My first experience with Crossfit happened in the summer of 2011, before my last year of college. I was spending it in Bentonville, AR (thrilling) doing an internship and a man was running "boot camp" classes out of the apartment complex I lived in (basically Crossfit minus the affiliation and barbells). They were always out by the pool and a few of the friends I had made down there participated in it, so I gave it a shot. I got my butt kicked, met new people, and enjoyed the heck out of it. When I left, I had to go back to school and stick to my training program for my last year of Track, but after graduating, I was looking for something I could maintain now that I was no longer being told what to do by coaches and trainers. I moved to Atlanta and tried the whole "stay in shape" thing by running and slugging away in the apartment gym and hating every second of it. You see, I am REALLY bad at making up my own workouts in a traditional style gym. I could sit and stare at machines and free weights for the entire hour I was there and not get anything accomplished, and I'm never motivated to run unless someone else it making me do it.
So I googled some nearby Crossfit gyms, chose the closest one, dropped in, spent one and a half days going through some foundations, but was quickly given the green-light to go into regular class since I had background in gymnastics and have done Olympic lifting throughout my athletic career (Read: I wouldn't hurt myself and had enough ego to think I knew what I was doing ... I didn't, not really). My first workout was partner Murph. We ran the miles together and split everything else up how we saw fit. I was partnered with another relatively new guy, and we chipped away at one of Crossfit's most iconic workouts together, cheering each other on and picking up extra reps when the other couldn't finish. Needless to say, I was hooked from Day 1. Maybe this experience is why I love the team competitive atmosphere so much more than competing individually...
That experience and every day after that was what built a passion for this sport and drove me into coaching. The community of Crossfit is much like the community of every sport I've been a part of. The main competition is yourself, trying to best your own past performances, while cheering on those around you to do the same. The only difference is, suddenly, I get much more joy out of watching the people around me learn new movements, lift heavier weights and hit their goals than I ever have for myself. I've always wanted to play a bigger role in making that happen, so jumped at the chance when offered to coach for a few classes a week. Coaching also makes me a better athlete. In college, the best way I learned something new was to teach it to someone else. The same applies here. Everyone learns differently, understands different cues, and has different strengths and weaknesses that constantly have me reevaluating how something can be explained/shown. It works to perfect my own technique (although I will always have things to work on), because I don't want to be hypocritical of what I am teaching. So for that, I have all the members to thank for continuing to make me a better athlete, and person. Thank you for allowing me to help you reach your goals, sharing your struggles, and for pushing me to be better as well. I love watching everyone at Cornerstone better themselves with every class, and am thankful to play a part in making it happen.