This Blog is about me (Tom Collins, Junior Trainer at Aphobos)
I don’t mean for it to be over self-indulgent but I hope people can relate to my story and provide a bit of evidence or support for anyone in a similar position or for anyone that may want to take a similar path.
My whole life I had just moved onto the next thing without really thinking about it, you go to school, you play sport, you go to uni, you play sport, you leave education and you’re left feeling, now what? Before CrossFit I had no real aim, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I moved around from job to job, coaching children how to play sport, elderly mobility classes, coaching rugby, climbing instructing and personal training. I still feel like that now but the difference is I have a goal.
So on the 10th of March this year (2017) I took part in my first ever CrossFit class. It kicked my ass, and all the stereotypical reactions occurred; I’m sore, that was horrible, when can I do it again, its addictive, when can I do a muscle-up etc etc. So I decided that it was what I wanted to do, so entered into a six month apprenticeship programme with head coach Gemma Bailey here at Aphobos CrossFit.
Each week we would spend 1-2-1 time on all aspects of CrossFit and how to ultimately become a great coach. We went through all the theory (muscles, joints, energy systems and physical skills), all the movements (well at least half- there are 101 movements as we know) and shadowing (both Gemma and myself) to give me real life examples on how to coach a CrossFit class. This last section is proving invaluable as I am starting to lead my own classes. A huge part of being a good coach is developing the ‘coaches eye’ which comes from experience and allows us as trainers to ensure members are moving correctly and safely through movements, in order to illicit the most physical and health benefits during each class, so that each time someone comes into Aphobos they leave better than when they came in. And I have to say all the work we put in and that Coach Gemma taught me allowed me to walk into my level 1 CrossFit certificate with tremendous confidence. Confidence and anxiety, two words that have plagued my existence my whole life (and maybe this is a whole entire separate blog) but this part of my life has drastically improved thanks to Aphobos CrossFit.
Another huge part of being a great CrossFit coach one day is Virtuosity. This means that you can demonstrate technical skills with efficiency during each CrossFit movement and being the best athlete in the box (one day). Being new to CrossFit six months ago, this is something that I am defiantly still chasing and will be for as long as it takes. It always seems out of reach but I know that is just takes time and commitment to mobility, form and form over intensity. This is a point that I would strongly suggest all new CrossFitters take on board.
I have thrown my whole self into this, I have and continue to give everything and it is by far the hardest and maybe hardest thing I will ever do. Anyone can do it! and I’m sure people do find it easier but don’t think that it is going to be easy. Countless times I have been in that ‘CrossFit pose’, either face down praying to the floor asking why do I do this to myself or on my back gasping for air. In all seriousness I have nearly quit hundreds of times, but I know as soon as I do the dream is over. You have got to keep chasing it.
Although it still feels like I am ‘at the bottom’ or that I haven’t made much progress and there is still so far to go on my CrossFit journey I know in my heart I’m fitter, more knowledagble, I’m healthier, I can do more, I am more confident and that I have purpose.
(Level 1 CrossFit Trainer @ Aphobos CrossFit Bromley)