Tomorrow is my 27th birthday. It’s only fitting that you get to hear feelings. I started out this week by saying you would be getting a reflective blog from me. Unfortunately, I have to deliver.
An opportunity came up for me that’s just too big to pass up. Soon after Eric gets back from maternity leave, July 12th will officially be my last day at CrossFit Fenway, as I recently accepted a full-time coaching position at Reebok CrossFit ONE in Canton, MA.
When I entered into this sport, I knew I wanted to get better at it and coaching it. I want the same thing 2 years later except my passion for all of it as grown in a big way. This I fully attribute to CrossFit Fenway.
I would not feel right leaving without thanking the people who made it possible for me to come this far and get the chance to go deeper into the sport in a big way. Thank you, JT for recognizing a gimp who had a passion. You allowed me the chance, the facility, and the outlet to do what I love more and more every day.
I thank Mandy for her antics, entertainment, and her inspiration. She doesn’t know how inspiring she is and how many people’s stereotypes she has crushed doing and coaching CrossFit. I will never look at another girl from a sorority again and assume anything because Mandy is a badass girl with badass style. I am usually the little sister but you will always be mine.
Thank you, Mary for showing me there is absolutely nothing we cannot handle mentally as human beings. Our bodies may quit, tell us to quit, and fight us tooth and nail to just give up, but you never do. I will take your attitude and SealFit awesomeness with me wherever I go and not forget about those pink…fluffy…bunnies. You are one of the most loyal, humble, laid-back people I know. I can’t help but be affected by your strong presence and sheer will to succeed in whatever you do.
Stace – Although not a day-to-day part of CrossFit Fenway anymore, Stacey will always be a part of Fenway to me. I walked in looking at her as my example in this sport. Not only is she an insanely great coach, she is an even better athlete, and now a great friend. I thank her for setting that example for me from Day 1, as she will never have a true idea of how terrified I was to be in the same coaching/working out vicinity near her. She set (and continues to set) the bar for what excellence is and I have been chasing it ever since. Even though she had no idea I was a.) Waking up at 5 am every day so I could learn CrossFit b.) Trying to be her friend and c.) Not a creepy injured girl lurking in the corner; I would not have wanted it to happen any other way. I never would have known my potential as a coach or athlete if I hadn’t seen someone like Stacey put the example out there every day.
Joe and Sam – I know you guys don’t do the feelings. But too bad. Although you are both tough guys that lift more weight than a rhino, you have, over time, become the nicest, sweetest, most supportive people I know. The best times have not just been working out and coaching with you, it’s been lying on a roller hearing your disgusting, hysterical conversation, contributing to it, and continuing this cycle for 2 years. Both of your laid-back attitudes have really forced me to come down from the ceiling more often than you think. Joe, you’re “so what?” questions and “it’s not a big deal, get it next time” one-liners have been key to making me look at the big picture when I want to punch the wall. This is just exercise. It should be fun. You’ve never strayed from that “go with the flow” attitude in the 3 years I’ve known you, and slowly I have adopted this with this sport, and in life. On the other hand, you still have a way of staring at me from across the room being the only driving force for me to not put 50 empty barbell thrusters down. Tip to all of you: If Joe is looking at you for more than 5 seconds, do not stop, go faster. Your presence is strong and known, and I can’t wait to see where you go from here. Sam, you have a similar presence, just not as stern. Making anyone laugh or laugh so hard they start to cry during a lifting session has become a talent of yours. You too have showed me that my little problems in the day are just that, little insignificant worries that won’t matter in the long run. Your compassionate coaching and ability to entertain everyone with your “do not do this” examples is nothing short of impressive and I can’t believe you haven’t hurt yourself doing one. I will never be around two other guys like you in such close quarters every day and I am truly going to miss it.
