After 3 years it was time to leave the conventional fitness world behind me and focus on something that would make me happy, CrossFit. In CrossFit I found something that I didn’t find in the conventional fitness world. I was never going to be the biggest or the strongest guy in the gym, that’s not an excuse that’s just the reality of it. In CrossFit I didn’t need to be the strongest, in fact the more you focus on just getting stronger the worse your conditioning gets. I loved this, I loved the fact that CrossFit combined so many elements of life and different sports and makes people be good at a lot of things instead of great at one thing.
I started doing CrossFit early on in 2015 and I have stayed with it ever since. If you read my last blog you know that I started at this place called CrossFit bink 36, I did an internship there and I will always hold a membership there even though I don’t live there right now.
What am I going to do?
That’s a question everybody asks themselves on a regular basis but especially when it comes to finishing up school/college. What are you going to do now that your structured school life is over? I already had my answer or at least a temporary one, 4 months before I got my certificates and finished up school. I got hired to work at a summer camp in the woods of New Hampshire. I remember going to school on the 26th of May 2016 to defend my final project, it was a week before my birthday and a day before my trip to Madrid to visit a CrossFit competition. Later on in the day I heard I had passed my certification and by then I knew my time at school was officially over. I was the happiest guy, school was done and I would never go back, not even to attend my graduation because I was already in New Hampshire working at the summer camp.
The camp that I worked at is called ”Windsor Mountain International”, it’s the highest rated summer camp in New Hampshire and it attracts a lot of amazing staff members every single year. Camp has offered me a lot of great things in life, but one thing that it did not give me was time to workout. It might seem like a small thing to you but this is my passion, work and a very important aspect in my life.
How I made fitness work at camp
Over the next 4 summers I would try my best to workout as much and as hard as I could while not neglecting my job and duties as a camp counselor. We don’t get a lot of time off through out the day because we have to be there for our kids whenever they need us, that’s our priority.
This is what I woud do to try and stay as fit as possible: I would teach CrossFit classes to the kids at the camp and I would join in on the workouts that I made them do, I would wake up at 6 AM to get a 45 minute/hour long session in before waking my kids up, I would take my period off during the day to go train and some of the mornings I would go swim or kayak around the lake. Some of the summers I had people that would occasionally come workout with me but mostly it was me sweating my ass off by myself in the place we call ”roughneck gym”. It was all about how much effort I was willing to put in that gym/outside and how much sleep I was willing to give up in order to stay fit. I am a firm believer in consistency so that’s exactly what I was trying to do. Even though time was limited there was no reason for me to use that as an excuse to stop training for 2+ months.
Taking one step backwards in order to take 2 steps forwards
That’s something I kept telling myself after my first summer in New Hampshire, I got home and I started working in a conventional gym… again. It was definitely not the place I wanted to work at but I felt like I needed more experience and money, so for the time being that seemed like the best option. Looking back on it now, I can’t complain because it brought money in, gave me some experience and it confirmed the fact that it was definitely not something I wanted to keep doing for the years to come (lesson learned). Luckily I had already agreed to go back to camp the following summer so there was that to look forward to.
I don’t like that I was living my life like this, I was basically wishing the time away and it’s the complete opposite of how I am living right now, but I learned from it. Right now I wake up early just because I feel like I want more hours to work on myself and my goals every single day. That fitness job showed me how much I was in love with actually helping others to achieve their goals instead of telling them what they want to hear. At this job we were told to hand out the same program to every single person that would walk through our doors because some of the trainers were not capable of coming up with their own original fitness programming. Instead of fixing the problem, the people that were capable enough were forced to take a step back instead of doing the job to the best of their abilities. I gave everybody that would come into the gym their own program anyway because I didn’t agree with their system. I chose to do what I thought was right and the way I could actually help people. I am not saying that my approach is for everybody or that it’s perfect but unfortunately I know that a lot of other gyms use this same model and it’s not helping anybody. That’s why I try and encourage you all to avoid these gyms and sign up with a gym that actually cares about you (another lesson learned).
Alright time to get back to the story.
Like I said I learned a lot from this job, it may have sucked at the time but it made me realize what I stand for when it comes to health and fitness. It also launched me forward and made me take a chance on finding personal training in a different country.
Working and living in Melbourne, Australia.
Another summer had gone and it was time for me to look further down the line and figure out my job situation until the next summer. I was very interested in moving somewhere outside of The Netherlands and Australia had caught my eye at the time. I was still working at camp for another month and a half, so I used that time to reach out to as many gyms and pt studios as I could. A friend of mine helped me set up a professional CV and eventually I got in contact with this Functional Fitness place called Field & Function. It’s a gym that focuses on functional fitness, group classes and personal training. At this time I hadn’t done my CrossFit certification yet so this was the closest thing I was going to find to CrossFit. I still don’t know how I got this lucky but they hired me without to much trouble, I guess my friend did a good job on my CV (thank you Erin). I am so thankful for Linda & Chris (the owners of Field and Function) and the fact that they took a chance on me, because at the time of hiring me I was on the other side of the world.
Australia was a whirlwind of ups and downs for me but in the end it only made me stronger. I showed up there half way though November and I left again on the 1st of May. In those 6 months I learned a lot of valuable lessons about being a coach, how to talk to people and also a lot about myself. This is where I started looking for all the positives in life instead of focusing on the ”bad ones”.
Within 2 weeks of living by myself the house that I was staying at caught fire and as a result I was basically homeless with 2 massive backpacks on my back. I did not have a lot of coaching hours at that time so money was tight and I lived in a massage studio for the next 5 months. Yes, live was very interesting but I honestly fucking love and appreciate every single thing that happend to me during that time because it showed me that I can be very positive and stay calm when things are not looking great. Luckily for me I was fortunate enough to have 2 amazing bosses In Linda & Chris that were extremely supportive during my 6 months there. I will always be thankful for their support during my time there and I can’t wait to visit them one day.
Side note: if you’re ever around Melbourne and you’re looking for a place to train, go visit Field and Function. Linda and Chris are amazing people and so is everybody that trains there and they have an amazing dog too.
That brings us to now
It was the start of May, 2018 when I left that job in Australia to go back to my job as a camp counselor in New Hampshire. The rest of my fitness journey until now is not that interesting. I worked at camp, tried to stay fit, traveled around the world, got my CrossFit level 1 certification and I went back to camp for my final summer. That brings us to this moment and the CrossFit coach job I am working right now. After all of those lessons (and there are many more to come) I made it to the job I actually wanted, now I am able to do what I want to do and that’s actually helping people to become fitter and help them live a healthier life. I have a decent amount of coaching hours, I am working hard on my health and fitness blog and I am trying to inspire people like you on a daily basis by being positive and posting a lot of daily content on my social media.
Don’t think I just live for training in the gym. I love to climb, hike and do all the other outdoor sports that are available to me. Don’t let yourself get limited to doing one thing, there to much fun stuff out there to try.
Everything happens for a reason.
I am happy but I am hungry for so much more. I can honestly say that I would not change any of the things that happend to me because they made me into who I am today. The person that I am now is not just physically but especially mentally so much stronger than I was before. The circumstances might not have been ideal a lot of the times but what’s the fun in that and how much growth takes place when everything goes perfectly? I can’t wait for more adversity and lessons over the next couple years and grow my knowledge and personality more and more.
I hope you enjoyed and took something away from my story so far, but know that this is only the beginning and there’s much more to come in the upcoming years.
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