Meet Coach Mo! Coach Mo coaches morning/noon CrossFit classes here at Viking Athletics. She’s the head of our Youth Strength and Conditioning program, and she also offers nutrition coaching, and in person and remote personal training. As an athlete, Coach Mo is a member of our powerlifting team, and as a competitor, she has set state records in her age and weight class. Learn more about her below!
- What is your athletic background?
Prior to finding CrossFit I had zero athletic background, at least in the traditional sense. I was always very active and played sports with neighborhood kids, but I was never on any teams. I grew up hiking, biking, rollerblading, and playing many pickup games of football, soccer, and basketball.
- How did you come to join Viking Athletics?
I have been with Viking Athletics from the very beginning when it was CrossFit Relentless. I had followed my personal trainer from another gym when he opened first CrossFit USA in Berlin, then CrossFit Relentless. The reason I followed him in the first place is I got really bored with the workouts my new trainer was giving me, and I had already seen success with CrossFit style workouts.
- What made you want to be a coach?
There isn’t any one thing that made me want to be a coach. I have always enjoyed helping people and teaching people. Even as a teenager I volunteered as a tutor to the younger kids. I took my CrossFit Level 1 on a whim in 2010 to learn more about CrossFit and learn from some of the best coaches. When I did that, I was asked if I would be interested in coaching kids, so I took my CrossFit Kids certification four months later. When I started coaching is when I realized how much I love coaching and helping others.
- What are your favorite and least favorite movements?
I think many would expect me to say squat, bench, or deadlift since those are what I focus on. Although I do love bench I actually prefer odd object training like sandbags, farmers’ carries, sled drags, and prowler pushes. Although I do focus on the big three to keep my technique sound, I have gotten more overall strength gain from odd object and accessory work. My least favorite movements have not changed from the time I started CrossFit, wallballs and thrusters. They hurt and blow me up for days (can’t walk up stairs) no matter how often I do them.
- What are your hobbies outside of the gym?
I have too many interests and not enough time. My husband and I bowl on a league together and are Star Wars nerds. Some of my other interests are reading, cartooning, embroidery, and playing the violin (although it currently needs some repairs).
- What is something that very few people know about you?
I collect stuffed animals, specifically polar bears. One of the first gifts I remember getting as a kid is a stuffed polar bear from my grandmother, and I have collected them ever since. Family members have gotten them for me as get well gifts after surgery, and one of my husband’s first gifts to me when we were dating was a polar bear. Polar bears are by far my favorite animal.
- What is the greatest advice you can give members?
Stop loading your bar with tens every strength day. Just kidding. There are three things I would encourage members to do 1) make goals, 2) tell your coaches your goals, and 3) don’t stop training due to an injury. Your goals don’t have to be gym performance related although they can be. If your goals are I want to increase the distance on my golf drive, I want to be able to play soccer with my kids, or I want to not need physical assistance as I get older we can help. However we as coaches can’t help if we don’t know your goals. That’s where number 2 comes into play. With number 3, this does not mean train through that injury, it means train around the injury. Let your coaches know what is going on, if you have any limitations given by a medical professional, what hurts, etc and we can modify for you. Chances are one of us has dealt with something similar, and can help. Ideally you don’t want to stop training as doing so could also set you back on your other outside of the gym goals.
- What inspires you, as a coach and/or athlete?
I am always inspired by those who have overcome various difficulties to become great athletes or just to make themselves better. I am more amazed by the 70 year old grandma or the amputee or someone who started CrossFit or working out to literally save their life than I am by the feats of the 20-somethings who have everything going for them. Seeing people do things that society would say they shouldn’t be able to do inspires me to work hard at bettering myself as an athlete and a coach.
- What is your proudest coaching moment?
There isn’t one specific thing that I am proud of, but overall I love helping people overcome mental barriers and gain confidence. I love seeing the looks on people’s faces when they set a PR or realize they are good at something they didn’t think they would be. Sometimes it’s a change in confidence that carries over into their personal life. It is always satisfying to hear from a member that a particular cue really worked for them or how something you did helped them in another way. It’s very easy to doubt ourselves as coaches so seeing or hearing about members’ successes helps us to know we are doing something right.