Drop-in Like it’s Hot

Drop-insMy fear of going a week without CrossFit overrode my fear to drop in at another Box.

I’ve been doing this crazy sport for nine months now, something that is hard to wrap my mind around. Trust me when I say that since soccer in high school, that’s the longest fitness regimen I’ve ever stuck with. I might not be chugging the CrossFit Kool-aid, but I’m no longer sipping it timidly.

And I know what it’s like to go seven days without putting my body through the intense interval workouts. It has never been pretty upon my return to three WODs a week.

Surprisingly, Gaylord, Michigan, has a CrossFit. That’s saying a lot for my hometown, a place that until recently didn’t have a Panera Bread and is still over an hour from the closest mall. I mean, people go to Walmart to hang out.

Anyways, on Monday morning I drove up to a squat, white building with a large banner blaring the name in bold lettering. The nerves were there, but not as bad as I had thought they would be. The thing was, I realized I was confident in my CrossFit ability. Now, truth be told I can’t do every move. Pull-ups have been elusive and I’m not even going to mention my overhead squat form. However, as I opened the door, I realized I knew core techniques, the basic movements and plenty of modifications. I felt I had a solid foundation and an education that had prepared me for the unknown.

Huh. Just like they say.

Well, the WOD was tough. I almost died somewhere in the second round of burpees-over-the-bar. However, I survived, and I will be going back twice more this week.

The thing I liked most about my visit was how friendly the Coach was. She asked me questions, made sure I understood what we were to do, and she was definitely a Coach versus a workout administrator. Plus, she remembered and called me by name the entire time. Granted, some people are worse at names than others — yours truly being one of those — but that small touch made me feel less out of place, especially when I started sucking wind.

So, I think both the home Affiliate and the Affiliate one is visiting has a role to play in making drop-ins fun and successful. First, the home Affiliate needs to have done a good job teaching the movements and standards, giving the athlete not only skill but confidence to keep up with working out even when 600 miles away. However as much like a given this seems, I feel it needs to be said.

Second, the visited Affiliate needs to have drop-in standards set up and ready to go, if they allow drop-ins at all. I loved being able to find information on the cost and times of the drop-ins right on the Box’s website. My questions were immediately replied to via Facebook and again, I felt welcomed and like I wasn’t a huge burden.

Noted, I think there is a third part to a successful drop-in: how the drop-in-ee acts as well. I had to respect the system and understand the rules, even if it was different than how we do it at my home Box.

Despite the hard WOD, I think my first official drop-in was a success. Plus, it has broken the barriers to any excuse I have when traveling far from my home Box. Now, when I got to Texas or California or even England, I’ll be able to stroll into a CrossFit with confidence and an eagerness I didn’t have before.

Heather is the editor for Box Pro Magazine. Contact her at heather@peakemedia.com.