This is the box at which I first touched a barbell and met some of my very best friends- I can’t wait to get to show all that magic off to outsiders. So I wanted to share with all of you some things that I have learned over my years as a coach, seasoned athlete, new athlete, and drop-in at other boxes. Please feel free to read each section with the accompanying lyric replaying in the background.
Hi, my name is….
Eminem’s confidence is definitely envy-worthy, but I don’t think anyone else really enjoys introducing themselves to a stranger. Even less enjoyable? Going up to someone you’ve been in class with for a few weeks, but to whom you’ve never actually introduced yourself. If you see someone you don’t know, please introduce yourself. I’ve found the classes that are the most fun are always the ones that are most interactive. Yes, the coaches will do their part to bring athletes together and create a more inclusive experience, but being a little brave and going directly up to a new athlete or drop-in will do that infinitely more so than any icebreaker or warm up game. My absolute favorite thing about CrossFit is the community aspect. You get out of any experience what you put into it, so be the outstretched hand whenever you can be. You may surprise yourself and make a truly lasting connection.
Let it gooooo...
Queen Elsa’s advice permeates pretty much all aspects of my life, but let me break it down for you in regards to good sportsmanship. Despite how painful a WOD may be, a CrossFit class is not life or death- it’s about an hour of fun and fitness. And it is certainly not worth you snapping at another athlete if they get in your way or grab a piece of equipment you were going to use. If you have the ability to do so in the moment, simply let them know (politely) what happened and what they can do to avoid having that happen again (show them where the dumbbells are or explain that they keep blocking your path to your barbell). If you can’t do so in the moment, however, be the bigger person and deal with it. Then, if you’d like to explain to a coach what happened, we’ll be happy to help the newbie/drop gain a little bit better of an understanding of workout etiquette.
If you wanna be somebody, if you wanna go somewhere, you better wake up and pay attention…
If you pictured Whoopi Goldberg dressed as a nun during this last lyric, you get bonus points.
How chaotic and frustrating would a class be if every person chose to hold side conversations or heckle the coach while you’re trying to understand the whiteboard talk? For a new athlete, they may not have a solid understanding of movements or terminology, so the whiteboard talk is critical for them getting some basic knowledge about how the class will unfold and what’s expected of them. Have fun, of course, but allow the coach to lead effectively, which will ensure a safer and more enjoyable experience for everyone! You may even learn something!!
We are the champions...
When I absolutely crush a workout, I’m pretty sure I feel exactly like Freddy Mercury at Live Aid in 1985. That feeling is exponentially intensified when other athletes in the gym cheer me on through a grinder of a lift or high five me afterwards. Cheer on your fellow athletes whenever possible. Even more empowering and unifying? Cheer the loudest for those who you don’t know as well as others. Hit a PR? Ring the PR bell. See someone finishing up the workout alone? Go over and give them some encouragement. Dreading doing the finisher? Rally the rest of your class to do it all together.
Stealth is only as good as we make it, so be open, stay positive, listen up and HAVE FUN!!