I want to preface this with the comment that, this might end up being a lot of random things thrown together because I have a lot in my head and want to get it all out, so if some of it is confusing, or jumps around a lot, I apologize.
Recently, Manny gave us “homework” and asked us to reflect on ourselves, the way we train and how it personifies the way we coach and carry ourselves. During the meeting, he had pointed out a recent class he walked in on and how I let things slide that I shouldn’t have as a coach, and right after he finished talking about it, I immediately started to reflect (while still paying attention to the meeting). I actually had an idea of who he was talking about and I wanted to know his thoughts and what I could have done better. I also started to immediately think about my other classes and I realized, that the entire day, I most likely failed as a coach.
On the car ride back home and even now as I sit here writing this, I realized that a year ago, I would have gotten upset with his comments, pouted, went home and bitched either to my wife or myself and in the end, convinced myself that I wasn’t wrong in how I coached. I may have even gone so far as to continue coaching that way. That thought in my head made me angry and sad. I couldn’t believe that THAT was my mindset not long ago.
I have spent more time since April, than I have at any point in my entire life, reflecting on myself, my life, my goals and everything else. I wish I had time to do it even more, but I am happy that I have made it a routine (not always daily), to reflect on things. Sometimes I do it on my Instagram, because I realize that it may help someone who has been in the same situation I used to be. Maybe it will help them realize that they are being stubborn, thick headed, or maybe just completely oblivious to how they are acting. I have had Manny and Cameron (and my other colleagues throughout the years) as role models and as friends, always trying to get through to me, to help me, to guide me. I am amazed they have honestly put up with me for as long as they have, through all of the ups and downs, because frankly, I was a fucking handful (I probably still am).
I had my moments of revelation, where I would turn things around, but they never stuck and I think it was because I was in a rut in my own life, one that had been going on for a few years and I let that consume me at every corner. It’s hard for me to admit it as a man, but I was weak.
I know it’s only been 5 months, and I could fall off the wagon and right into fat city and mental breakdown tomorrow, but for the first time in a long time I don’t actually feel that way. My habits have changed, in all aspects of life. I am training less, in terms of volume, but more in consistency. I am training harder than I have since probably before I got married. I am pushing myself to be a better human being every day.
I can see how taking better care of myself, becoming more consistent in my training and pushing myself daily has rolled over into my everyday life. I look back and see things in a different way.
– Was I a hard worker?
o Yes, in terms of hours and time I put in to the gym, but my previous work product was that of someone who didn’t put their 100% into everything they did, similar to the way I used to train.
– Was I efficient or disciplined in my work?
o Let’s say 50% of the time I was, just like my training.
– Was I consistent in my work product as a coach and as an administrator?
o Again, maybe 50% of the time, just like my training.
– What about as a friend and co-worker?
o Again, inconsistent too often, especially with the support and constant outgoingness of those around me. Which again, translates to exactly how I was working out and how I was as a training partner.
– What about as a husband and father?
o This is where it hits hardest. Yes, I have given up everything to provide for my family, but have I always given them all of me and the best of me? Before April, the answer sadly is no. JUST LIKE MY TRAINING.
Things have definitely changed. I can see that. I am working more now than I ever did before, but my work product is better. My efficiency is better. My mood is better. People enjoy being around me more, I can see it in their demeanor. I am happier, healthier, a better role model for not only my kids, but others around me. I firmly believe that as much of an asset as I may have been to NorthEast CrossFit, I may have been a bigger liability, but I don’t feel that way anymore. I have always cared about our clients, but I feel like my care for their fitness has grown deeper. I want them to experience the same highs I have had for the past 5 months, and I don’t want them to experience the many many lows that I have in the past few years.
I could be better at holding them more accountable with certain things (i.e. range of motion, movement pattern, etc.), and I do care that they do, but I am a work in progress and I know that and I have accepted that. I am a little bit rusty and getting thrown back into coaching at Hawthorne has been a big eye opener, but also amazing at the same time. I not only fell in love with coaching again, but I fell in love with fitness again. I love my job as an administrator, but I miss the learning aspect of coaching. It’s been fun, and frustrating at times, being critiqued and learning how to be better. Not frustrating in a bad way, but frustrating because I WANT to run the perfect class, and when I realize I didn’t or Manny tells me something that I could have done better, it angers me and makes me want to learn and improve. I have noticed this more and more over the past few months in my training as well. I want every workout to be perfect, even though I know it won’t be, but it is forcing me to work harder, to practice more and doing so has helped me gain the respect of the members of the gym. I have gotten better at many of the movements in CrossFit and developed the skills I never had, but I am more open to coaching than I have ever been in the past. Instead of looking around and being mad about people who are further along than I am with developing a skill, I pick my fellow coach’s brains and practice to be better. I don’t look for shortcuts, but instead develop the skill level by level. I work on strict movement and technique because I realize the importance of it and if I am going to preach that to members, then I need to hold myself accountable as well. I could have shaken off the tips I have been provided and said to myself, “whatever, I can bang out 20-25 unbroken kipping now.” Instead I take the critiques to heart and I realize that maybe not everyone will react in this way, and some may give push back, but if I don’t try than what kind of coach am I. Just like I tell my members consistently, “what’s the worst thing that will happen? You will fail, but you can learn from failure.” This also applies with coaching. What’s the worst that will happen, the member will ignore the coaching, but maybe their friend won’t and over time their friend will progress and they will stay stagnant. Then one day, you look over and the cue you gave them 6 months ago, they are suddenly trying.
A member recently said they are always shocked when they hear that I don’t have a certain movement or that I modified a workout because they think I can do anything. I know that if the members think that way about me as an athlete it means that when I coach them, they respect my coaching because they respect the way I train myself.
I have never felt happier or more satisfied with where I am. Could certain aspects be better? Absolutely, but the good far outweighs the bad and that is what’s important. Life will never be perfect. I will never make it to the games. I will never be a millionaire, but I want to be a great GM. I want Hawthorne to not only succeed, but to be something amazing. I want NorthEast CrossFit to be the dominating fitness facility that it will one day become and I want to have a large part in it. I want to be a better human being, a healthy human being and a happy human being. I want to inspire others, I want to be better every day; as an athlete, as a friend, as a brother, a son, a husband and a father.
If you made it to the end of this, thank you for taking the time to take a ride on my brain’s roller-coaster. This was the first time in a long time I have been happy about homework. I have been thinking a lot about this stuff and I am glad that I could share it with you all. I could go on forever with this, including another 50 pages about Community Over Competition and how that has changed my training and my life, but I’ll save that for the next blog.