I love to travel and am very fortunate that I get to so often for work and for fun. In the past month, I went to Omaha, Nebraska for business and Bangkok, Thailand for pleasure. They are clearly very different places with totally different languages and cultures and separated by thousands of miles, but in both cities I was able to find a local CrossFit gym, which absolutely enhanced my experience.
I was sent to Omaha for work. In most cases, this would mean an un-glamorous week stuck in a Best Western every night, watching TV and eating crappy fast-food. But, our beloved Maureen, pointed me the way to her recently found box, Fit Farm Omaha, and I was able to get a 7-day unlimited pass for $45. I attended three classes over the course of the week, which allowed me to get out of my hotel room and get moving. Even better, I didn’t have to sacrifice my regular routine of attending class while away from home.
Soon after, I travelled to the other side of the world to spend ten days in Thailand. I have discussed in the past how becoming a CrossFit regular has changed my itinerary when I go on vacation. On this recent trip it translated to renting bikes to see the local temples and villages and training at a Muay Thai gym where I learned that elbows and knees can be considered deadly weapons. On my last day in Bangkok, despite it being 95 degrees and humid out, I found CrossFit Ten500. Though I was sweating before class even started, I am so glad I went as I got to work out with a great coach and a unique mix of locals and ex-pats.
And while I know that sometimes we all need to just “be” on vacation and lay on the beach, here are a few reasons why visiting a CrossFit gym can elevate any trip:
It’s cheap! – Okay, while the fitness center in your hotel with the one old treadmill and the squeaky exercise bike might be free, the nearby CrossFit gym isn’t that expensive. A lot of CrossFit gyms have drop-in rates that range from $10 to $20 per class. Some have even waived the fee if your purchase a T-shirt or are completely free.
Learn something new – Though all the CrossFit gyms I have visited are founded on the same principles, each has its own way of doing things. Its fun to see the different spaces, interact with the new coaches and members, and learn a new stretch or piece of advice.
Meet the locals – Especially when on an extended trip, going to a CrossFit gym is a great way to make new friends who can tell you where to really find the best food or coolest attractions. CrossFit encourages people to be inclusive and I have had great interactions at every gym.
Get a great souvenir! - I have t-shirts now from CrossFit Fast Bangkok, CrossFit Vegas and Fit Farm Omaha. They all have unique designs, cost between $10-20 and I use them a lot more often than any refrigerator magnet.
Gain a better appreciation for TTCF – I enjoy my visits to other gyms, but I always come away more thankful for our coaches and our strong community. I’ve learned to love in comparison our small class sizes, the focus on form and technique and our intimate space.
Finding a CrossFit gym while on the road is really easy. Just go to CrossFit.com and use the Affiliate Gym Locator to find a gym wherever your travels take you. If there is no information on the gym’s site about drop-in rates, I recommend emailing the owner and letting them know you want to visit.
Safe travels full of fun and burpees!