Should you do your Level 1 if you aren’t a “great” crossfitter?

Level 1 trainer courseShould you do your Level 1 if you aren’t a great crossfitter?

This is a question that I’ve been asking myself recently.  Why, you ask? (It’s so nice how you are always interested in what I have to say….)

Our gym is hosting two Level 1 Certification Courses in the next few months.  It seems like fate that the Crossfit universe would drop a Level 1 course right in my lap the moment that the Open was finished.  As you know, the focus of this blog was initially my journey to the Crossfit Open 2014.  Now that that is done, I need a new focus.  And now there’s this training course.

As soon as I got the announcement, I hustled (yes, I occasionally hustle, although you would not believe this if you’ve ever seen me do burpees..not pretty..and not fast), anyway….I hustled onto the website and signed myself up! Woo Hoo!! Level 1!!! Yeah!!!

What? wait…. sh*t, what have I done?!?

You see, most of the other people who have registered to take the course (okay, all of them from my gym) are bonafide fitties and as such, are pretty great crossfitters (and actually genuinely nice people so we can’t hate them..I tried, it’s not possible). And then there’s me.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely a “good” crossfitter, but by nobody’s definition would I ever be called a “great” crossfitter.

By good, I mean I am quite good at some things – lifting heavy sh*t, and not so good at other things – gymnastics and other body weight related movements.  There are many things I still can’t do as a crossfitter and this made me wonder if I should really be doing the Level 1 training.

So, I had to sit down (with wine) and have a serious chat with myself about whether I should really be doing this. (FYI: All self-chats should involve wine. Life rule.)

First off, let’s look at why I’m doing this. The truth is: I want to be a coach.  Not a full-time coach (because that would leave all the projects of the world that need managing unprotected..I’m a project manager in real life in case you were wondering) but definitely someone who coaches regularly.  I love to teach, and I love Crossfit. These two together are like a dream come true.

Can I really be a coach if I don’t have all the movements at a high level?

So after several glasses of wine and some introspection, I decided that yes, yes I can be a coach.

yes we can

Here’s why.

I might not be a great crossfitter, but I have been a bad one – a terrible one in fact.

When I arrived at the gym, I didn’t know how to do anything and my technique (I didn’t even know what technique was at the time) was sh*te.  To do a banded pull-up, I had to use the strongest band and have the coach lift me. I used “just the bar” for everything.  It was practically tragic.  I think that the memory of G and my’s first few weeks of crossfit still keeps Coach Jon up at nights.

All that to say, I started from ground zero, with no experience and no inherent skill. I wasn’t a former athlete and the only lifting I had done was on a 3 month weight loss program at a globo gym.

But I learned, and I got better.  I learned how to do the movements and I learned to fix my technique on the lifts..and I suffered every inch of the way.

So I know what it’s like to be new, I know what it is like to be frustrated and I know what it is like to fall in love with Crossfit and your crossfit community.  I know the satisfaction of getting your first PR..and your second…and then not PRing for months. I know the difference that doing a lift well can make.

I know how Crossfit can change your life – and I want to share that with people.

So yes, I do think you should do your Level 1, even if you aren’t great.  If you know your stuff, and you love it then I say share it!

Plus coaches get to give people burpees…and who wouldn’t love to do that?

What do you think? Should a person get their Level 1 and coach if they aren’t a great crossfitter? Let me know!



6 Responses to “ Should you do your Level 1 if you aren’t a “great” crossfitter? ”

  1. […] 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 […]

  2. Amandine says:

    I think the main thing is to love CrossFit and teaching/coaching. Seems like you have both, so the rest you will pick up or improve with time.

    I signed up too and had the same reaction: first was super excited and then wondered if I should since I still have real weaknesses but came to the conclusion that I was passionate enough to make up for it.
    I’m sure you’ll have a blast and it will give you even more tools to be a great coach.

    • Rae says:

      Thanks!! I’m still a bit nervous, but studying the handbook and watching videos is helping. Mostly I’m just excited. How are you feeling?

  3. Chris says:

    I’ve been toying with the same idea! Not yet, but in a few months perhaps. When I do something, I want to know everything about it, I guess that’s the engineer in me – wanting to know the behind story for how something works. I think getting my Level 1 would further my CrossFit education to a point where I would feel comfortable talking to others about it from a technical standpoint. I’m still quite new and struggle with most movements but I know that when I really focus on form and doing something totally correct, I get much better results.

    Looks like you’ve chosen to go ahead with the L1, and I absolutely agree with your decision!

  4. Laura says:

    I think yes…. I’m considering maybe coaching powerlifting in future, even though I will never set a PL record or even place in a competition. I want to coach because I want to encourage more people to lift (especially older women & women who might think they’re too unfit/fat/thin to lift) and I don’t think I have to be a champ to do that!

  5. Jennifer says:

    I was going to treat myself to this for my Crossfit-iversary but not at all financially in a position to do so just yet. I think everyone should get it, if not to coach, to learn so much more of the fundamentals!

    Claire and Courtney I think both have posts relative to this topic!

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