Your eyes are barely open, you still have bed head, and you are sharing that moment with 15 other people. Welcome to the 6 a.m. Crossfit class.
The 6 a.m. crew, to be inclusive of all those who rise and WOD before 7 a.m., are a unique group of people. A combination of a bunch of type A personalities, people with crazy schedules, and those who just prefer to have their WOD completed early so they can go on with the rest of the day.
Most of my 4.5 years of Crossfit have been based in the 6 a.m. sessions. As a result I’ve come to the realization that the 6 a.m. crew has a special place in the box. Here is a list of some of those observations and experiences as the crew that gets it done before the break of dawn.
– Bed-head is socially acceptable and rarely receives any comments. If one is graced by a comment…they have REALLY good bed-head.
– Monday mornings are typically as quiet as a funeral.
-Drop In’s are greeted with a simple “Hey” instead of the common introductions you get in other classes. More dialog follows after the WOD. This has been my experience at 6 a.m. classes all over the world.
– Grunts and groans are usually the most common utterances heard, until muscles start to get loose. Then the conversations may, or may not, start. Coaches often try to stimulate the conversations. Only those with good ice breakers are successful. The best icebreaker to date has been the Megalodon.
– We’re the guinea pigs. We get to try the WOD first to see how it fits into the time slot. Most of the time we finish in the hour, sometimes we go a few minutes over. WOD’s are then right sized based on our results for future classes. We know and understand this and can be somewhat accommodating.
– Strategy is developed for the WOD using our freshly awakened brains and the 5 minutes it takes to set up the gear for the WOD. The ink is still fresh on the whiteboard when we get to see the WOD for the first time. Gone is the advantage of having all day to think about how to attack a WOD that other classes have. As a result, we could spend part of a day answering texts on how to attack a WOD. Or even better, the coaches get asked, “What did 6 a.m. do?”.
– We get whiteboarded. The later classes find a target on the board from the 6 a.m. class and set their goal of what time to beat.
– We get to meet all of the coaches. The coaches spread out the 6 a.m. classes so no one has to get up too early too often. This creates a very unique guessing game from the 6 a.m. crew about who is coaching on what days. Not that it matters, but it matters.
– Music is the coffee of the 6 a.m. class, because we haven’t had any. Getting the music wrong is like saying you are out of coffee. Don’t get the music wrong.
-Our post-WOD mobility is usually cut short by having to run off to work. Therefore, you may find us at work with a leg up on a table in a pigeon stretch or using a lax ball against a wall in the office. It happens.
– There is the person who is late; always late. Unlike other classes, this individual gets a bit of compassion that they would otherwise never receive in other classes.
Because of the all of these aspects, the 6 a.m. is a pretty close group. There is a core of people who are always there so you get to know each other pretty well over time. The group starts to understand who to talk to early, who to wait a few minutes to talk to, who to never talk to, and who is the day to day person that you need to adjust your talk strategy to. One thing is for certain, we all talk when the WOD is done.
Occasionally, the 6 a.m. crew will get a drop in from another WOD time. It’s very different to see someone that you WOD with at 9 a.m. on Saturday at 6 a.m. in the morning during the week. You get a little pride in having them share in and experience your 6 a.m.-ness. It’s hard for them to understand what you find funny at the 6 a.m. class and why they laugh when it wouldn’t be funny otherwise. It is just the way the brain works when you just went from a dead sleep to facing the intensity and exhaustion of a WOD.
So we’re the class that does all of these things and more. And with all of our craziness we find a way to get a WOD done and move on with the rest of our day. Hats off the 6 a.m. class. Someone has to go first.