What Your CrossFit Coach Want You To Know During COVID-19

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CrossFit boxes all over the world are closing their doors, and doing their best to balance supporting their members, while keeping them safe.  Over the past month, it’s been an incredible experience to watch boxes all over the nation step up and find innovative ways to continue to engage with the community and offer free workouts, gear, and encouragement to their members.  Now, I’m no CrossFit coach, but I do know how much these coaches care for their members.  And I can only imagine how difficult it has been to close up shop, and have limited connection with their clients.

So I thought I’d reach out to some of the coaches I’ve met over the past several years, and ask them what the one message they’d want their clients to hear.  And interestingly, most of the responses weren’t focused very much on advice on making a little equipment go a long ways, or how to make sure gains aren’t lost. 

Most of the responses were focused on making sure their members remember how important they are as people, to stay engaged with the community, and to give themselves plenty of grace (and a little kick in the butt at when needed).  Even the advice on staying active was focused more on moving for mental health than physical strength.

Related Post: How CrossFit Has Made Me a Better Runner

So if you’re a displaced CrossFitter whose feeling a little lost and frustrated, take heart and know that most of us are not loving this time outside the box.  I know I would sacrifice a toenail (I’m down to 8 at the current moment) to get a barbell back in my hands.  And if you’re looking for a little reminder that your coaches really miss yelling at you to keep your damn you to keep your

Paul, head coach at CrossFit Mettle, San Antonio, TX hasn’t lost sight of how important it is to stay connected to our amazing CrossFit community.
“First, I want all my members to stay safe healthy and to watch after their loved ones through this crisis. Find ways to stay in contact with friends and family. Either through calls, texts, facetime, group chats or social media. Anything to make it feel normal. Stay active. Try not to break your routine of working out. Follow online workouts, organize zoom classes with other workout partners and ask to borrow equipment if needed. Don’t get discouraged through this crisis, remember that this will pass and we will endure and move on!! Ask for help, don’t be too proud to ask for assistance in anyway. The CrossFit community is here to help everyone get though this ordeal. Another option to help pass the day is to work on a hobby or skill that you’ve always wanted to start or improve on. Finally, I want to let them know that we are here for them in any capacity and want to get back to banging and clanging that weight And blasting that music. When you spend that much time with people the community turns into an extension of your family. We all miss that.”

Brittany, coach at CrossFit Mettle, San Antonio, TX has some amazing words of wisdom and encouragement for athletes of all physical abilities.
“I would encourage everyone at home to find some sort of physical activity routine during this challenging time. Exercise, in any capacity, is not only beneficial physically, but mentally as well (hello, endorphins!). I understand this is easier said than done, with schools being closed and many parents suddenly tasked with teaching, but making time for fitness is crucial to your overall health and wellbeing. Don’t have equipment? There are still options! CompTrain is offering daily equipment-free workouts focused on functional fitness. I highly recommend checking them out, and setting aside time during your day to exercise! Even if it’s only for ten minutes, your body will thank you for it. And for those workout junkies worried about losing “gains?” Focus on what you can control, and let go of what you can’t. Go all-in on your at-home workouts, lean on your (digital) community, and put an emphasis on mobility. Once things return to normal, you’ll be slinging weights and PRing in no time.”

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Alexis Newton, coach at Contender CrossFit, Corpus Christi, TX reminds of all of the importance of mental health and priorities.
“As a CrossFit coach, your strength numbers or weight on the scale are not what I am concerned with during this “Shelter at Home.” What I am concerned with most is your mental health. Several years ago, my focus changed- I was no longer trying to be the strongest, fastest, lightest. I was now trying to remain kind to my husband, patient with my kids and gentle with myself.

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Sound like you? I don’t think I had ever realized how much getting a sweat on has helped my mental health. And I worry that many of you may not realize how much it helps you. So during this time of uncertainty:
keep sweating– Walk, run, jump rope, do body weight work outs, JUST SWEAT.
keep a schedule– If you’re a coffee squad-er that works out at 5 am, continue your routine. Instead of driving to the gym, head to the back yard.
keep a tab on your alcohol intake– Listen, I am guilty of this too. That glass of wine (or 3) looks good after a full day at home with the kids trying to figure out how to use the school systems new “e-learning” guide AND attending your Zoom meetings too. But alcohol is a depressant. And I don’t need more of that in my life and neither do you. I’m not saying abstain. I’m saying BE AWARE.

You’ll notice I didn’t say weigh and measure your every meal. I didn’t say make sure you log your scores.I didn’t say go buy equipment. Your mental health is MORE important than maintaining your backsquat. Do what you need to do to get by but DO NOT NEGLECT your mental health. You are TOO important.”

Related Post: Staying Healthy & Sane During Social Distancing

Rob, owner & coach at RK 512, Austin, TX emphasizes staying connected and prioritizing self-care:
“We are all in this together, we are all experiencing the emotional, physical and social pain that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused our world. Which is why it’s very important to stay in your routine. Keep moving, keep training and stay in contact with friends and family – more than ever. Use this time to learn new things, and do the things you’ve been putting off for a while. When we are forced to change our routine, we get creative, we learn to communicate and we learn to appreciate what we once took for granted.”

Julia, coach at Whitecap CrossFit, Corpus Christi, TX wants us to have grace for ourselves, and reminds us that coaches struggle too:
“Your coach wants to raid the refrigerator too! Yup. This sucks. All these additional roles that have come with stay-at-home have made it hard to avoid the snack demons. Emotional eating is normal. Grieving right now is normal and 100% okay. It will happen. Let it. Don’t beat yourself up and move forward. Recognize what’s going on, and try and set goals so it doesn’t happen every day.”

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