Doubting myself as a Crossfitter

So, it has definitely been a while since I last sat down to tell you all about my Crossfit Journey.  There’s been so much in my head recently, that all I’ve wanted to do is bury my head in the sand and wait for some of it to magically sort itself out so that I can focus again.

Right now..this is me….

ostrichHowever, we all know that that is not how sh*t gets done and it is time for me to man-up.

So, here’s the 4-1-1 (does anyone even say this anymore? Do my European friends/people who read my blog even know what that means? Anyway, it’s the number you dial to get information in Canada…but I digress…).  As some of you may know…or not…I recently did the Level 1 Trainer Course. This is a course where you are taught for two days by some seriously gifted instructors all about how to do and teach Crossfit…followed by an exam that tests your knowledge..and your mental health judging by the abstract nature of some of the pictures (I kid, I kid…but seriously, some of the diagrams are a bit confusing). If you pass the exam, you are allowed to become a trainer in a Crossfit Affiliate.

I passed! Which, let’s face it, is seriously awesome.  I studied, I prepared, I even worked on my burpees in advance of the course, so I’m really happy that I passed.  But… (and there is always a but….) As I posted a little while ago, I did the Level 1 course because eventually I’d like to Coach Crossfit, not as a full-time coach but occassionally.  I want to share my love of this sport with people and coaching is a great way to do that.

So now I’m here, I am officially allowed to coach.  So, I could enter into the coaches training program at my gym and start learning how to be a great coach (like the bad*ss coaches at my gym).  You’d think I’d be elated, doing some form of weird happy dance (if you are a close friend, you know I have a happy dance for almost everything…if happy dancing were a Crossfit move, I’d be at the Games in no time!! I’m that good. Seriously..but I digress). 

Instead of being elated, I’ve been struggling with my Crossfit self-esteem.  I’ve started doubting whether I am a good enough crossfitter to become a coach.  It’s not that I haven’t been exposed to enough Crossfit. I’ve been Crossfitting for almost 2 years; I watch instructional videos all the time, I went to the Regionals (as a spectator); I have a massive girl crush on both Elizabeth Akinwale and Jenny LaBaw and I even have a few cheeky Crossfit t-shirts. But none of this seems to make up for the fact that there are still so many things that I can’t do at Crossfit.  It’s not that I’m not a good crossfitter…I am…in some areas. (Allow me to take a minute to mention my recent 135 kg deadlift – that’s 297.6 lbs in American).  I’m comfortable with most of the lifts and, in general, with the exception of the evil front squat, I can lift pretty heavy.  But I still can’t do a pull-up let alone a f*cking muscle-up, or a pistol, or a handstand walk; and burpees..well pretty much any body weight movement, still make me want to barf up a lung.

So, the question is, knowing that I still have such a long way to go on my own Crossfit I really ready to coach other people? And would I have any credibility as a Coach if I can’t do these movements? So, I’m kind of at a loss as to what my next step should be. Do I ask about starting the Coaches training program already, as it will be an opportunity to learn even more about Crossfit and coaching, and looks like it will be a fairly intense preparation period; or do I take a few more months and keep working my weaknesses until I get to a level where I’m a more well-rounded crossfitter.

And in the meantime, how do I hold on to my love of Crossfit when each time I go to the gym, I’m thinking about how far I am from where I want to be?  I guess I just need to:

Keep Calm and Crossfit on

The thing is, every day that I go to the gym, I get better and I connect again with the sport that I love. So I’ll just keep going to the gym until I find the answer that I’m looking for. As my friend Queen Bee says, “Head down, push through”.




9 Responses to “ Doubting myself as a Crossfitter ”

  1. Jennifer says:

    Girl, I hear you!

    And I give you MAJOR props for taking and freaking PASSING the L1 exam!! That is amazing!!! I’m too scared to do it just yet.. partially, the money issue, but also because I feel the same like I will never measure up to our coaches, so who am I to be able to teach someone else?

    I am forever inspired by Courtney at She has written quite a few posts on this topic about being a coach but not “looking” like a coach or unable to do some of the movements. But she has a passion for the sport and she is inspiring and loves what she does and that is what matters!!

  2. Sarah says:

    Hah, I know the feeling. I’m in the process of becoming a personal trainer. I doubt myself all the time. But then again, there will always be people who are better than you at something. Doesn’t mean you’re not good. And the best coaches out there haven’t been exceptional right from the start. It takes a lot of experience and trial-and-error to be really good at something, so just go out there and learn!

    For me, I figured in the end if something scares me it’s a good thing. Being a coach scares the heck out of me, but I’m passionate about it, which I think is one of the most important things if you want to do something. The best skill set won’t help if you’re not passionate about what you do. You’re passionate about Crossfit, so I’m pretty sure you’re gonna be a great coach.

    • Rae says:

      Thanks Sarah! I agree. I’m always saying “just because something scares you, does not give you the right to not do it.” Guess I need to listen to my own advice! Good luck with your journey to becoming a personal trainer.

  3. Hogwash to all of this. You would make an exceptional coach. You are teaching what you love. That is so much better than most people out there. The best coaches in professional sports are ex-players that studied the game harder than the naturally talented people had to. Some people have that gift where they do not have to work as hard as others at their craft. Good for them, but most people have to pay their dues and work their tail off and study game tape (or whatever the equivalent in their sport) to get to be even half as good as some of the superstars of the sport. They are the ones that become amazing coaches. They do what they love and they teach it better than anyone else.

    • Rae says:

      I think the word hogwash is seriously under-utilized nowadays :). Thanks for your comment. I do think the fact that I have had to learn everything from scratch is a good thing, because it has helped me to learn how to do things..and how not to do things and I think that is something I could bring as a coach.

  4. Chris says:

    Just because you aren’t as proficient in all of the movements as you would like to be, doesn’t mean you wouldn’t make a great coach! Remember, proving true mastery of a subject is being able to teach someone what you know. Can you teach someone? Then I think the answer is yes, you would make a fine coach. There is no finish line that you have to reach before you are a qualified to coach. Coaches still grow daily. The people you coach would probably coach you back without either of you realizing it. CrossFit, like life, is simply getting better every day. You keep growing through helping others. Don’t forget that.

    • Rae says:

      Thanks Chris! I really liked your post about Murph this week. I still haven’t done it but will one day. You are right, CF is about getting better every single day…except is a rest day 🙂

  5. Jon says:

    Hi Raegan,

    I hear you. I went through exactly the same process before I started coaching. I thought that there were people out there much stronger and smarter than me, so what the hell could I offer?
    Good coaching is not about your own performance. I know lots of coaches who are great athletes and terrible coaches, because all they care about is themselves. Coaching is about your ability to improve other people’s performances, not your own. If you can’t do that, it doesn’t matter what you can do.
    Does it help if you can do a bunch of cool stuff and impress people? For sure. But the main thing is that you walk the walk (i.e. you train), you have a basic level of fitness and you recognise your weaknesses and strive to improve them. Coaches need coaches too.
    I think the key point you make is that you want to share your passion. That is so important and people will recognise that. You will have a huge amount to offer people, especially those new to CrossFit. You may not be a Games level athlete, but you will know much more than them and if you can teach them how to move properly and instill a passion for CrossFit, you will have done an awesome job.

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