Hidden away alongside the Charles River on the border of Watertown and Newton, Massachusetts is CrossFit City Line. They were gracious enough to host me for three days this past holiday season and, without a doubt, I say they are the best box I have been to besides my precious home box which I am incredibly spoiled with. I’m back home for the holiday week and I wanted to make sure that I didn’t just sit around eating christmas cookies and watching Love Actually for a full week straight. So before I came I looked up boxes in my parents’ area and emailed around asking if I could join. CrossFit City Line made it easiest for me to attend, so I started off there. The plan was to try a different one every day, but I enjoyed CF City Line so much I just came back three times. Why so good? Well, I’ll tell ya.
First, the facility was the nicest of the ones I have visited while traveling. It had high ceilings (a must for me) a big open floor plan, with a separate area for stretching, enough space to not feel crowded and a good sound system with a variety of music from rock, to dance to hip hop. They also had all the equipment, full range of wall balls, kettle bells, rowers, and even the spiky foam roller that I have a love hate relationship with.
The facility included large separate changing rooms as well, with showers.
Second, and most importantly, they had GOOD COACHING. CF St. Paul, the last box I reviewed, lacked on the coaching but CF City Line nailed it. My first day there the strength/skill portion of the WOD was back squats. Mat, who was my coach each time, pulled everyone aside who had not been cross fitting for more than 6 months to go over their movement pattern for the squat. If you look at his profile on their website you’ll see he has a million certifications and it shows in how attentive he is to form and how well he gives instructions on how to improve. For each WOD I went to, the people who hadn’t been there for 6 months or more got special instructions to ensure they were learning how to move properly. I think this is the most important part of a good box, and CF City Line has it.
Third, everyone there was very friendly and this is saying a lot for New Englanders (I grew up here, I can say that). In my personal experience of living here and moving to LA and then CO, Boston is not the most friendly of cities. But everyone at this Box was nice, several introduced themselves just because they hadn’t seen me before. Everyone was talking before-hand and I got the real sense that it was a community.
Fourth, the coaches were encouraging. On Christmas Eve we had a “12 days of CrossMas” (done like the song, Day 1, then Day 2 and Day 1, then Day 3, Day 2 and Day 1 etc) workout, with kicked everyones butt. Throughout the whole workout the coaches were walking around, encouraging people by name and keeping them motivated. Also (back to the coaching), Mat came over and no repped me on my 7 wall balls during the countdown from day 10 and made me do them again because I wasn’t getting low enough. As annoying as that may be in the moment, it is what will help you get better.
Lastly, a small element that I liked – they had individual small white boards and markers so you could write down today’s WOD, or whatever your modified version is if you are new, and bring it over to your area. For people like myself who need contacts but often forget to put them in, it was nice having the workout right there in front of me. Especially for one as complicated as the 12 days one.
If you are ever in the greater Boston area near Watertown/Newton – stop by CrossFit City Line. If you live in the area, this should definitely be your box. I guarantee you won’t regret it.