I've had two pretty negative experiences with my Crossfit coach these past weeks... and after the one this morning, I went with the "calling her out" approach. I'm a frustrated crier, so I went with the email approach. Open letter to a Crossfit coach below.
Your words from this morning have been rattling around in my brain for the past two and a half hours, and I wanted to discuss them with you - so you'll know where I'm coming from. They hurt. There's really no other way to put it, but on the off-chance that you weren't aware, I wanted to tell you. I'm not writing this because I'm mad, though there is some of that as well. I'm writing it because I'm disappointed and hurt, and as my coach, I feel that you're the last person in the world who should make me feel hurt and discouraged. I'm also hoping that you weren't aware that your words made me feel this way, and by telling you that they do - that it won't happen again. I know that I'm a bit of the class clown, and that my sense of humor may make it seem like I don't mind being the butt of a joke, but sometimes - I do.
My experience with IAC has been very different this year than it was last year. This year, I decided to get off my grain-loving butt and devote myself to Paleo. It's been really, really hard for me and until Saturday, I was damn proud that I hadn't so much as eeked in a pita on my food log. Instead of any praise, this morning I got "Well, I knew you'd cheat". Ouch. I started paleo immediately following Christmas because I didn't want the extra workouts and the deprivation insanity to start at the same time. So this isn't week 4 for me, it's week 6. That's six weeks for a girl who couldn't go 1 day without ANY sort of bread before. I was really proud of that fact - until this morning. Maybe I'm overly sensitive following our exchange last week - but it all boils down to the way I feel - like I have a coach who doesn't believe in me.
Last year, my IAC coach was Carey. I'm not telling you this to impart any sort of "my ex was hotter" type strategy - but because I think she's a stunning example of what a coach should be. I didn't do every single prescribed extra workout last year either - but Carey was positive and enforced to us all that she was happy we were getting the extra workouts in, no matter what they were. We'd write them in our food logs - and every week she'd go over them with us, adding in any comments that she thought we needed to round out the workout (maybe some more cardio here, try to get in some more weights there) and even when I ate a BAGEL last year - it was more of a "hey, you're doing so well, don't do that". It was criticism but I never felt like a dog, getting smacked on the nose with a newspaper.
When you asked us all to fill out a form giving you feedback on your coaching style, and how we liked to be coached, I did it. I was hoping that this might impart that while sometimes I need a boot to the backside - I also need a cheerleader. I need someone to believe in me other than myself. When I did lean lifting over the break with Anna and Cat - I was amazed. Holy crap, I can lift like they do. They were nothing but positive influences on my lifting and the eye opening partners that I needed. I did the same amount on press as Erika did this last time. ERIKA. I remember joining our class, struggling to do my 45#, and looking at her thinking I'd never, ever be able to lift in her group. I can. That's the type of reinforcement I need from a coach. I don't want this to feel like I'm berating you incessantly. I'm trying to open your eyes, tell you how I feel, and what I need. Right now, I feel like you don't believe in me, and that you haven't - and I get to spend the next six weeks in our IAC group. Not a great prospect at the moment.