If you’ve read some of my other posts, you’ll notice a running theme of communicating with the places where I might want to drop in. This will help both you and the CrossFit you are looking to visit. And there is definitely a give-and-take to the transaction. So, here’s some thoughts on communication.
Let's start with the obvious – As of this posting, places are just starting to open back up now. Different states have different rules and different CrossFits are moving at different paces. Most places won't be ready for drop-ins for some time but as things improve, you'll definitely want to find out what an individual CrossFit's stance is on dropping in. They will almost certainly have limited class sizes for a while.
Let them know you’re coming – While you can drop in unannounced, it’s definitely good etiquette to let your host to know that they’ll have a drop-in and give a reasonable amount of nitice whenever possible. In a recent interview with CrossFit owners (more from that in an upcoming post), I was told the ideal notice before dropping in is to contact them the week before. This gives them time to respond.
There may be something special going on that’s not mentioned on the schedule. For instance, they could be preparing for a special event which may affect their ability to accept drop-ins at that time.
It's also a good opportunity to let them know if you have circumstances they should be aware of like a mobility issue.
You’ll know what to expect – There’s many places that don’t list their WOD on their web site. It may be on an app that you don’t have access to it. Also, per the above special circumstance scenario, you have the opportunity to learn if there’s anything you need to expect. Calling ahead is a very good opportunity to ask any other questions that may not be addressed by their web site. For instance, some sites don’t list their drop-in fees.
Getting a hint of the culture – It may sound odd that you can get a sense of the culture from a phone call or an email but if you pay close attention, you can learn a lot from how the person responding to you communicates. Do they sound welcoming? Do they say things like “we’d love to have you”? Do they have a few minutes to answer your questions and give you details? Are they willing to help you if you need to scale a workout? If so, these are good signs. If they sound like it’s an inconvenience, you may have caught them at a bad time or it also might be a sign that you want to keep looking.
Bringing the right gear – As many of us are flying to our destinations, it can be helpful if you can pack lighter. If you know there’s not going to be double unders or heavy lifting and you can leave the jump rope and weight belt at home, that’s always a plus. If there’s going to be a run as a part of the workout, you can decide if you’d prefer to bring running shoes.
Finding the right workout – I recently called a place and they had a WOD scheduled that was very similar to what I had done the night before at my home CrossFit. Two days in a row wouldn’t have been a great idea. So, while the CrossFit checked off all the boxes for the type of place I wanted to visit, the workout wasn’t right on that day and I kept looking. (Don't worry, I'll be back.)
You may have certain things that you want to work on or want to avoid because it might exacerbate an injury. That communication will be important for you. If the workout isn’t right for you on that day, maybe you go on a different day or at least you'll know to have a scaling option or, if there’s other drop-in options in the area, perhaps you want to look further.
Communication is an important tool in finding the right places to help you stay fit in your travels. There’s a lot you can learn from an email or a 5-minute conversation that will not only help you make the best choice for you but to better assure that the place you select will get you a result you'll be happy with.
Please contact me if you have any questions on this or other drop-in/travel topics at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wishing you safe, healthy and successful travels.
Author: Matt C.
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