Odds and Ends
by Erik Castiglione
I’ve had several different conversations with several different members over the last week, and they don’t flow together nicely or form a narrative. So, I’m tackling and sharing them one at a time, hence the title “Odds and Ends.” Enjoy, and as always, don’t hesitate to reach out with questions.
On Viking Lore
We send out a weekly newsletter to our membership which includes a quote of the week, an article from our blog, a nutrition article from an external source, and a general health/training article from an external source. Why? Because we want our membership to be informed. When it comes to health, fitness, and nutrition, the internet is full of snake oil salesmen and magic pills. There is so much misinformation out there that the truth is often buried. So, we try to sift through the garbage for you and find good articles on topics that are hopefully relevant to you and your lifestyle (that’s why alcohol is a frequent topic).
On Our Blog
Our own blog is a little more specific in focus – we tackle subjects that are relevant to what’s going on in the gym, be it movement specific, programming related, nutrition based, or bigger picture ideas like training adaptations. Why do we write it? Because again, we want our membership to be informed. We like to delve into the “why” behind our training methods instead of just focusing on “what” and “how.” If you understand the purpose of something, you’re more likely to do it. We don’t expect you to follow along blindly.
To that end, we encourage our members to ask questions. In fact, House Rule #7 is “Ask Questions. The only stupid question is the one you don’t ask.” Still, sometimes there isn’t enough time in class to adequately answer them. And sometimes people are too intimidated to ask questions. So, we use our blog to help. And we’re open to suggested topics, so don’t be shy if you’d like us to answer one!
On Getting Published
A different member suggested that I try to disseminate some of our posts to various other websites for publication. I have no desire to do so. In most cases, to be published, you sell your article to the website that publishes it. In doing so, you relinquish your rights of distribution. The other website now owns it, hides it behind a paywall, and you cannot post it on your own site. You can link it, but even with the link, it’s inaccessible without payment. My audience is you, our membership. You are the ones I’m interested in reaching and informing, so I want to make sure you get the information for free.
I’ve had several members and coaches ask me about various certifications that I’ve taken over the years. At this point, I have probably accumulated more than most coaches in the state, purely out of necessity. I earned my CF-L3 in 2015, and to maintain it, I must accrue 50 hours of continuing education every 3 years. So, I try to take courses that seem interesting. The sad truth? Many of them are useless. Some of them contained the occasional useful nugget of information, and a small handful were excellent.
Bottom line, certifications don’t matter if the coach that holds them can’t help you reach your goals. Some of the best coaches I’ve met hold a single certification, just enough to ensure that they’re covered by insurance. Their practical knowledge is outstanding, and they get results. Conversely, I have met coaches that collect certifications like they’re baseball cards but can’t apply the information. They fail to inspire trust in their clientele because they get no results. And at the end of the day, that’s what matters: YOU, the client, and your results.
On Building Coach-Client Relationships
We’ve just established that YOU and your results are the most important thing. To that end, our job as coaches is to establish your trust in us. Trust that we know what we’re doing, trust that we have your best interests in mind, and trust that we’ll help you get where you’re trying to go. CrossFit is interesting in that the barrier between coach and friend is often blurred. That’s great and can lead to a quicker establishment of trust, but friendship isn’t a prerequisite for your success. Whether or not you hang out with a coach outside the gym should not affect your training in the gym. Hell, you may not even like a coach as a person, but if you trust and respect them as a professional, you can still be successful in their class.
To expand on that, all coaches have different styles. Some will vibe with you better than others, and that’s normal. For example, I’m well aware that I can be intimidating. I’m a very intense person, and my natural expression is not one of happiness (I’ve had resting bitch face since long before the term was coined). I’m not much of a cheerleader when it comes to workouts. Some of our other coaches have more energetic approaches, and that might be more your speed. That’s fine. That’s why we put together a team of different personalities. Despite our individual styles and idiosyncrasies, we uphold the same program and standards, to keep you progressing toward your goals. And as long as our team does this and earns your trust, we’re good.
That’s all I have for this week. If you have other topics that you’d like addressed, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. See you in the gym!