I didn’t realize how significant my first post-pandemic drop-in would be until I got there. Just to have that familiar feeling of the unfamiliar again; visiting a new place, getting in the flow of how they might do things differently. I’ve come to appreciate that in my drop-in experiences. What was familiar was the process in doing my research, reaching out to let them know we would be there and get details about the workout.
So, my first official drop-in since last year was at CrossFit Mousetrap in Orlando, which is really right around the corner from Disney World. And that’s where we were on our first post-pandemic vacation. You can’t really beat the convenience of this CrossFit if you’re visiting “the mouse”.
So, on a Saturday morning before Epcot opened, my wife and I grabbed an Uber and took the 8-minute ride over for a long, hot, yet rewarding workout.
There’s lots to get to on this one so, let’s review the details. In case you’ve forgotten, all ratings are on a scale of 1-5 barbells.
I reached out to CrossFit Mousetrap way ahead of time; three weeks before we would be there. I sent an email to email@example.com and got a very quick response from Ryan (the owner), who sent me a link to schedule our visit. He told me when to contact him to get the workout so we’d know what gear to bring. So, a couple days before the trip I reached out again and Ryan got right back to me with the workout…and it was a memorable one but we’ll get to that soon.
In looking at their website, at first it appeared to be offline but that might have been a glitch because a couple of days later it seemed to be fine. There’s a banner right at the top of their home page which will take you to a form to let them know you’re interested in dropping in. Under About, you’ll find a bio on the owner and details on their coaches with all their certifications, backgrounds and specialties.
Their schedule is under More Info. It conveniently shows how many people are signed up for a class. It looks like their capacity is 15. We’ll say it’s “15ish”. Their pricing is there but doesn’t specify the drop-in costs (which is $20). Another way you can view pricing is when you go to sign up at https://mousetrapfitness.wodify.com/OnlineSalesPortal/Home.aspx. I will advise that if you know when you want to go you should sign up early because you’ll see on the schedule that classes can fill up quickly.
It’s difficult to keep any CrossFit clean, especially in a hot and humid environment. This is a fairly small facility (which we’ll get to) and there’s a lot of people using it, so I wasn’t expecting it to be spotless. That said, it could have been a little cleaner. You can see dust build up in certain spots. It’s not offensive. Just noticeable if you’re looking. Their bathrooms seemed clean and I gave the warm up area in the back a quick glance and it seemed quite nice.
As I mentioned above, this is a relatively small facility but I will give them a lot of credit in making the most of the space they have. They organize all their barbells, plates and other hardware in a good location off to the side so it’s not interfering with the workout. There’s a decent-sized rig just to the left as you enter and a small rig out the side door on an artificial grass surface. The main area is NOT air conditioned but they’ve got plenty of fans. It was humid that morning but honestly, with the workout we did it didn’t really matter. The warmup area that also had lockers and restrooms does have air conditioning.
There’s plenty of barbells that have been well-loved but not in bad shape. The bumper plates appeared to be in good shape, with a home-built plate rack to help neatly stack them. . I didn’t notice any splits. They have 6 rowers and 6 Echo Bikes. Plus, there was enough equipment like dumbbells and wall balls, which were not used in this workout but I took notice.
We had a full class. I’d say there was 16 or 17 people. The workout included a row but people were flexible and the coach made things work. Some of us rowed, some of us were on the bike and others ran. They moved most of the rowers outside to optimize the space.
The warmup area in the back was spacious enough and there was also a space for lockers with plenty of space to sit post-workout, if desired.
Lengthy workouts seem to follow us wherever we go. But that’s okay. We’re there for the workout so let’s get the most out of it.
This workout was a couple of days before Murph so the weights were a little lighter with the goal of keeping people moving without taxing them too much. As you can see, it was 25 minutes with some significant rep counts. I think I only got a few full rounds in and, although the weights were light (but got heavier over time), I’m not ashamed to admit that some of that workout was spent with my hands on my knees staring down at the bar willing myself to pick it back up again.
Did we get our money’s worth? You bet!
Coach Sam Ayala was running the class that morning and I’ll cut right to it; he did a fantastic job! He immediately greeted us when we came in, gave us a quick overview of the facility and made us feel at home. He also introduced us during the warmup. When the next class was gathering they had another drop-in and Sam greeted them with equal energy. This is the type of place that gets a lot of drop-ins and you can tell they’ve got it down.
As I mentioned, he had a full class and he did a great job at making sure everyone had space and equipment for the workout. Sam was very attentive and made sure he checked on everyone throughout the workout. He was upbeat and encouraging. There was an athlete that was struggling with some mobility issues and Sam came around to him several times to make sure he was okay and made sure he wasn’t going to hurt himself.
Sam is the type of coach that you want to have when you drop in. He knows what he’s doing and has a great energy. A rare 5 barbells for coach Sam! I hope I can get back there for another class with him.
When you have a CrossFit that gets a lot of drop-ins, you can either have a group that’s either kind of to themselves or quite welcoming. It’s not easy when you regularly don’t recognize several people in your class. However, there were plenty of people here that introduced themselves and asked where we were from.
There was also lots of camaraderie among the regulars. You could see there were several strong bonds among the group and they had a good rapport with the coach as well.
Post class, there was a lot of acknowledgement and congratulations. Getting through 25 minutes of that workout was no small accomplishment.
Drop-In Cost and SWAG
As mentioned, a single drop-in costs $20, which is pretty average. They don’t appear to have a multi-session drop-in fee, like if you were going to be there for a week, which kind of surprises me but they may not get too many requests for that. They do have punch cards but they start at 12 punches. So, if you’re in that area for a longer time, that might work for you.
They have t-shirts, mostly of one style and a handful in a couple of other styles. The cost was $25, which is at the upper end of average but we liked the shirts so we each got one.
First off, it was such a great feeling to be able to drop in again. CrossFit Mousetrap was a memorable place to start things back up. Yes, it was hot and humid (it is Florida, after all). Yes, it was a little crowded. And yes, it put me through my paces. To me, those are some of the things that give CrossFit its character. It was a challenging workout in a good environment with good people.
I can’t say enough about coach Sam. He’s the kind of coach I can appreciate. Information ahead of the workout was easy to access and the folks at Mousetrap are quite responsive to your inquiries.
It just so happens I’ll be back in the area very soon. Will I stop back? I’m certainly going to give it my best effort.
8480 Palm Parkway
Orlando, FL 32836