Get to Know Your Coach | Courtney Kroen

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.

They transform a class into a community.

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Where does your passion for fitness and a healthy lifestyle come from?
Since I started running track in high school fitness has always been a large part of my life and lead me to study it further in University. Over the years I have developed my own passion for health and fitness through experience and continuously educating myself. I absolutely love motivating, encouraging, and educating others on their own personal fitness journey - whether they have done it for years or are taking the first step.


What is a typical day in the life?
As a Middle School Guidance Counsellor, which you can imagine (if you remember being a teenager or have one of your own..... DRAMAAAAAA!!!) keeps me quite busy and really is all encompassing. I am up at 5am to either squeeze a workout in at home or make my way to CRUX. This is the reason I have to leave the gym right at 7am and can never stay and finish the 6am WODS [or sometimes start them early!]. I head to work for 7:30am - 4:30pm and am then at home meal prepping, walking my gentle giant (Guinness) - some of you may have seen us strolling around town, and am in bed for my 9 hours of sleep. If I am lucky, I fit in some mobility before bed.

In the summer my time is finally my time and I not only love it but utilize every minute of it. Time is spent up at the cottage surrounded by family. We are always outside in the boat, on the bikes, rollerblades, swimming, paddle boarding or inside playing board games or cards. I also use summer to catch up with friends I don't get to see often during the year and we go for walks, hikes, and yummy lunches.


What is the most rewarding part of coaching?
We all show up at the gym for different reasons and you never really know the underlying reason someone is there. Fitness has done so much for my own mental health, well being, and has always been there for me when difficult times arose in my life - so I love being part of that in someone else's journey.


What is your favourite movement/benchmark workout and why?
Cleans! I remember how difficult they were when I first started and attended every single one of Allen's OLY classes to improve. Now, that I understand the technique they are so much easier to manage heavier weight and definitely make me feel strong.

My favourite Hero WODs would be either 'The Chief' or 'Holleyman'


What is your most hated movement/benchmark workout and why?
Anything with the word 'Thruster" in it. I definitely cherry pick. Wonder if that is why they have never gotten any easier.......?!


What is something most people don’t know about you or something interesting?
Rod and I have opened our home to youth at risk for short term stays with 360 Kids and also work with Great Dane Angels, a dog rescue, as a foster home until we met and kept our baby (BIG baby!), Guinness. We enjoy having a purpose and helping however we can.


What type of music do you like to work out to?
Allen's country certainly is a draw to the 6am classes, however, I have a mix that I use in my classes to try to appease all the different tastes in music. I am always open to requests and suggestions!


What is one highlight from your athletic career?
Training with the Queen's University Track Team and competing in the 300m sprint.