Words and phrases that come to mind when I think of great athletes and CrossFitters: athletic, coachable, strong, genetically gifted, work ethic, determined, stubborn, willing, detail oriented, trusting, driven, committed, passionate.
Coincidentally, I would use all of the above words and phrases to describe Alyson.
When she joined the program over a year ago, she had one of the best athletic backgrounds a CrossFitter could have (besides maybe weightlifter): gymnast. Alyson has incredible body awareness and control. She picks up on movements well. Her upper body is stronger than any female I have ever coached – and at a very early “CrossFit age”. Arguably, her biggest flaw was that she was short on aerobic conditioning and the ability to work past the 7 minute time domain.
In the last year, she has worked tirelessly to improve her aerobic capacity, ability to handle high lactate training and ability to handle volume. There are countless numbers of athletes who will show up at the gym as much as they can and who will do anything and everything that their coach puts on the whiteboard. Alyson is one of those athletes. However, there are not many athletes who will do what the coach asks *how* the coach asks it to be done. Alyson is one of *those very few* athletes.
She is a student of her sport. She truly loves every aspect of it. It’s not just the competition or the success to her – it’s the process. The learning, the experimenting, the tweaking and the minutiae that culminate in progress and ultimate satisfaction. Though she is at times timid to voice her goals out loud, her actions speak more loudly than her words ever could. Her intentions are clear, and if her ability to train and improve is any indication, she has true potential to go very far in the sport.
One of my favorite experiences with Alyson – and learning lessons as a coach of a CrossFit team – came this year in the weeks leading up to Regionals. Two to three weeks preceding the South Regional, I was all but decided on the female side of the team. The women had all been training hard, and I thought I knew who would be on the team based on months of varied performances over the previous months. She taught me not to put the proverbial cart before the horse.
Three weeks out, and something clicked in Alyson’s head. She showed up and was a different athlete from the one who had been training with us before. Many of the life stressors that had been affecting her performance had disappeared, and she showed up with a clear mind, healthy body and renewed spirit. During regionals testing, she did her damnedest to earn her spot on the team and prove that she was a legitimate contender. Though she did not end up making the Regional team this year, she did prove that she will be a force to be reckoned with in the future, and she taught me and the team a valuable lesson in giving your all at all times – especially when it counts.
As a coach, I can’t ask for more than what Alyson brings to the gym and to our team – day in and day out. I truly enjoy coaching her, and I’m excited to see what she will be capable of achieving this coming year and for years to come.
Thank you Alyson!
Week 50: 15.07.15
A. Each superset at an optimal working weight:
Front Squat: 6-4-2-2-4-6
Depth Pushup: 6-4-2-2-4-6
B. For time:
21 pistols @ 45/25#
15 clean and jerk @ 185/125#
9 ring muscle-ups
Rest 15 minutes
Then, for time:
C. 21 deficit handstand push-ups @ 2×45 (plates)
15 snatches @ 165/115#
9 bar muscle-ups