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 healthy lifestyle come from?
Honestly I never got into sports until elementary school and then I played all the sports - volleyball, basketball & was on the track and field team. I loved sport because I got to be part of a team and work hard with like-minded people. Fast forward post school years and I joined a gym and never looked back. I always preferred group fitness over working out alone. I love the energy and motivation you get from working out as a team/group.
My parents never lived a healthy lifestyle (sorry mom and dad) and I knew that exercise would always be a part of my lifestyle. Now I am close to 40 and can say, I have stayed true to that idea!
Why do you coach, what motivates you to teach?
My passion to help others achieve their fitness goals is what motivates me. I can always remember a time when a coach made a difference in my fitness journey, impacted my experience and continued to grow my love for CrossFit. That has made a huge impact on my life. You see people come to the gym who may be having a bad day but show up and give it their all and by the end, they are smiling and happy they decided to make Crux part of their day! I love being part of that. I truly love connecting with people and sharing and encouraging their progress.
What do you think separates a great coach from a good coach, or a good coach from a poor coach?
I think a great coach is someone who is always learning outside of the gym. Who is educating themselves and continuing to challenge themselves. They listen to their athletes' individual needs and know when to push and when to pull back.
A poor coach is someone in my opinion who is disengaged with their class, who doesn't make an effort to connect with everyone at some point and who has an unfriendly demeanor or is unapproachable. Knowledge is only part of the what becoming a great coach is!
What is a typical day in the life?
Alarm goes off at 4:30. Coffee first, then try to get a workout in - hopefully at Crux but if not then something quick at home.
Then I try and get myself ready for work before my 3 kids start to wake up. Then it's lunches, school and daycare drop offs before I get myself to work where I am a district manager for Club Monaco. They keep me very busy.
Then it is a race to pick up my kids, have dinner, sports, homework, showers and bed for them.
Then I get back on my computer for a bit and then bed for me too.
The days are long but the years are short, they tell me;)
I should mention when my husband Chris is not working, he is a lot more involved in the morning, nightly routine but often it is just me as he works shift work and is gone from 5am (to work out at Crux before work) to 8pm!
What is the most rewarding part of coaching?
Seeing other reach their goals/PR's. I love being part of their journey.
I also genuinely love connecting with the community while teaching. They are part of my gym family and that is a pretty great feeling!
What is your favourite movement/benchmark workout and why?
My favourite movement is the squat clean because I love being able to use my lower body for any movement. It also is the movement which has allowed me to move the most weight outside of squatting from the rack and that is pretty cool!
I PR'd my squat clean only a few months post pregnancy with my last child and that was a pretty fond memory!
My favourite benchmark is Fran and that is only because it is quick and consists of two of my favourite movements, thrusters and pull ups!
What is your most hated movement/benchmark workout and why?
I honestly don't hate any movement but if I would have to choose I would say the snatch as I just get scared to move heavy weight over my head that way. I have never been able to break my very low PR!
Least favourite benchmark is DT. Mentally it is so gruelling for me and the recommended weight is just heavy enough to make me want to quit after the first round. I also am not a fan of 5 rounds of anything LOL!
What is something most people don’t know about you or something interesting?
Outside of work/coaching, I am actually pretty introverted. I am more on the shy side and l like to spend time alone or with my family. I think that would surprise most people as I project that I am very outgoing and social.
What type of music do you like to work out to?
Country music is my favourite in and out of the gym so you'll never hear me complain to working out to that but I also like pretty aggressive beats to get me through a bad ass workout! I find it motivates me to push harder. I don't like to workout sans music and the louder the better for me!
What is one highlight from your athletic career?
I will always remember showing up for an Open workout 15.4 that called for 125 lb squat cleans and handstand push ups. I had never done either of those - the weight of that clean or a handstand push up without an ab mat. My first clean wasn't the prettiest but with coaching, they got better and easier and I got 29 reps in that 8 minute AMRAP. I'll never forget the encouragement from the coach and the member who got me through. It truly was a great feeling!
Where do you spend your time when you aren’t at the gym?
If I am not at the gym, I am at one of two places; work or with my 3 kids who truly are the centre of my life and keep me very busy at 8, 6 & 2!