B.S. Exercise Science, Florida State University
This year marks my 30th year coaching. 30 years! I became an assistant gymnastics coach at a young age when MY coach noticed I had natural leadership qualities (well, at least enough to coach 3, 4, and 5-year-olds)! From the age of 3 up until college, I was competitive in every activity I participated in: Dance, gymnastics, track, martial arts, cheerleading, kickball on the playground, rec league softball with friends, you name it…I was awarded high accolades in some and not in others but the two things that stand out separate from winning or performing at a high level were that I enjoyed developing the skills of each craft as much as I did compete and I had a natural ability to teach those skills to others.
I was working in the personal training profession when a friend invited me to come to try a ‘CrossFit class’ and after my first workout, I was hooked. I remember thinking “THIS is the type of training I’d been missing since college…but didn’t know existed outside of organized sport.” CrossFit is the perfect blend of cardio, strength, and gymnastics. It favors those who work hard and gives everyone who participates the gift of community. CrossFit, by design, honors both the athlete that comes to the table with natural abilities AND the person who needs nurturing to become that athlete! CrossFit boasts a camaraderie level equal to that of team sports and fulfills the need for us to all belong to something a little bit bigger than ourselves.
Never have I been more sure of the benefits of CrossFit. I have raised all five of my children (ages 13-3) in this environment and can attest to the macro and micro-benefits of this type of training. Yes, they can run and jump and lift weights-which have benefitted them in their other physical endeavors. But they also push themselves during workouts, are encouraging to others, have healthy body images, clean up after themselves post-workout, and bear witness to their parents and their peers doing the same benefits that will serve them well beyond their competitive years. When I opened KCI CrossFit in 2014, I had this vision: To create a space where adults and kids could work out together. I continue to execute that vision and take pride in knowing we all influence each other to live healthy and purposeful lives.