Get to know our Coach Nutritionist, Rhonda Fintelman. Rhonda will be leading our upcoming Nutrition Challenge in September, so stay tuned for more details later this week!
Ask a CrossFitter to describe their CrossFit box (in the odd instance they aren’t already talking about it), and you’re sure to leave the conversation knowing the name of at least one of their coaches.
Why? Because they’re that impactful.
Unlike so many – if not all – other sports, in CrossFit, the last person to finish is the one cheered on the loudest. The person who fails rep after rep is greeted with the same high-five as the person who cycles through Rx’d movements with ease.
It’s these unique characteristics that separate and define CrossFit, and it’s the coaches we owe thanks to for putting them into practice day in and day out.
While day after day, they’re reminding us to keep our elbows up in a front rack and break parallel in a squat, CrossFit coaches serve a deeper purpose.
They create an environment where one can scale movements without being overcome by embarrassment, where neither the number on the scale nor the barbell define worth, where confidence is built rather than broken.
Where does your passion for fitness and a heathy lifestyle come from?
I have always been involved in sports for as long as I can remember. I was a gymnast into my early teen years and loved to sprint. Unfortunately I was in a bad ATC accident at the age of 14 where I managed to shatter my tibia in 23 pieces and because of this major set back, all fitness and sport activity was put on hold for me for the following 3 years as multiple surgeries were needed to repair my leg.
My passion was in my determination to not give up on what I once had. I defeated the odds I was given by doctors at Sick Kids and regained full use of my leg again (although it took years). I only recovered better-than-expected because I was in good shape, and athletic at the time of the accident! Without having muscle from gymnastic, sprinting and other sports, I doubt I would have believed a full recovery would be possible. That alone was passion enough to never give up on being strong, fit and having muscle!
Why do you coach, what motivates you to teach?
Anyone who knows me knows I love working with people. The fact that I get to work with amazing people doing something I love so much (crossfit) just made complete sense to me.
What do you think separates a great coach from a good coach?
A great coach is one who can listen. One who knows when to push AND when to lay off. One who understands set backs and knows how to work around them. One who never stops researching, never stops learning, never stops trying to improve. One who never gives up on an athlete when they just don't get something as easily as another athlete might.
What is a typical day in the life?
My typical day is busy with work and family. From coaching, to nutrition clients, to driving my kids around the planet for sports and work. It sounds kind of boring when I write it out - but honestly, I really enjoy most of my days!
What is the most rewarding part of coaching?
I could list a ton of members PRs that have completely made MY day (let alone theirs!)
It is ultra-rewarding to watch a member get over their fear, like finally taking a leap onto an 8 inch box for the first time! Or when they pick up a bar for their first Crossfit class and find they love it!! It is rewarding to give a member tips and then witness their first-ever HSPU! Their first muscle up or their first double under that took them 3 years to get! (these are all true stories!) Getting to witness a few ladies hit the #300 Deadlift Club!!!
These are the moments that I love! I can show up to Crux for classes and someone like Tammy, Tyler, Nolan, Teresa, Natalie, Judy & Nitin, Lori, JR, (..too many to list!) Come in smiling, ready to work - and its impossible not to leave the gym feeling like there is no better job in the world!
What is your favourite movement/benchmark workout and why?
Movement - I love the overhead squat. Benchmark Wod (I am all about the Body Weight percentage wods obviously because I am small)
Linda 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 reps of the triplet:
Deadlift: 1 1/2 body weight
Bench press: body weight
Clean: 3/4 body weight
What is your most hated movement/benchmark workout and why? Most Hated movement Wall balls!!! Most Hated benchmark wod Karen!! (150 wall balls)
Where did you work before crux?
State Farm Insurance Head Office, Agency Resources
What is something most people don’t know about you or something interesting?
I am a Paleo Nutritionist (and will be launching some amazing programs at Crux in September!!). I cant wait!! (and I am trying hard to keep the cat in the bag before things are announced) :)
Also people may not know I was featured in the Crossfit Journal way back in 2011- http://games2011.crossfit.com/node/561242.html
What type of music do you like to work out to?
Loud music. :)
What is one highlight from your athletic career?
I used to love sprinting and gymnastics in my youth, but in all honesty I am most proud to be in the best shape of my life during my 40s. (I am 43) I work hard at continuing to be an athlete. I know I will never be the strongest, or the fastest in the gym, but I am still very proud of my achievements and proud to remain fit when it is so easy not to.