Becoming a CrossFit coach was a big adjustment for me. There were a couple of months between the time I received my L1, and the day I decided to become a coach, where I questioned wether or not I was capable of doing the job. Everything about being a coach terrified me. I wanted to be that person who could be comfortable talking in front of a group, explaining and demonstrating movements, but I wasn’t. I had never taken on that role before. I usually did my best to avoid it. However, after a couple of months, there were a few people who made me want to push my limits.
It began during the 2016 Open season. The members of my box came together every Friday night to do the workouts. We set up heats, and those who weren’t working out or warming up became judges for those who were. A good friend of mine had been doing CrossFit for years, but had just began recovering from a major surgery. Thus, she was a little worried about how she would perform in the workouts. I loved being her coach/judge in workouts. She needed to pace herself, and stay on that pace. But she also needed a push, and I gave it to her. She gave me some nasty looks for it, but I’d just smile because that’s when I knew I was pushing her hard enough.
Another person who influenced my decision was my little brother. He had only joined CrossFit a few months before, but had already proved himself to be a natural athlete. He moved very well. His range of motion was excellent, which made his form impeccable. Coaching him on movement standards was a breeze. But again, he’s someone that needs to be pushed. I cheered him on, made him go faster, made him pick up the bar when he didn’t want to. I was so proud of him. He still amazes me in classes today. CrossFit and the Open actually turned out to be a huge bonding experience for us, and now we criticize each other’s form and talk strategy for workouts all the time. It’s nice to have another CrossFit nut around the house.
The last person who ultimately tipped the scale for me, was my best friend. I’ll never forget the first workout I put her through: thrusters and burpees. I knew it would be brutal. I’d just done it myself before coaching her. But I also knew I was getting one hell of an athlete to work with. Emma is a runner. It’s what she loves, and it comes easy to her. So easy that she went out and ran an ultramarathon. This girl has a 100k under her belt. Amazing! So when she first mentioned wanting to try CrossFit, I was excited. I knew this hardcore athlete wouldn’t be afraid of some work, a little dirt, maybe chalk dust in the face. She was ready to go. And I was right. She showed up to the gym and kicked her own butt! Since she was new to the sport, I got to practice my coaching skills. I shouted cues over the music, and she caught on, quickly making the necessary adjustments. After seeing how much heart she put into the workout, having never done something like that before and succeeding even my expectations, I knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to see that, over and over again.
I’m not the perfect coach. I still have days when I really don’t want to be the center of attention, or a social person in general. But I try. I try because I want to push the person that’s trying to get back to the athlete they once were, because I want my little brother to succeed, and because I want my athletes to put their heart and soul into every workout they do. I had some amazing people influence my decision to become a coach, and I want to create more athletes like them so that one day, another coach-to-be will take the plunge and land the best job in the world.