I travel often. That means I get to drop into a LOT of CrossFit gyms.
I also own the largest CrossFit gym at the intersection of I-75 and Highway 17 — one of the largest Interstates in the US and the coast-to-coast national Canadian highway. That means I’m lucky enough to have dozens of visitors every year.
Every CrossFit gym is different, and many have different rules around accepting guests. Some charge; some don’t. Some give away free t-shirts to visitors; I don’t. Some require a bit of advance warning, and others are fine with a spur-of-the-moment drive-through service.
All of those are fine. A gym owner can do anything they want; it’s their business.
But WE, as guests, should still do our part to make visiting easy:
- Expect to pay.
- Remember that the coach’s priority is her members, not visitors.
- Check the gym’s rules before you attend. Remember when you visited a friend’s house as a kid, and you acted more politely than you did at home? Yeah, like that.
- Have your coach email the gym owner in advance, with “care and treatment” advice. Your coach has figured out how to motivate you and give you effective cues. They can help the coach at your vacation destination do the same. And your host will WANT to provide you with the great coaching you get at home–but can’t do so if you show up unannounced.
- Don’t show up unannounced. Register for classes early. Be flexible with your schedule (most gyms won’t let you fill a spot that a member usually takes.)
- Stay late and help out. Put things away. Be MORE helpful than you would at home.
- Don’t expect special treatment. If you’re a Games athlete, you’re a model to the CrossFit community…you’re not the exception to the Community rules. Be the best STUDENT in the gym, not just the best athlete.
A lot of these sound like the advice Mom gave you before you slept over at a friend’s house, right?
Be on your best behavior. Say “please” and “thank you”. Wash your hands, and pass the peas.
How do you say “Thank you!” to your host? Leave a Google review and a five-star rating on their Facebook page.
Don’t have anything nice to say? That’s okay – don’t say anything at all. Enjoy the rest of your vacation, do burpees on the beach, and thank your coach at home for building a better gym.
I love visitors. But I’m also quick to remove visitors who infringe on our hospitality. Visiting Games athletes abide by the same rules as my members, because I run this box for the Catalyst family…not the friends we invite over for dinner. Most boxes do the same.
Visit new cultures. Learn their language. The best part of the CrossFit Movement is not our sameness, but our differences.