Dear Coach:

From a “Living Social” client to being an Iron Maiden in 2.5 years!


Dear Coach,

Today I am able to call myself an Iron Maiden. I don’t know if you really understand what that means to you though. Although we have known each other a very short time, in terms of the span of a lifetime anyway, you have had quite the impact on my life and my future.

The Day After My Iron Maiden

The Day After My Iron Maiden

Two and a half years ago I walked through your doors wielding a living social coupon good for 1 month of kettlebell training. I’m sure like most other clients that walked through your doors for the first time you were wondering how difficult it would be to teach me things like the swing and clean, and wondering if I would stick around or just be someone who passed through. On my first day, which at the time was a screening to see where my skills were, I remember you asking me to show you my swing since I said I had done it before. The look on your face when I swung the bell overhead was absolutely priceless. You didn’t really need to say anything after that for me to know I was clearly doing something wrong…your face said it was going to be a long day. Thinking about it now actually makes me laugh out loud.

In the first couple of weeks taking classes from you I learned that I had a lot to learn. I don’t know why, but of all the programs I had tried this one challenged me the most and I think that’s probably what kept me coming back at first. I remember being frustrated with you for not teaching me all the skills I saw everyone else doing. You kept telling me to be patient, which I’m sure the notion of that will make you laugh when you read this, but patience has never been a virtue of mine. Regardless of my discontent I kept showing up for class determined to prove that I was ready to learn more.

Little did you know, but this was the first day of one of the best chapters in my life. I’ve always loved fitness, but there was something so different about your program and the way it pushed me, I don’t really know how to describe it other than to say it became a quick addiction. I was so busy at this time in my life with work and personal things going on, but I still felt compelled to become more involved in the gym any way I could. I don’t know why, but I just knew this was going to be a huge part of my life.

One day I over heard you talking to one of the other students about apprenticing for you to become an instructor. I was so incredibly jealous that I wasn’t in a position to do that at that time. I was still so green to the whole thing and I felt it, but I was still upset that somehow the timing was so wrong. As luck would have it, for me anyway, your apprentice ended up falling through. Almost without thinking of the logistics of it I quickly jumped into the situation. I walked up and said that I knew I didn’t have nearly enough experience or skills (something I partially blamed on you for not showing me fast enough), but if you would allow it then I would spend as much time as possible learning everything I could.

Fast forward to today. I’ve never been more excited about my life and where I’m going with it. Before I knew you I was looking for a drab marketing job to streamline nicely with my degree because that’s what people do right? They go to school, get a job for what they went to school for (like it or not), get married, have kids, and then live happily ever after right! For me, I never really felt like I knew what I was supposed to be doing. I never felt a draw towards anything or like I just knew what it was I was supposed to be doing in life until I started kettlebell.

It may sound cheesy, but you have been one of the biggest influences in my life for the last couple of years. You have helped me chase a dream I never really knew I had or could have. Who knew, out of all of the things in the world and all of the influences that have crossed my path that a living social deal would have so drastically changed my direction? Really though, it wasn’t just the living social or even just the gym. You were there for all the moments when I felt I couldn’t push myself any further, and even when I got angry, you stayed supportive.

Remember when I asked you, only a few months ago, if you thought that maybe this was as strong as I would ever be? I was having a really hard week and nothing was feeling good. The Iron Maiden challenge was only weeks away and I was missing lifts and feeling beat down by my training. Although most of your encouragement comes with a side of sarcasm and with a little bit of “rub some dirt in it”, this time you realized I was really down. You told me I was already strong and definitely capable of what I was trying to accomplish. You said if I keep my head down and stick to it, even through the hard weeks, then it would be ok and not to let my emotions get me off track.

I don’t really get many obvious acknowledgements from you, but I know you’re always there to push me, and that means more to me than you may ever realize. You have helped me to become the trainer I am today. Without you or the gym I would still be looking for just another job. Now I’m doing what I love and I am lucky enough to coach people everyday the same way you coached me. So again, I don’t know if you really understood what it meant for YOU when I did the Iron Maiden, but now hopefully you have some idea. Thank you for all your encouragement and friendship!


From One Coach To Another.


Before StrongFirst

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