THANK YOU COACH KRISTA
Flash back to early 2012. Reebok was still new on the scene, one year of Games sponsorship under their belts, and they were looking to co-brand a few CrossFit gyms around the world
I was in Australia for a holiday, and during a casual conversation with a Reebok rep, and my mention of plans for expansion of my business.......suddenly a 2nd gym was on the cards.
It got real very quickly, and there was some frantic searching for a new location, and a building suitable for our needs. A distinct lack of commercial real estate and a couple of false starts over the following year had the stress levels at a high, but we finally identified a possibility.
We just needed someone to run it.
Now I had a great team at the time.
But running a gym is a completely different game to coaching in a gym.
The job never ends. There is always an email to send, a member to text, programming to write, rosters to organise, coaches to train, and marketing, retention, branding, gym maintenance, service, and equipment to think about.
I didn't know if I could legitimately expect any of my staff to make such a massive leap from coach to entrepreneur so quickly.
My solution was simple, in 3 months I was going to choose someone to run the gym. With next to no guidance from me, everyone from my longest serving coaches to my brand new interns, was welcome to show me they could do it, via their actions at CFNZ.
In about one week flat, I had the candidate. My girlfriend (now fiance) Krista......
But here's the thing, she was only in the group of possibles, because that was the rule I had made. That ANYONE had a shot, she was just there to make up the numbers. She was only a junior intern, had assisted with a few busy classes here and there, and was always really helpful with keeping the gym tidy, but I had two senior interns, 2 assistant coaches, and 2 head coaches in the mix, and those were the people I was looking to with this challenge.
Now just to be clear, I'm not knocking ANY of the other candidates here, everyone in the challenge was working a second job, or was still in the process of finding their career path, or had new families to juggle. Not everyone was really going to be able to give this their best shot.
But that doesn't mask the fact that Krista was one of the top radiation therapists in the country, working 10 hour days, in a highly stressful environment; and she DOMINATED the selection process from start to finish. At the time she also walked her dog for 2 hours a day, regularly rock climbed and mountain biked.
Of course, once I realised how good she was going to be, I couldn't let her know...... The rules of relationships state that you must make your significant other work harder than everyone else to receive anywhere near the same level of recognition. Right?!
No that is obviously not right, but for some reason, we don't always do the right thing by the people that are the closest to us...
So I corrected her more than everyone else, I found fault with every class she coached, with every blog post she wrote, with every comment she put on the members Facebook page. I hounded her on her movement demonstrations, and I had her coaching so many classes that she was almost spending as much time as the gym as I was..... on TOP of a full time career.
And instead of doing what she should have done, and telling me to get stuffed..... she simply became a better coach than me. More passionate, more driven, more biomechanically sound of movement, more hard working and (as everyone who knows her knows well), way more positive. The shoe is on the other foot. Every day I am inspired to work harder, for longer, to learn more, to coach better, to help more people; because of the example that she sets.
Krista has created an incredible community of wonderful people and dedicated athletes at Reebok CrossFit 09, also one of the few gyms run solely by a woman. This month the gym celebrates it's 3rd birthday, and is going from strength to strength. For some reason, we never got into the habit of marking the occasion like we do at CNFZ with our yearly Battle Royale competition.
But even if the birthday lacks some fanfare, I certainly wont let the chance slip by to recognise the person that made RCF09 possible, and what it is today.
Thank you Coach Krista. You're amazing.