Solcana blog

So, I passed my Level 1 Certification. Okay. Cool. They said they’ll mail me my certification and I hope they do so it doesn’t end up in a file in an office on the Saint Paul Campus of the University of Minnesota like my Bachelor’s Degree. (Someday I’ll pick it up but omg if you find yourself in Saint Paul and feel like doing a girl a solid, holler at me and I’ll call and tell them you will be picking it up for me).

Me, shadowing at CrossFit
Me, shadowing at CrossFit

The week before my L1 Cert, Ryan and I started our Coach training at Solcana with Coach Hannah – something we’ll continue weekly 1:1 with her, outside of our 3x/week shadowing of Coaches Ariel, Jake, Morgen, and Jerik. I’ve always paid a lot of attention to the coaches during class for my own understanding, and now find myself watching even more closely to learn from their teaching styles. It’s like I’m the little baby bird and they are the mama bird, without having to chew food for me and spit it in my mouth. Who knows. Maybe we’ll try that, too. CrossFit!

This past Saturday, I shadowed Coach Morgen at the 9am WTF (women, trans, femme) class – you know, the class I most look forward to every single week because we have so much fun (oh, and brunch after) before coming back at noon for powerlifting training. This week was a little different for me since I was shadowing vs working out myself (which presented a whole new set of challenges like “Jenn, you better still workout and eat enough food and make it back for powerlifting…but how are you going to do that now if you don’t workout at 9am and you still want to go to brunch with your fraaaands?!”). There were a couple of new faces at the 9am which was awesome to see – and watching Coach Morgen work with them gave me a lot of insight as to how to be a great coach with rookies and seasoned crossfiters. As a rookie, it can already be scary enough to walk into a new CrossFit gym. Add to that an introduction to Olympic Weightlifing and a new member might be in overload! Not with Coach Morgen, though. Probably because she teaches with the utmost gentleness, compassion, support, and patience. I highly recommend everyone talks with Coach Morgen because she’s told me more times than I can count that she identifies with my own CrossFit story. She’s been there, too. That’s the thing, you guys! We all have a story and we all start somewhere and most of us (me, still) couldn’t do a pull-up or push-ups from the floor or squat to the depth when we began. It’s a process and a journey towards fitness and no matter where you’re at there is a place for you at Solcana CrossFit! We want you to be confident, comfortable, yet still push yourself so we constantly take safety, ability levels, and quality of movement into consideration as we coach. LOOK AT ME TALKIN’ LIKE A COACH ALREADY! HEYYYOOOOO.

So back to coaching. I’ve got the piece of paper, but there’s a giant difference between being a coach and being a “coach”. I’m thankful to be in this role and have the safety net that Coach Hannah has provided for me as I soak up as much knowledge as possible – shadowing and training until we co-coach as secondary coaches, and then co-coach as primary coaches. It’s going to be a while before I get my own classes and I AM SO GOOD with that. Mostly because at this point I am no more qualified to coach today than I was before I was certified. I’ve got so very much to learn and I’m on my way to learning it. My certificiation is just a starting point.

I constantly scour the internet for information on coaching, CrossFit, weight lifting, etc and came across this really great article from Breaking Muscle (one of my faves) with this point that really stood out for me:


Make it your mission to be the best coach in the world. Use the L1 as only a starting point to a lifetime of continuing education and always, always coach your clients from a position of humility. This means that you understand that hubris will get them injured, and humility will get both you, and your clients, the best information available on how to become more fit.

Beneath every one of your client’s PRs; beneath every missed lift, every tear shed in frustration, every tear shed in joy; beneath every aspect of your business in this wild and crazy game is a human being. All have their own sets of fears, hopes, dreams, quirks, and foibles. Some you can yell at, some you have to speak to very quietly, all of them can benefit from your knowledge and experience, and all deserve an equal share or your time and energy.

YES. And, also – following in the footsteps of of my coaches Hannah, Jake, Jerik, Morgen, Marijke, Ariel, Jeff, Michael, and Jen – means that, as a coach, I am willing to open myself up, to speak honestly, listen, listen, and listen some more. Doing this allows me to know this game is not just about fitness, it’s not just about health, it’s not just about nutrition. It’s a about humanity and community. A community I love so very much.

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