I coached at CFNE until about a year or so after Harley Love was born. She’ll be 5 in a couple of months; so, needless to say, I knew I had a lot of relearning to do to catch up to the standard of coaching that CFNE now holds for the entire staff.
We had good coaches back then, but things were different. Most of us on staff were primarily competitors at the Games level, which meant that coaching fell on the back burner of our list of priorities. Any second we weren’t coaching, we were training, eating, seeing chiropractors and massage therapists, recovering in Normatec’s and muscle stim, or watching videos on how to be more competitive.
Nowadays, CFNE coaches’ number one priority within CrossFit is to help their members to achieve their goals, not to compete at the CrossFit Games..and, then to help the members. I’m not saying we were “bad” coaches, by any means. But, in all honesty, if a stranger were to ask me what I did, I would say I was “a competitive CrossFit athlete..and, a coach”…in that order.
Now we write daily lesson plans detailing everything from what our focus of the day is, what modifications we will use for athletes with limitations, what our specific timeline for the hour is, what we’ll be doing for practice rounds, how we’re breaking down progressions, what our warm-ups will look like, what areas we will be mobilizing, and we’re looking ahead to what the programming is for the next couple of days so we’re prepared for questions from athletes that are looking to do extra training after class. We have a word-for-word dialogue that we use in the minutes leading up to the start of the WOD. We have another coach taking and observing every single class and providing us with feedback immediately afterward for everything from the volume of our music at different points in the class to the number of times we used the word “and” throughout the class (Morgan stopped counting at 57 during my first class last week).
Things are a lot more buttoned up over there than they were the last time I was on staff. So, coming back to it I knew I would need to invest a lot more time than the hour class plus the 15 minutes before and after that we’re there to welcome and send off our athletes. I still take Ben’s 8:30 like I have since I stopped competing, but I also now watch the first half of Morgan’s 9:30 and spend 30-45 minutes afterwards prepping my lesson plan for my class.
It’s a lot, and I love it.
I love being part of something that is so dialed in and requires me to rise up and use the part of my brain that’s been hibernating for the last 5 years. I love getting feedback from people that I respect and that I can learn so much from. I love feeling like it’s my job to help members do what they come to CFNE to do. It’s such a huge opportunity because you have the potential to really help change many peoples’ entire lives for the better. Yes, there are opportunities around everyone to do the same thing all of the time, but in a coaching scenario you get to find those opportunities among even complete strangers.
For some it’s getting stronger, for others it’s to lose weight. But, that’s just a fraction of who’s there. There are people there in remission, recovering alcoholics who need an excuse to get away from dangerous temptations, people who recently found out their spouse is cheating on them and they need an hour to escape their reality, female college ROTC students who want to get fitter so they can prove to their class of 99% men that they’re just as capable as them, new and expecting moms that are determined to not use pregnancy as a excuse to become overweight and inactive and, instead, use it as an opportunity to start their child off on the right foot.
I guess I’m just at this place in my life where I’m really starting to come to terms with wanting to be patient with taking on anything unless I am willing to fully commit to it. I want to have pride in the work I do and want to make the people I represent proud of me. I want to choose the opportunities that feed my soul and are in line with what I’m truly passionate about.
It’s just an added bonus when you end up right back where you started because that gives you comfort and faith in feeling like you’ve ended up where you belonged all along 🙂