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Set the right expectations…for EVERYTHING. Usually we set the expectations for movement standards, culture, and attitude, but we also need to remember to set expectations for equipment usage. I had an athlete drop a completely empty bar from overhead 5 feet in front of me. My heart and soul were crushed.

Be prepared for handling ‘front desk’ logistics. Since we don’t have a front desk, I need to be better prepared to receive drop-in’s and getting waivers filled out. I always forget to ask for waivers for athletes’ guests.

Learn everyone’s story. It’s important to understand why each member shows up. Is it to get fitter? Look better in a bathing suit? To be around longer for their grandkids? To be around good people? Knowing what makes them tick will help you connect with each athlete. Seek first to understand, then be understood.

Speak to the average skill level of the class. If the class has an average intermediate skill level, then you can focus a bit more on the advanced techniques, then have side conversations for the beginners or advanced athletes. Don’t get caught spending too much time explaining modifications for one beginner if the rest of the class is a bit more advanced. And vice versa.

Inspect equipment regularly for defects or malfunctions. There was a resistance band that snapped during class. These things will happen, but make sure to mitigate it by routinely checking items.

Coaches need coaches. It’s not enough to just pass seminars or get certificates. Just like in other industries or aspects of life, a mentor is needed for continual growth. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel, so learn from others that have already walked the path.

Learn by observing other classes. You don’t have to always be coaching or participating in a class. I learned how to scale for a 60+ year old grandpa with Fibromyalgia by just observing.

Youth doesn’t translate to higher fitness level. I had a 15-year-old that I had the mistake of assuming he had greater capacity, but moved similarly to a deconditioned 40-year-old.

Use the warm-up to assess fitness capacity and movement mechanics. This was useful for the above scenario of testing a new athlete, regardless of age.

Get your reps in. Just like with anything that we’re trying to improve in, experience is important. It’s hard to become a great coach if you only do 1 or 2 classes per week.

Well, it’s been awhile (sometime in 2017 to be exact) since I’ve last logged anything related to my journey. So here’s a quick recap / state of the union.

At the end of 2017, I completed my personal athletic goal of competing at Obstacle Course Racing World Championships in Canada which was an absolute blast. It was the first time I ever did three back to back to back races in one weekend.

In 2018, I also took a step back from building my business with LifeVantage — to be honest, the flame sort of fizzled out. I believe it was caused by a combination of misaligned vision between me and the corporate team, as well as the target market that I envisioned myself leading versus the reality of the target market the company actually acquires. So I found myself in a transitional period which brought a lot of new opportunities in for me to grow my software consulting business. I was able to bring on three long term clients and a handful of one-off projects.

On the fitness side of 2018, there was no more enthusiasm for me to continue growing in the sport of OCR. Being able to compete at OCRWC was my pinnacle achievement as a casual mud runner. I’m also not a huge fan of running in training, so if I can’t enjoy the process, there’s no point in continuing. I felt as if setting a new goal in OCR would only happen because that’s what my OCR friends would expect from me instead of what I actually want to do. However I will be forever grateful to OCR and the community. OCR gave me a target goal to reach during my initial weight loss journey — it became less about just losing weight and more about doing things I never thought I could have before with people that share the same obstacles.

So in the transition period of my fitness life, I wanted to explore and try different training regimens. I even started a Youtube channel that would document me visiting different gyms around the country where I could dabble in different fitness domains. However that quickly ended, because I found something to satisfy my thirst for constant novelty — CrossFit.

First I fell in love with the sport of CrossFit. The CrossFit Games moved to Madison in 2017 where I was exposed to the sport for the first time. I had no idea what or who I was watching when I went to go check it out, since I was still focused on OCR at the time. Then I dug into all the documentaries, Youtube vlogs, and other media, and I immediately got hooked. The 2018 CrossFit Games rolls around, but this time I’m a fanboy. Right after the games, I decided to actually start doing CrossFit (August 2018).

After falling in love with the sport of CrossFit, I then fell in love with the method of CrossFit. I’ll explain in a later post why CrossFit fit me so well. However that passion for the method led me to the theory and the reason why CrossFit was created. Fast forward eight months, and now I’m doing everything I can to develop and grow my knowledge base to help others achieve their own personal goals through CrossFit.

And that’s my brief synopsis on what’s happened since where we last left off.

Whenever there were group projects back in high school or college, I always hoped that there was someone in the group that was good at public speaking,
because I DID NOT want to be in front of the class.  The fear of messing up, looking foolish, getting made fun of and failing my group always plagued my thoughts when it came to public speaking.

However over the last two years, I’ve spoken in front of more people than I ever have in my life, so what changed? My mindset about fear changed.

Now I didn’t say I was any good when I started — in fact, I was terrible in the beginning, but I learned three things from my mentors that helped me shift my stinking thinking:

1. If it scares you, it means you should do it.

2. There is no growth inside your comfort zone.

3. You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to START to be great.

Earlier this month I was asked to do a 4-hour training event in Chicago because the scheduled speaker, who’s also one of the top leaders in the company, wasn’t going to make it, so someone had to step up. Without hesitation, I said yes. Why? Because it scared the crap outta me and I had NEVER done anything like this before.

If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!

~Richard Branson

It ended up being one of the most fun events I’ve ever attended. Amazing things happen when not only YOU are stepping outside of your comfort zones but when you are ENCOURAGING OTHERS to do so as well. I want to give a big shout out to the amazing people that put it together and I can’t wait to come back in the future!