This past weekend, I had the privilege of coaching at the annual WODAPALOOZA CrossFit Festival in Miami, Florida. I’ve attended the event as a spectator in the past, but never as a competitor or a coach. It is one of the few competitions that I’ve always respected and loved. The atmosphere, layout and the high caliber competition are things that make it eerily similar to the biggest stage in our sport— The CrossFit Games. To my knowledge there aren’t many competitions that mimic the CrossFit Games like WZA. Another unique quality of this competition are the various levels of competition available. Aside from the Elite division (CrossFit Games level athletes) they have RX, Intermediate, Scaled, Teens, Masters, Team and Adaptive. The Adaptive competition is an incredible one as they design workouts for athletes with various handicaps. Truly unique and inspiring to watch. There were several athletes who represented NorthEast CrossFit this past weekend: We had Coach Janine, Kenny and Cameron as well as some of our members competing.
Though coaching was a fun and an unforgetting experience, it left me feeling quite emotional. This is not a characteristic that I express often, but it is something that happens when you are really invested with the people you work with. This weekend
was full of all sorts of different emotions. I shared the feelings of happiness, disappointment, adrenaline, frustration with my athletes this weekend. As their coach, I want the same things they want and I know how hard they work to accomplish those things. It reminded me a lot of when I was coaching wrestling, we experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows together. We even see this occasionally in our CrossFit classes. We feel the frustration that our members experience when months of practice and hard work pass, only to encounter failure. We feel the jubilation of our members when they finally achieve a hard earned PR. We care a whole lot about the success of each and every member of NECF and share these experiences with them. It’s why we push you, it’s why we ask you questions, it’s why we email you when we haven’t seen you in a week, it’s why we sometimes tell you things you may not want to hear. We share the experience with our members because we just really care, a whole lot. This weekend didn’t reignite, but reinforced a fiery passion I have for coaching.
The competition was also a reminder to me of the emotional investment being a great coach takes. More importantly, it was also a reminder that we should be
celebrating life every second of every day. The last workout was named “Celebrate Life” and it was a tribute to a young CrossFit competitor who recently passed at the age of 19 years old, Jacob Morris. Several of the teen competitors wore a shirt in his honor and all the competitors shared a moment with the family on the competition floor. It was gut wrenching, but touching to see the support the family received from the CrossFit community. I am honored to have the opportunities that I do, to learn from these incredible experiences and to be surrounded by some great people. We are all together in this one big emotional adventure we call life. Let’s continue to celebrate and cherish fitness, community and life.
- Coach Manny