Become a part of the community ... Immediately.
I'm going to let you in on a little secret: the community, along with Ed's willingness to take out a 4th mortgage on his home to pay for our new space, are what make BARx the great place that it is. Most other gyms are the same way. I often hear people talk about how X gym was so welcoming, and that's great. But oftentimes, the gym is exactly what you make of it. By making sure to immediately introduce yourself and say a quick hello to the other members of the class, you are forcing them to be welcoming to you. It's called being a Forced Extrovert, and if this guy (me) can do it every day of his life, then so you can you.
At Home: make sure to introduce yourself anytime you see a new member or an unfamiliar face. Most of us are very good at this already (which is part of what makes BARx so awesome) - but there's always room for improvement.
Or just head off to the corner and lift by yourself in your cage, gazing creepily out at everyone and wondering just how impressed they are by you. Either way.
Don't Compare The Gym You're In To The One You Have at Home.
Yes, there's no place like home. I know this better than pretty much anyone else who walks on this planet. One of the first things I used to be guilty of doing when visiting any new place is immediately comparing the current environment to the one that I'm used to. This is a defeating exercise. Every gym has it's own culture, coaches, equipment, and methods of operation. Does this mean you should do something you're not comfortable with, like use a heavier weight or try to force a movement you're not ready for? Hell no. But don't complain (internally or externally) about the way they do things, it will only serve to piss off everybody around you.
At Home: Appreciate what we have, while also looking for ways to improve. Just because you shouldn't complain and be outwardly negative doesn't mean you can't make mental notes about things you liked or didn't like and use them to your advantage when you return.
If things get really rough, just click your heels during some double-unders and drag a sled down the yellow brick road back to BARx.
Don't Be An Over-Coaching P.O.S.
This one goes hand-in-hand with the one above. Whenever you drop in somewhere, I guarantee there will be an instance where you hear someone coaching or teaching something differently than we do at BARx. I hear about this all the time. Guess what? There's a thousand ways to teach someone to do anything, and while some may be more effective in certain circumstances or not inline with your way, they all work in their own place and time. Don't be a snob, and certainly don't go behind a coaches back or try to undermine what they're saying. This is a great way to make damn sure that everyone resents you, coaches and athletes included.
At Home: Uhhhh pretty much exactly the same thing. One of the biggest pet peeves that any coach has is .... wait for it .... somebody else coaching their damn class. Unless specifically asked for your opinion or help - by either the coach or one of the class members - resist the urge to interject your oh-so-valuable opinion. All this famous move accomplishes is 1.) making the coach angry 2.) confusing the person you're supposedly trying to help and 3.) making you look like a complete self-serving jackwagon. This is one of those times in life where it's helpful to drink a big ol' glass of Shut The F*ck Up. I carry around a jug of it with me at all times in case you ever need a swig (marriage lesson #12).
It's basically just Gatorade mixed with Everclear, and it works like a charm.
Read The Room, Dude.
This rule at its heart is simply about being a gracious guest. What's important to remember is that you're not at home, however it can be very easy to fall into old habits instantly and just assume that whatever you're doing is okay. For me, this applied to following my own programming instead of the class program for the day. For others, it could be something as simple as sticking around for 15 minutes after class to do some mobility work. The idea is to make sure these things are okay for you to do rather than simply assuming and running the risk of looking like a jackass at your temporary gym. The best way to find out: simply ask the coach or owner before you do something.
At Home: BARx is pretty lenient about most things that anyone would ever want to do, you know this. However, it's still important not to get into the habit of making constant assumptions about what's okay and what's not, especially when someone may be waiting on you. When in doubt - once again - ask the question. It takes 2 seconds and does you no harm. Maybe think about this next time you start rolling your calf and chatting about your hair or taking that 40 minute shower while the coach's kid is sitting in the rain after soccer practice because mommy or daddy was late to pick them up.
Yes, most of my references come from the Simpsons. I'm a child of the 90s.
Pay Your Drop-In Fees You Bum.
This one never really occurred to me as a huge deal until recently. With our gym being in the area it is, we don't get a ton of drop-ins. Apparently sunny Kirkwood isn't a big vacation spot on everyone's bucket list (except mine). However, some places you visit could be an entirely different story. The gym in Hawaii for example was very small and received a ton of vacationers and out-of-towners. For instance, the Saturday Open Gym I attended was over half comprised of non-members. This means that drop-in fees are probably a huge part of the gym's income. Do them a favor, and don't make them hunt you down and beg you for cash. This is the last thing that anybody wants to do and some may even be too nice to do it - in which case now you're just taking advantage of someone.
At Home: Obviously this one doesn't directly apply at home. However, I want to use this opportunity to remind you that while membership is expensive, for 99.9% of CrossFit gym owners this is a labor of love and your dues are going towards things like keeping the lights on and the equipment up to date. What I mean by that is that nobody's getting rich here and driving Lamborghinis to work. For crap's sake, Steph works 60 hours a week and lives in a van down by the river ... And it's not even a nice river, it's the Meramec river.
To be fair, I'll be living in the BARx trailer out front as soon as my wife kicks me out. Little does she know that it's all part of the plan ...