You could say fitness or at least working out and “the gym” is in my blood. My grandfather owned and operated 6 or 7 Texas gyms throughout the 70’s and 80’s while competing in bodybuilding and powerlifting. At four years old, I remember my dad teaching me how to do pushups, sit-ups, and curls. But, I’d say my coaching journey began back in the summer of 2003.
I decided not to play football in the fall and had started taking drum lessons. That’s what I was going to do. I was going to become a badass drummer. My parents supported that fully but still wanted some way for me to be active. Not to say that drummers in bands aren’t active. You actually have to be in damn good shape to play the drums for a whole set.
My father read an article in our local newspaper about a girl who recently got runner-up in the school-age nationals for weightlifting. He saw this and immediately took me out to my coach’s house. A “fluffy,” as the ladies in my age group called me back then, kid showed up to the doorstep of my coach’s house on Wednesday, July 23rd of 2003. The rest is history. This was huge for me back then because both of my brothers were playing football that fall and at the time, were way better at it than me. I finally had something over them! I am an Olympic weightlifter and at the time, they were not.
Of course, after football season ended they hopped on the train as well and weightlifting became a family ordeal. We all got better and got to where we were lifting at the national level. After lifting at a few national championships, my coach encouraged us to get our USAW level 1 coaching certification. The course was right down the road from my neighborhood and I achieved my Level 1 certification at 13 years old. Little did I know, that certification would lead to some awesome opportunities in the future.
Eventually, seventh grade came around and the “want” to play football came back into my life. The “kind of still fluffy” kid was now making the A-team and confident about being a pretty decent o-lineman. I continued to played football each fall and competed in weightlifting the rest of the time. Eventually, I earned school-age nationals runner-up and 1st team all-district in football. It was no longer about comparing myself to my brothers at that point. Rather, “This is me and this is what I do!”
Through those years, I was very interested in how my coach did things. He was always assertive, knowledgeable, and passionate. He had a way of relating weightlifting to other sports and fitness in a way that would make anyone buy in. I did! I got to where I could observe certain movement patterns and give cues to help those movement patterns. I am not my coach, but you could tell I was learning from him. I started helping him coach in the garage and got to where I could help in meets by counting attempts and sometimes handling lifters on my own.
Because of my coach and having that USAW level 1 certification, I eventually got an opportunity for the paid head intern position at Texas State University. There, I gained experience in how all-around sport strength and conditioning ran while also being able to apply what had already been instilled in me through weightlifting. This led to me getting the job as the weightlifting coach at CrossFit Austin where I was given complete control over our weightlifting program here.
Out of that collaboration, Austin Weightlifting emerged and we now have a good youth and adult crew going in the weightlifting center. I also regularly coach our CrossFit group classes now. No matter what avenues I am coaching, I love seeing people succeed. That is why I coach. Knowing that I had a hand in someone getting better and working toward accomplishing their goals is one of the best feelings in the world.
The sum of my experiences have made me the coach I am today. That being said, I need and want to learn more! I take pride in how we can continue learn together and get better. This is a nonstop process and I am constantly reminding myself and my athletes of this. I am damn proud to be a coach and will continue to influence people in the best way that I can. If you want to hop on this journey with me, (CLICK HERE) to send us your information (put my name in the referral to work specifically with me) or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to help you achieve your fitness goals.