Hey guys, I made it back from vacation! I soaked up the sun and sand, caught up on some sleeping, and I ate all the food. It was glorious. I also had the pleasure of visiting my first CrossFit box on Hilton Head Island. The earliest I woke up during vacation was to go sweat it out with my Nanos on… crazy huh? I had an awesome time checking out Reebok CrossFit Coastal Carolina, did a really fun WOD, and made some rookie mistakes with my guest appearance. Read on and learn from me, that way hopefully you can avoid my mishaps!
First, let me say that my visit to Reebok CrossFit Coastal Carolina was great. The facility was great inside and out, they had tons of equipment, they used their air conditioning (cough cough, CrossFit 865… 🙂 ), and the staff was super friendly. I very much enjoyed the WOD that Jay and Meg coached, and I really enjoyed speaking with them before and after.
With that said, here’s where I screwed up while visiting my first CrossFit box outside my home box. Don’t do what I did!
Don’t go back and forth to your gym bag 3,912 times
My routine at 865 is usually to do the warmup and then go grab whatever stuff I need (wrist wraps, grips, the proper shoe for the WOD, etc) and gear up while coach explains the workout at the white board. At RCCC, I grabbed my workout towel and water before warm ups started. Then I went and grabbed my wrist wraps for the cleans and push jerks during the WOD. (For reference, that picture was taken from about where my bag was and I was standing where the guy in the orange shirt was for most of the workout…) After walking back with my wraps I decided I needed my headband because I knew I was going to be a sweaty mess soon, so I made another trip. Ok, I had everything I needed, no more trips right?
Wrong. My wraps were totally clashing with my outfit that day and I didn’t want to wear them. Did I just set them aside and grab them after the WOD? Nope. They needed to go back to their home, back in my bag! So AGAIN I traversed those treacherous yards to my bag to return the wraps. I knew by now that surely some eyeballs had found their way onto me as I strutted across the box once more. I thought about taking my shirt off right then and there, but we all know to remove one’s shirt requires the proper time and great flourish. Also, there was a step in the middle of the box (see yellow stripe above) and I was slightly fearful I may reach that step with the shirt over my head, eyes blinded to the danger, and a face plant was not on my to-do list for the day.
The moral of the story is, don’t be the guy that looks like a fool going back and forth to his bag a billion times. But if you are… make sure you flex and strut.
Don’t hold up the next class just so you can get photos and buy t-shirts
Every serious CrossFitter knows that you MUST get a t-shirt from any box you visit and WOD in. I think it also holds true that a photo must be taken with the box’s logo or name in the background. See Exhibit 1 below.
On the other end of the box, the next class was going through the white board discussion about to start the warmup. Of course, someone had to take that photo so coach Meg was hijacked to capture the visit. I think pretty much all the bases of a proper CrossFit box visit photo are covered: visited box logo, representing my home box with my shirt, sweet CrossFit socks, sweaty but still able to crack a smile… all there. Pretty good for my first try!
After photos were taken it was time to buy shirts, shirts that had only one requirement – they had to say Reebok CrossFit Coastal Carolina on them. Lucky for me, they had a plethora of shirts to choose from. In addition to simply bolstering my t-shirt collection, I had a list of other sizes to procure for various other members of my box. Of course, first I had to pick out what style shirt, then had to make sure they had the size I needed… let’s just say it took about 3.7 times longer than necessary. But hey, bringing those shirts back was important business! I’d probably be banned from 865 if I showed up empty-handed.
Don’t confuse KGs and LBs
Seriously. There is a huge difference between 24 pounds and 24 kilograms. When you are expecting something to be 24 pounds and it is roughly 2.2 times heavier… well you aren’t going to impress too many people when you nearly topple over trying to pick up a kettlebell. I may have lost a man point or two with my pirouette around the KBs to ensure I maintained my balance…
Don’t spray your sweat
I think it’s been established that I get sweaty when I WOD. To combat the heat and feebly attempt to stem the sweating, I’ll WOD shirtless from time to time. Well, even with the AC on in Hilton Head, it still got pretty warm. That beautiful black shirt pictured above made its way off my body. As it did, I discovered that my shirt functioned more than just a nipple coverup, it served as a sweat catcher.
Let me preface this by saying that some fellow box mates from 865 were, unbeknownst to me at the time, down in Hilton Head at the same time. We met up with them a couple of times, one time being at Reebok CrossFit Coastal Carolina. Eric and I ended up sharing a box for box jumps during part of the WOD. The coaches were quite impressed with our ability to seamlessly share with each other… little did they know we had actually practiced it before and were not just natural sharers.
Ok, Eric and I both went sans shirt for the WOD. In the midst of doing 30 box jumps, you learn a couple of things. One thing is that if you are sharing a box with someone directly across from you, you’re going to fling sweat all over them. Yup, true story. I flung and was flung on. I mean, it didn’t really bother me and I didn’t catch any body fluid belonging to someone else in my mouth… but perhaps Eric didn’t share my nonchalant attitude towards my perspiration? Yikes! My bad Eric! Lesson learned, if you’re going to share equipment, even in your home box, try not to douse your partner with your bodily coolant.
Don’t forget to get your time
I know. My body hits the floor with a quickness many times as soon as my last rep is completed. I make sure to glance up at the clock as I’m collapsing to get my time for the WOD. Well, that is when I’m at home and know exactly where the clock is. New territory combined with the fogginess that sets in when heart rate and sweat rate elevates… oops. I definitely didn’t get my time. Ok, no big deal right? Well, true… at 865 we don’t write our times on the board or anything, times are for personal reference. At RCCC, the times go on the board. I had no time to put on the board. See all those pretty colors with all the fantastic times in the first photo? My name isn’t on there. There was no evidence that I did work in that box once my sweat angel evaporated on up to heaven. I could’ve made up a time, put something on the board… but that would be cheating.
Don’t not have fun
If you aren’t having fun doing CrossFit, you’re doing it wrong. If you aren’t having fun while vacationing in one of the best places on earth and getting your fitness on while making new friends, you’re definitely doing it wrong.
I had fun. If there was anything I did right while visiting my first CrossFit box, it was that I had fun. I can’t wait to visit my next box. I also can’t wait for some of you to visit CrossFit 865 and WOD with me. Just try to keep from flinging too much sweat juice on me, ok?
Your turn – Any funny/embarrassing/awesome stories from when you visited a CrossFit box?