At random points throughout the day, it feels like time itself is standing still. After 3 months, my feet still haven’t gotten the memo that they need to support me for 7 hours a day without screaming in pain. My lower back is achy from the unracking and racking of weights. Being “on” all the time is draining, and by the time the last client of the day heads home, I am exhausted and ready to zone out to some relaxing music and fall asleep. And here is the kicker – I have to do it all again the next day!
I wouldn’t have it any other way.
As an English Literature major in college, interning at Cressey Performance was a huge step outside of my comfort zone. I essentially went from being a librarian assistant who sat on his rump all day perusing the internet to an aspiring strength coach whose butt rarely touched the ground. My reading list quickly changed from authors such as Emerson, Nabokov and Thoreau to the likes of Cressey, Robertson, Berardi and Aragon. I was no longer concerned about unearthing and discussing the subtle nuances of a text, but with learning how important proper hip mobility and core stability are in the prevention of lower back pain.
My objective was clear – learn as much as I could while exposing myself to new situations.
As an intern, my goal was to do all that I could to help the coaches stay within their realm of expertise. If I saw that new client was going through an evaluation, I put my game face on and waited in the warm up area to take them through their foam rolling and mobility work. If the place was dirty, I cleaned it. If errands needed to be ran, I ran them. The longer that the coaches were on the floor doing what they did best, the better the results of the clients would be. At the end of the days, its all about the clients, their experience at the facility, and their results.
I truly love my job. Not many people can say that they help hundreds of people move from the life they’re living to the life they want to live on a weekly basis. One of my proudest moments came recently when a father brought his son in for his first training session. I stuck with him through the entire duration of his stay, taking him through the warm up and showing him proper technique on all the exercises. At the end of the session, his dad came up to me, shook my hand and said “Thank you for taking care of my son.”
Moments like these make all the hard work and effort worth it.
Working with young kids like his son is more rewarding to me than working with an elite athlete and making them slightly better. The fact that parents trust Cressey Performance with their kids speaks volumes about the reputation that they’ve carved out for themselves, and to be able to work with them, watching them improve from session to session, has been a major highlight of my time here.
Although I’ve learned a lot over the past 3 months, the most important lesson that I will take away from my time at Cressey Performance is how to carry myself as a coach. The staff certainly doesn’t take themselves too seriously, but their professionalism shines through in their interactions with clients and the results they deliver. In an industry that is known for its lack of standards, watching the staff work and emulating them has been a huge step in my professional development.
I can’t thank the staff at CP enough for taking a chance and bringing me on as an intern despite my initial lack of knowledge, so the next best thing I can do is pay it forward to my clients by continuing to commit myself to excellence, learning all that I can in order to help them achieve any goal that they have. The only way to counteract the bad trainer stereotype is to become a good one.
I have no choice but to succeed.