New places yield great opportunities for fear and anxiety to overflow. When we are already uncomfortable with who we are physically, entering a new and unfamiliar place can be really intimidating. (Especially in terms of exercise… you know, things shake and move and new people just don’t need to see that.)

Summer before last I dropped in at a CrossFit box on vacation. I was in Florida on vacation and found a box that seemed to have good google reviews and was close to the place where we were staying. I anticipated that I would do this, so I brought all my gear and was ready to try it out. I had done CrossFit for some time and was comfortable with the majority of movements. Initially, confidence was high! I mean, how cool… I was going to be on vacation and was going to workout… that’s a win! That’s progress in the right direction… that’s movement forward… that’s me, beginning to be more comfortable with me… this is a big deal!

As many times before… I started over thinking.

What if they do things different?

What if they are super hard core and they have to wait on me for everything?

What if they do a lot of running?

What if they are all super hot looking?

What if? What if? What if?…

I made a decision and I decided to put my big boy shorts on and go work out… despite my fear, anxiety, intimidation, and symptomatic what-if’s.

I learned that CrossFit is, at its core, the same everywhere you go. Sure some boxes are better than others, but after all the different boxes I’ve visited now, they are all places that want to help transform the world. They have all been places with people passionate about life change… about being better today than you were yesterday. In my travels I try to always visit a local box. I talk with the owners or the coaches and get their story and hear their passion… it’s overwhelmingly amazing. Story after story begins with, “I was like this” and ends with “I saw myself change and now I get to be a part of other people’s change”. Does any other organization, in the world, operate like this? Do other places walk long side you and push you beyond what you thought possible, for the better?

I’m not sure I know of any other organization that universally operates in this way… but maybe they should.

This morning I visited, for the second day in a row, a local box near my hotel. Another warm welcome and encouragement to make myself feel at home. The owner was the coach and he was JACKED! On our way out, we were talking and he slipped into why they are there and why does it… I left feeling that there’s hope for our world… that people can care for other humans without concern of anything other than forward progress and getting better. It’s simple… it’s impactful… it’s a place that unites.

Drop-ins are great and I recommend you to push yourself beyond your fear, anxiety, and insecurities to see what an incredible community we have as CrossFitters.

Keep Going!

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