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.