Sub thank yous: I must say some quick thank you’s to a couple people who don’t work at CrossFit Fenway anymore, but who are very special to me. Thank you to Aaron Landes for cracking me up when I was an intern and also making it seem like life’s huge problems were nothing I couldn’t handle. You are a phenomenal coach and similar to Stacey, showed me what kind of a coach I should strive to be. It’s only fitting you have a gym together and it’s only going to grow from here. Thank you to Haley for lifting as much as you did early on, because it only made me want to jump out of my brace and lift more. You’re an insane inspiration to Fenway and you always will be. A big thank you to James Higgins who walked in a rower and walked out an insanely awesome CrossFit athlete who showed the coaches what real motivation and warming up really was. Your determination rubbed off on me Higgins, and the days I cracked a smile out of you were solid ones. Thank you to Erica Kroon for welcoming me in with open arms when no one really had any idea who I was. You are a big reason why Stacey, Joe, and I are where we are. Whether you suggested us to try CrossFit, or go for it for a job, it lit the fire and we are all still going.
Thank you to my sister who was my first client. The day I Jillian Michaels’ed your ass at LA Fitness is the same day I knew what I wanted to do with my life. Since then, you have never had a doubt in me. You being behind me in everything I do is part of the reason I have the courage to go do it. I am lucky to call you my sister.
There are really not enough words out there to describe what I can say to Eric Siegel. You are a huge part of why I have made it so far in this sport as an athlete and a coach. You care so much as a manager, coach, and friend. It has not gone unnoticed. Your patience and understanding in the 2 years you have coached me has taught me so much when it comes to teaching others. I appreciate you taking “my crazy” more than you know. I have physically and mentally reached things I have never thought possible because of your nice little Sunday emails telling me what to do. You care somuch about your coaches and members that it is an infectious feeling in this gym. This never fails to create a warm, welcoming atmosphere for anyone who comes through the door. I started here a personal trainer with a torn ACL. I ended a full-time Reebok ONE employee and a Northeast Regional Competitor. I would not have done it without you.
Last but not least, I have to thank all of you: the members and my friends. You will also never fully grasp how inspiring you are to me, not only as a coach and athlete, but just as people. You come back day-to-day wanting to get your butt kicked. You want to get better. You want to improve. You want to know how. This more often than not is what drives me to want to do the same. Some of you have kids and only one hour in the day to get your class in. You have fifty million things to do outside of here. Some of you are students with loads of work to go home to, but you still get your butt out of bed at 6 am. Some of you are coming off 12-hour shifts at the hospital saving lives and standing on your feet all day. You had to witness and be a part of and insane amount of tragedy and upset with the Marathon bombings. You are heroes to me every single day. Some of you have injuries or things that to many doctors should stop you from doing this. But you came in and in some cases got rid of those injuries and strengthened everything from your head to your body. You could have so many excuses to not come in as much as you do, but you do it. You do it and you try so hard. It is all we can ask of you as coaches.
I have watched you lift what you thought you couldn’t, PR what you thought was impossible, and compete when you never even saw it as an option. Teaching you, listening to you, hearing you, pushing you, watching you, cheering you on, and never wanting you to give up on you is a huge reason I am the person I am today. You push me to get better just by showing up. I want you to continue to show up, push yourself in at least one thing, and always know you are capable of doing more than you did yesterday. I don’t care where I am coaching or what other communities I will be a part of in the future, you will always be my home and I will always be your coach.
I walked into Fenway with a torn ACL, a knee brace, no group training experience, and no idea if I was going to make it anywhere in this sport. I sit here 2.5 years later a completely different person. I have been to the CrossFit Games on a team, qualified individually twice, and competed in Regionals as an individual amongst the fittest women in the Northeast. I was already living my dream getting paid to workout and teach people how to work out. I get to continue to live my dream at a facility that I would have never thought to even be an option 2 years ago. You all have no idea the impact you have had on me in the past two years. I will never forget where I came from and I will never forget you. I love you guys, I’ll miss you, and truly from the bottom of my heart, thank you.