My Coach and I

October 1, 2019 // Liza Smith

The two most asked questions I have had since blogging about my IM journey (apart from when/where is it? and why on earth would you want to do that?) are 1; Why do you, a coach/pt/trainer yourself have a coach, can’t you do it yourself? 2; Why haven’t you switched to an IM coach?

So, let me explain…

1; Yes, it’s true I am a Coach myself and I have now worked in the fitness industry for more than 4 years. For that reason alone, of course I have my own coach. Why would I not buy in to the very thing I put so much value in, it is now my life’s work! Yes, I could write my own programming and do it effectively but, if I do that, my world becomes very insular. In that scenario I am accountable to no one, I am not learning from anyone else and I am not being held to any kind of standard.

Kerry, my coach, has a Coach – Head Coach of CrossFit Iron Duke (and also her husband), Toby. Toby has a Coach, his coach has a coach and so on and trust me, the chain is long. We are all progressing together, albeit at different levels, and my clients benefit from this as I continue to develop and grow, both as an athlete and a coach. Personally, I wouldn’t work with a PT or Coach that wasn’t involved in the process themselves from the other side.

2; There are so many reasons why I haven’t switched to an IM coach. First and foremost I love Kerry. We have been working together for nearly two years, since January 2018. I had stopped working with my previous PT about 6 months previously and started CrossFit in August 2017. Given the amount of coaching you get via the regular CrossFit classes I decided to take my time picking my next Coach. At the time we had 4 coaches at CrossFit Iron Duke, 3 of which offered PT and I decided pretty quickly that I wanted my next coach to be one of them. I asked Kerry for a chat to find out how it works and she explained that I simply had to decide which one I wanted to work with and go from there. That was a tough decision as each Coach offered something slightly different in both skill set and manner. At the time I was starting to plan for a 36 hour SAS Hell Week style event and I decided to go with Kerry as, gods honest truth, she scared the crap out of me and I thought that might be a good experience, bearing in mind what I wanted to take on! It took all of our first session for me to realise that actually she is a complete sweetheart and not in the slightest bit scary.

She may not be scary but she is thorough, committed and very inventive. When I gave her carte blanche to create what has lovingly become known as my “6 hour hell sessions” she certainly seemed to relish the task. These basically involved me turning up to the gym, knowing I would be training for 6 hours but never knowing what exactly I would be doing. My brief to her was make it as tough and varied as she felt appropriate/necessary. I will post a couple of the full sessions in a separate blog for those that are intrigued.

As soon as I booked the IM I contacted Kerry, we scheduled a meeting for the very next day and my statement to her was ” I want to do this and yes, I know that the next year has to now be all about this IronMan but I don’t want to leave CrossFit and I don’t want to leave you… unless I have to, what do you think” She had clearly given the matter some thought and laid out just a few ideas of how we could make it work and I knew instantly that I would be staying.

Another key reason is simply because I don’t want this to take over my life and I don’t want to forsake everything else for it. Yes, I want to do an Iron Man and I want to do it as well as I can (although do not ask me my time as I don’t ever participate for time) and most importantly I want to enjoy it but, when this is all over I don’t want to only be good for endurance/ triathlon events.

The CrossFit open will take place 3 months after my IronMan and I want to be able to compete, and finally, give it my best shot. The Open in Feb 2019 was meant to be a chance for me to see how all of my hard work in 2018 would pay off but I was ill in January, to the point that the doctor ordered bed rest, and so The Open became only about setting new benchmark’s as I had lost a lot of fitness and was still being warned to protect against post viral fatigue. The Open that starts tomorrow was going to be my next shot but I cracked my rib in May and only this week does it actually feel like it’s healing so I am not even signed up for this one. With all this behind me I can assure you that I have other goals next year besides my IM.

The Open, October 2020, I am coming for you! SAS Who Dares Wins.. I want another shot…My Coach can help prepare for all of this whereas an IM coach can only help me prepare for the IM so for me, that is not the right choice. If I wanted a specific time or had a goal beyond, finish it with a smile one my face, I would likely make a different choice but this is what will work for me.

Kerry and I at the end of the CrossFit Iron Duke 24 Hour WODaTHON

About Liza Smith

Hi, I’m Liza; A badass, mud-loving, bear loving Fitness Professional. I’m happiest when doing Obstacle Course Races, Mud Runs and Triathlons and whilst doing all the training that these hobbies require.

I am a continuing work in progress, always striving to be the best version of me that I can be.

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