I recently had the opportunity to experience my first “drop-in” at a Crossfit box away from home. My son was attending a basketball camp at Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville, TN when it struck me that Cookeville is the home of Crossfit Mayhem. If you’re not familiar, Crossfit Mayhem is home to three time Crossfit Games champion and the Fittest Man on Earth, Rich Froning. So naturally, I jumped at the chance for a drop-in.

It worked out better for our whole family to be together anyway, since we had another trip that was going to piggyback our son’s pickup. So in addition to our bags for our trip, I packed my Crossfit gear bag. I checked the schedule for Mayhem online prior to planning my drop-in. We also located the facility the night before, so I would know where I was headed the next morning. Since we only had one car and multiple schedules, I planned to attend the 6AM class, so I would be done and back to the hotel before the rest of our day began. However, due to a time zone difference and my inability to set my alarm right on my phone, I woke up right as the 6AM class was beginning. However, they also have an 8:15AM class that I was able to make work. I really did not want to miss an opportunity to workout at Mayhem, especially since I was literally right down the street.

My wife dropped me off to head to my son’s last basketball game at TTU and I headed in for my first drop-in. I was greeted by Will, a TTU student and one of the L1 trainers at Mayhem. He was very welcoming and introduced me to the facility and to Darren who would be coaching the 8:15 class. Being one of the most famous Crossfit boxes (being owned by Froning), they really have the drop-in process down. Both Will and Darren made me feel very welcome, almost as if I was a regular. I feel this is key for drop-in success and it was a great first drop-in experience from a staffing standpoint. Crossfit Mayhem utilizes Wodify as their box management software. Will got me logged in as a drop-in and I had an email with my receipt sent to me immediately, in addition to being logged into the 8:15 class. It’s a very cool system, driven by two large displays and a wall-mounted keyboard and mouse that athletes also use to log their times after each workout.

Time to Workout

The workout of the day was “Michael,” a benchmark WOD. This is a workout I had never done, so it was appropriate that I was in a different box. The workout calls for an 800m run, 50 back extensions on a GHD, and 50 sit-ups – three rounds for time. Darren started our small class of five with a warmup that utilized a PVC pipe and a plyo box that focused on opening up our knees for squats. Then it was onto the workout. Darren took the runners (a few athletes substituted rowing) outside and described the 800m distance and then we staked out our equipment inside and were ready to go. The workout went fair. Since we only have one GHD machine at my home box, I had never used one in a workout before, making the back extensions the toughest part for me. The back extensions also made each subsequent round of running much tougher as well. Overall, it was a great workout and now I have a benchmark time for Michael, and from Crossfit Mayhem of all places.

Whenever You Have the Chance

Now that I have dropped into a box away from home, I will be more inclined to do it in the future. There is a little bit of nervousness walking into a new environment to workout. However, it wasn’t as bad as my initial decision to begin Crossfit. The great thing about dropping in and visiting a different box is that you are already part of the community. You have a story to share and visiting other boxes is a way to do just that. Something tells me that most box owners and coaches are just like the guys I met at Crossfit Mayhem: welcoming and willing to make you feel right at home. I sure aim to find out, as I plan to drop into other boxes in the future. So if you find yourself out of town on business, vacation, or just happen to be picking up your kids from a basketball camp, be sure to pack your gear and find a box to drop into. It will be worth the experience!

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