Get to Know Your Coach | Paige Savery

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?
It has evolved over time. I have always been active and enjoyed sports throughout my life. I also enjoy food and social times with friends and family, which often comes with over-indulgence. I realized that I needed to find a better balance between the two - consistently - in order to function at my best. As I have more experience building my fitness, I am more in tune with my body, have more energy and am better able to handle stress than before. I believe I am a better person all around - which motivates me to continue and get better.

Why do you coach, what motivates you to teach?
Frankly, CrossFit has surprised me. Before I started, I didn’t believe that I could be fitter at 50, than I was at 30. Logically, I knew it was possible....but more for “other people” who had the time and dedication. Experiencing this journey for myself and feeling the way I do, has made me want to learn more about body mechanics and encourage others to just start! It also keeps me on my toes and gives me the nudge I need occasionally to keep challenging myself. Helping someone overcome a fear or break-through a plateau is incredibly rewarding.

What do you think separates a great coach from a good coach, or a good coach from a poor coach?
We are lucky to have really good coaches at Crux who I learn from every day. To me, the great coach is someone who takes the time to observe/listen to what the individual is trying to achieve and adapts their own style/approach or tools to create a better connection with them. Also a great coach understands that milestones are different for everyone but achieving them deserves equal celebration. All good coaches have the technical ability and can explain what needs to be done. Great coaches motivate individuals to strive for things they wouldn’t do on their own.

What is a typical day in the life?
Like many other coaches, I have a full time job and a family. I am Director of Sales for the Consumer division of Johnson & Johnson. I have a supportive husband, 2 great kids and 1 new son-in-law. With my kids grown I found I have much more time for “me”, which I have partially filled through coaching.

What is the most rewarding part of coaching?
Helping someone gain new confidence.

What is your favourite movement/benchmark workout and why?
Hmmm. “Favourite” is an interesting way to describe this! I would have to say “Isabel”. I like that I can confidently perform the snatch at 95 lbs steadily through the WOD... 1 by 1. It is not a weight that many can do for 30, so I am proud that I can. That said.....I don’t love that it is a sprint!

My general preference are chipper wods. Specifically ones that have movements like burpee box jump overs, bar-facing burpees, cleans, snatches, deadlifts. I find that I can move at a consistent “medium” pace, which works better for me than sprints.

What is your most hated movement/benchmark workout and why?
Fran.....because the better you do, the more painful it is!

What is something most people don’t know about you or something interesting?
I have been with my Husband since I was 15!

What type of music do you like to work out to?
Hip hop/rap.

What is one highlight from your athletic career?
Making it through to the “masters qualifier” (top 200 in my age group worldwide after the open) two times - 2012 and 2017.

Where do you spend your time when you aren’t at the gym?
With my family, walking my dog or out with my girlfriends. (of course when I am not at work)