A Coast-to-Coast CrossFit Nomad

A Coast-to-Coast CrossFit Nomad

By Kate Lundberg

CrossFit, like my dog, Mingus, has traveled with me from coast to coast.

I’ve spent the past 5 years as a bit of a nomad trying to find the sweet spot where work, gym, and love are all in one place.

I made my first move from Seattle to Richmond in the Fall of 2010. I had recently graduated from naturopathic medical school in Seattle where I had spent the last 6 years. By the time board exams were over, my boyfriend Jon and I had been apart for over a year, and if I was going to move, this seemed like the perfect time. Soon after moving, I joined a practice in this town called Chester, Va. I was taking spin classes at Gold’s Gym and killing my 3×10 squats in the weight area. What could go wrong?

Well, lots it turned out. Richmond wasn’t Seattle, and Chester wasn’t even Richmond. I had lived in my Seattle bubble far too long and found myself suffering from a severe case of culture shock, and work was slow despite the promises of a thriving Chester community (ha!)

So, when asked if I’d teach this thing called CrossFit, I thought, “Sure, I could use the money!”

Coaching CrossFitI got my toes wet at CrossFit Midlo. I loved being coached, working on new skills, and things that scared me, like putting weight over my head and climbing a 20-foot rope. And I actually saw progress! By April of 2011, I had my L1 and would soon start coaching at a gym in Richmond. My expectations were minimal; I wanted to have kipping pull-ups, and that was about it. I knew about measurable progress but never thought I would or could get stronger.

Goals in fitness were for those I coached, not for me.

Over the next 18 months, my practice picked up but coaching CrossFit was my steady income. I spent many hours on the main site watching videos, figuring out the differences between things like a power clean, a hang clean, and clean. What was lacking was actually doing CrossFit. I was coaching most days of the week, but then would run off to see patients in Chester. At some point, I realized if I want to get better at CrossFit, I needed to actually DO CrossFit.

Move #3Living in Scott’s Addition afforded me the convenience to simply walk to this gym called CrossFit Full Circle. I could only afford 2 days a week, but it was something. I started caring about my time in benchmark workouts, and I remember doing Grace almost prescribed. Full Circle even bench pressed!

Unfortunately, I never settled into Richmond, and Mingus and I moved back to Seattle in Fall of 2012. Nearly 2 years after starting CrossFit, I joined a gym literally up the street from my house, and I was finally consistent. I started CrossFitting 4-5 days a week. I wasn’t coaching and I didn’t have to worry about programming, recording reps or times, and ensuring no one was injured. I fell into a good rhythm of work and working out. I was doing workouts prescribed. I was getting faster and stronger. The members at Emerald City CrossFit became my family. We celebrated each other’s PRs, first-time Open registrations, celebrated birthdays, new years, weddings, and babies.

Then, I lost my job unexpectedly in Fall of 2013. Scrambling, my sister suggested I think about teaching CrossFit again while I started my own practice. Not only was my gym open to that idea, but I found two other gyms that were hiring.

Front squat2014 began my year of coaching my butt off and CrossFitting my butt off. It was so much fun. I was getting paid to hang out with my friends and push them to be better! I was very fortunate to coach at some fabulous gyms and learned to fine tune my coaching, demonstrating movements, learning how to run classes smoothly, improving my scaling, and teaching of movements. I was also starting an Olympic lifting program and PR’d all my lifts and gained more confidence in muscle ups and barbell work.

I really loved teaching CrossFit, but growing my own practice and working at three gyms was ultimately burning me out.

1st muscle upI don’t get a lot of clear choices. I often question if I’m making the right or the very-wrong decision, but towards the end of 2014 it was very clear I needed to consider moving back to Richmond. I started seeing patients in Richmond in January of 2015 and for the next four months I commuted every two weeks between Seattle and Richmond.

Now, professionally things were great, but for the first time in years getting to the gym was hard! Between having my routine changing every two weeks, to working long days and not having a home gym with friends expecting me to be there, I struggled to get to the gym even twice a week.

I officially moved back to Richmond in April and continued to commute back and forth until July. All of the sudden my goals had changed from muscle ups and getting stronger to just getting to the gym. Having a routine proved to be impossible, my boyfriend traveled a lot for work, I didn’t know people to ask to help out with Mingus, and I eventually had to tell myself that any time I showed up to the gym was a victory.

Finding a balance between being busy outside the gym rather than inside it has proven a surprising challenge.

Somehow Mingus and Jon have weathered this nomadic period in stride. I still have bouts of homesickness, and I’m still finding my way at Full Circle. Having been so consistent for so long, it took a full year to accept that CrossFit now comes second and sometimes third in my life.

I look forward to finally feeling settled and my goals this year are realistic: get to the gym more days in the week than not, rebuild a community within CrossFit, and maybe, just maybe, do Amanda prescribed.

Ready to check out something different? Come visit our CrossFit Full Circle family and we’ll show you why people stay!

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