In the fall of 2007 the gym where I had been coaching a cardio kickboxing class decided to change direction and bring in Crossfit. At the time I was doing 3 classes a week and going to Golds Gym 3 times a week. I thought I was in great shape. Turns out I was wrong. Before the kickboxing I had been instructing Taekwondo and had my 4th degree black belt. But none of that prepared me for what was coming.
Right away Crossfit showed me I wasn’t in such great shape and I had a ton of stuff to work on. I was amazed by the Crossfit approach and jumped in with both feet. I trained hard and went to San Diego in the July 2008 and took my Level 1 instructors course.
Then began coaching in West Vancouver.
In April 2011 I began training and coaching at Crossfit North Vancouver. Best move I ever made and since that time not only have I made huge improvements in my conditioning but I have made friends with a wonderful group of people.
To say that I love Crossfit would be a bit of an understatement. I am constantly in awe of the way it can find your weaknesses but also how the ability to scale allows for athletes of all levels to participate. After nearly 5 years of coaching I am still thrilled when I can help someone improve and see them have fun doing it. I feel that as a coach I have just scratched the surface and am constantly looking to learn from other coaches and any other source of good information that will help me be better.
I love how there is always something you can be challenged by and another skill you have to work hard to master. We all have our strengths and weaknesses and the constantly varied workouts allow for you to do well in some workouts and then be humbled by another. I have had many humbling moments doing Crossfit, probably none so public as being stuck on my set of double unders at the Crossfit Games. All the other athletes passed me and I remained stuck trying to get 50 double unders done, basically one at a time, with a big crowd of spectators watching and a camera crew recording it all. But I didn’t quit and that is the flip side of being humbled. You learn to just keep going, do the best you can and figure that it is all part of the process of becoming a better athlete.
There are many golden moments from these past few years and its hard to say what would be my best Crossfit moment. Certainly getting my first muscle up was a huge moment. Getting a big lifting PR, like breaking 400 lb on a deadlift, or finally getting over 135 lbs on a Snatch, are all great feelings.
I honestly get as excited when I see the other athletes making big gains. Seeing someone who has been training hard, whether they are one of the coaches or someone fairly new to the gym, it doesn’t matter, because witnessing that joy and excitement when they hit a PR is fantastic.
I started competing several years ago in team competition at a Taranis Winter Challenge. It was nerve wracking but a lot of fun and I’ve been back the past two years on teams from our gym. I have done some competitions solo and with a partner and they are all great experiences. There really was nothing else like competing in the Crossfit Games last summer. It was an incredible experience but what made it so special was the friends who were there to support me. I would love to make it back again this year and will continue to train hard through the Open competition in hopes of achieving that goal.
The supportive atmosphere in a Crossfit competition is unlike any other sporting event. Where else does the first guy finished hang around to cheer on the last guy to complete. I would encourage anyone to compete. It is really about just being willing to step way outside of your comfort zone and just doing it.
I feel the same way about telling someone about Crossfit and my normal comment is just come out and give it a try because it is the best fitness program I’ve ever been involved with and this is the best gym I’ve ever been a part of.