is “constantly varied” and what better way to practice this than to vary your environment outside of what is comfortable.
3. You will get to meet new people from different backgrounds and fitness levels.
When you walk in, introduce yourself and ask others how long they’ve been a member. You will be sure to find beginners and probably some more advanced folks and it is always good to get their perspectives on the sport. I like to ask, “What’s your favorite WOD?” or “Do you remember your first WOD?” and it is always fun to hear the different answers. You can even use it as an opportunity to ask questions about the area. The last time we dropped into a box we asked for breakfast recommendations and the place we ended up going to was AMAZING!
4. You will always feel better after a WOD, even on vacation.
We get it. When you are on vacation you want to relax and take it easy. When you are traveling for work, you are busy with meetings and after work commitments. While these things are all true, there is no denying that ten times out of ten, you feel better after working out, no matter where you are. Sure it may be somewhat inconvenient and you could do a travel type WOD in your hotel room , but what fun is that? Are you REALLY working out as hard as you would in a community atmosphere? Yeah, that’s what we thought. 🙂
5. You may learn new exercises, stretches and coaching tips to bring back.
Just like when you experience different coaches here at home, when you travel to another box you have the opportunity to learn some new and different tips and tricks. If the coach at the box you are visiting tells you something different, don’t respond with something snarky like, “well that’s not what MY coach taught me!” Instead, use it as an opportunity to see a different point of view, as it may prove to be helpful. When traveling, I met another coach who showed me an AWESOME scaling option for pull-ups, which I then added to my own toolbox when I got home.
6. There’s no place like home!
Okay – so you’ve dropped into a box and had a great time. Maybe there were some things that were different that you didn’t like as much. When you get home and walk back through the doors at CrossFit 727, you see the place with a new set of eyes. Maybe it is a revisited appreciation for the nice air conditioning, your favorite barbell or the amazingly challenging WOD we programmed. Or, what it will most likely be, is throwing down with your fellow comrades and coaches, because…after all, there’s no place like home!
Drop in Etiquette and Tips
Now that we’ve convinced you to go, here are a few things to do and keep in mind in advance:
- Do your homework – Go to a bunch of different websites to check out local box WODs and trainer credentials.
- Contact them in advance so they have a heads up – It is always helpful for a box owner to know in advance when drop-ins are coming so that they can notify staff, give guests any special instructions and maybe have them proactively fill out some information.
- Show up early – Much like the point above, it is always good to arrive early to get the lay of the land, fill out any necessary paperwork and complete payment.
- Be respectful and represent! – When you visit another box, respect the coaches, equipment, facility and other members the same way you do CrossFit 727. Don’t ghost drop your barbells, leave your equipment out or clean up early. Remember, you are representing not just yourself, but your home box as well!