First I will start off by saying it is hard to put the last almost 5 years of my life at Badger into words but I will give it a try…bear with me. First I will talk a little bit about my experience as an athlete, then as a coach and lastly some advice I have for you based on my experience.
When I started CrossFit I was coming off of an addiction to anything Beachbody (ie: Insanity, P90X,etc.). I loved the workouts, saw results but was bored. I walked into Badger on the first day the gym was open and I was immediately hooked. My first 6 months I saw PR after PR, one could say it was “raining” PRs. I was one of those people that only spoke of CrossFit, you know the kind all of the memes get written about. I talk about this not to brag but to say this is very common when you first start CrossFit which is why so many people fall in love with it. I saw myself doing things that I didn’t think were possible….and then I became addicted not just to CrossFit but getting better and PRing.
This addiction which was great at first but then it started to turn into this inner battle with myself when I started to plateau. What do I need to do better? Why are other people continuing to improve but I am not? I started before her and she is now lifting more than me…….(I know this will sound familiar to many of you which is why I am talking about it). I even joined the competitors group. Not because I had any interest in competing but more because I didn’t want to lose my edge in the gym. As I got into this programing it was hard, it was hours of training in the gym sometimes on my own and I was just feeling more and more frustrated. I was ready to quit CrossFit all together I wasn’t seeing the results I wanted (in hindsight I didn’t really know what results I wanted).
This is where I will start to talk about coaching, which seems like a jump but don’t worry it will come full circle!
If I am being 100% honest the thought of coaching never really crossed my mind. While I LOVED CrossFit, those that know me well know I am an introvert, standing in front of an entire class telling them what to do was actually very scary for me. I decided to take the L1 certification to spend time with my older brother. He is a military guy and we don’t see each other often so I thought why not.
I didn’t start coaching right away, but a few months down the road Tyler was in need of coaches and decided to give me a shot. I remember being so nervous at the time and wasn’t sure I would have the credibility with people that other coaches had. I worked hard to keep improving. I watched a lot of videos, I asked a lot of questions of the other coaches and most importantly when I received feedback about my coaching I really took it to heart and did my best to improve.
A few years ago my coaching slot was changed to the morning shift. This is around the same time that I was feeling frustrated and ready to quit CrossFit. I switched from doing L2 programming back to regular classes and told myself I would give the change a few months. I am not quite sure when the shift in myself happened but I can honestly say with 100% certainty why it changed. I was inspired!! I was inspired by a group of individuals I was coaching that were there because they loved everything about CrossFit. I remembered…a while back I was that person.
So I changed my mindset and decided to constantly remind myself of 5 things. These 5 things are actually my pieces of advice to you:
- Never compare yourself to others. We are each individuals we all come from different backgrounds, we are different ages and we all have different abilities.
- Set goals for yourself each day (I like to call these the low hanging fruit). Each day I set a goal for myself. The goal always pushes me but is also always attainable. One day it might be to go unbroken on a movement, the next day I might have a time in mind I want to beat (I do 5 am so this time doesn’t come from the white board) or my goal simply might be to not throw up, pass out or die.
- A Bad day at the gym is just that…a bad day at the gym. Never let a bad day at the gym crossover into other parts of your life. Sometimes you are just going to have a bad day it could be lack of sleep, eating, water intake, the need for a rest day, etc. Don’t over analyze it, take it for what it is and move on. A bad day doesn’t define you or the rest of your day.
- JUST DO YOU! I really wish I could take credit for this phrase but I cannot. However, it is one I think about all the time. We are all adults and have a thousand things that compete for our attention. When you are at the gym, focus on you and just do you…whatever that means in that moment. Don’t focus on what you think you should do, what others are doing, focus that moment and what you can do.
- Never forget why you started CrossFit, and what made you fall in love with CrossFit. This is most important..because the minute you lose sight of this is the time when numbers 1-4 go to hell right along with it. You lose sight of your goals, you beat yourself up and CrossFit is no longer fun.
When I look back at that decision to take my L1, I know I made the best decision. I can truly say that it helped both my personal and professional development. I have grown and learned so much over the last 5 years and the most important things I have learned are about myself. While I don’t think I am a different person, I do think I am a better person. I am thankful to be part of this unique and wonderful community. I am honored that each of you accepted me as your coach, that you pushed me as an athlete and that you allowed me into your lives as a friend.
I cannot end this without saying a huge thank you to Tyler for giving me this wonderful opportunity and being open to my ideas and feedback. I cannot imagine the last 5 years without Badger in it!
Thank you all for the amazing memories!!