In the spirit of full disclosure, I may as well tell you *all* the exciting things going on lately!
In September, 2012, I walked into Big Horn CrossFit, completely unsure of what to expect. Turns out, I didn’t need to stress; I loved the sport and I loved the gym. Since then, CrossFit has become a regular part of my fitness routine. Sometimes I go three times in a week, other times it will be more like five or six. Either way, it’s important for my physical health, my outdoor endurance, and my sanity.
The owners and coaches have approached me a few times about applying for their coaching program, but the timing never seemed right. As a former ski instructor, adaptive ski instructor, track coach, and dance teacher, I truly love coaching. But life is busy and it is a big time commitment, so I never felt ready.
PC: Will Rochfort from last year’s Schoolyard Showdown
This time, I decided I was ready. I’m going to be a CrossFit coach!
Big Horn does this a bit differently than a lot of gyms out there, and I really like their approach. To be an entry-level CrossFit coach, one must acquire the L1 certification–this is the rules as per CrossFit HQ. Near as I can tell, many gyms ask their experienced members to go pass the test and be a coach…and that’s it. But not Big Horn.
Instead, I’m about ready to embark upon a 3-6 month Instructor Training Program. It begins at the end of September, giving me a few more weeks to sort through my life. During this program, I’ll meet with my trainer twice per week: one training class per week and one “shadowing” class per week. The training classes are to teach me *how* to coach: the proper cues, the methodologies, class maintenance tips, and safety precautions. The shadowing classes are for me to see these practices in action. Once I pass my ITP program, then I take the L1 certification.
I love how Big Horn manages this trainer certification and wish more CrossFit gyms did the same. Of course, I’ve heard the knock on CrossFit that it causes injuries. Like most enthusiasts, I’ll tell you that 95% of the injuries are caused by a lack of personal responsibility or poor coaching. To me, poor coaching stems from having ill-prepared trainers who don’t know what they are doing or what they are looking for. If you throw someone into their certification without any prep, then I expect this is exactly what will happen. But if I spend 3-6 months learning, practicing, and training, I know I’ll be better prepared for my certification and for my actual instruction in the gym.
My friend Marilyn is kinda awesome
Y’all, I’m psyched. I miss coaching! Sure, the timing is less than ideal since the training begins a month before my new book deadline. When combined with my regular job and my other freelance duties, it will make for a hectic couple of months. But I weighed the pros and cons and I’m excited for this opportunity and didn’t want to wait another full year. What’s a couple weeks without sleep when I have a lifetime of fun opportunities ahead?!