Why do I coach? To be honest, this isn’t really something I ever gave serious thought to, about why I should. For me, it is more of a compulsion. I feel compelled to help people, to teach people. And I absolutely enjoy it. I enjoy it because it gives me pleasure seeing people improve, at seeing someone’s face light up when they figure out how to do something for the first time, when they get that feeling of moving “right”. I came to athletic things later in life. I did not do school sports and was often that last kid picked for things on the playground. I didn’t even like gym class and barely managed to pass with a D. Iit wasn’t until later in life that I began to discover an appreciation for learning what I could physically. It started with yoga and the precision and strength that it took to move into and hold the various positions. I enjoyed the challenge and sense of accomplishment. Most of all I enjoyed engaging my body.
Let’s jump ahead to learning to lift and then participating in crossfit. Yea, I was mobile as heck after years of yoga, and I certainly didn’t consider myself athletic, but now I was doing athletic things! Ok, back up a bit, before starting to lift, I had a good run at regular globo gyms doing “bodybuilding” type stuff and getting swole. Again, I got pretty strong, but was not what you would consider athletic. Back again to learning lift and participating in crossfit, doing these things made me actually feel athletic, for probably the first time ever. No, I did not have some hidden unfound talent just waiting. I had to learn to do the movements, and more often than not, really struggled with getting the hang of them. And even then, the struggle bus frequently took me for a ride.
What does this have to do with why I coach? I coach because I was not a “natural” at any of it. I had to learn piece by piece, and work hard to do the fitness things, to make the lifts and do the movements. It took practice, and time, more practice, and a lot of patience. Patience with my myself and the process. And the more I do, the more I realize that the process is the real goal, not the “goal” itself. Coaching itself, is about the process, the building of relationships, of learning how the person works, not about the lift or movement that I am teaching.
I am not out to find that special athlete that will create the wave that might propel me to national fame. I am looking for that spark that lies in all of us to find the athletic potential that is there. I believe we all have it, we just have to find how to express it. For me, it has been through weightlifting, and yes, yes, in crossfit as well. A good coach finds great athletes, a great coach finds the athlete in everyone and makes them better. So maybe it is you who never did sports and got D’s in gym class. Or maybe your kid doesn’t fit well with team the team sport atmosphere. Maybe you just haven’t found that thing that ignites your athletic spark. I coach because I believe every person has the right to discover the joy learning to move and see what their body can do.
As I enter my 5th year of weightlifting and am continuing to expand my coaching, I thought it would be a good idea to share some of my thoughts about my journey into this sport. I taught myself to lift, well I tried to anyway, have done close to 40 competitions as a masters lifter (meaning over 35), including those at the national and international level, and coach adults and youth. Oh, and I have also worked my way through a couple of minor injuries. At least I would consider them minor because they didn't bring my activities to a halt.
As I am training, competing, coaching and trying to fit it all together with life, I am struck from time to time by thoughts and musings of bits and pieces of all of it. I think some of them are pretty good lol, so I want to share them and perhaps you can find a bit of something helpful for you. If not, well, that's ok too. Take what you can use and leave the rest.