It's official. I saw my first glimpses of holiday lights on houses driving home today. Like it or not, November is almost half over, and the holidays are around the corner... time for breaking paleo bread with loved ones, long airport lines, holiday cheer, and dropping in to your hometown's box for a holiday WOD. With affiliates popping up every day, it has become easier to keep up your WOD habits while traveling about for the holidays. Now that you have a box to go to, being prepared will not only make for an appreciative coach, but can also make or break your own experience. Here are some tips for the holiday traveler:
Do Your Homework
What's the drop in policy? Does the class include a warm up, or do you need to arrive early to get yourself ready to go? Does a drop in require an email ahead of time? Do you need to fill out a waiver before you even enter the door? Don't just show up, check out the website to see what's expected from you to drop in.
No matter the policy plan on getting to the gym early and introduce yourself. Don't mobilize in the corner and wait to be found. A smile and nod are nice, but a little communication goes a long way. Let the coach know who you are, where you are from, how long you have been CrossFitting, and what injuries you may or may not be handling. Arriving early will also be a great opportunity to watch how class is run, how members are expected to behave before, during and after class, as well as get answers for any other questions you might have.
Keep an Open Mind
Whether you are top 3 on the UB white board or just starting to remember the names of movements, always assume that you will learn something new at your temporary box. You will hear different cues, see different equipment, class formats and coaching styles. But maybe that new cue will be what makes that butterfly really start to make sense. Be humble and open minded, and let the coach do what they do best - coach.
Keeping it Real
Is the gym you are visiting hitting the WOD "Uncle Rhabdo"? Not all boxes are created equal. CrossFit is controversial for a reason. If the coach or the box seems to be supporting unsafe practices or over-ambitious WODs, know your body and trust your gut. Be OK saying "no." Whether or not you feel bad or judged, feelings are not nearly as important as your body and safety.
Visiting a new box shouldnt be stressful or hectic. Just a little planning and effort and you’ll be a welcome visitor and not a headache.