Okay, I know I said last week I was going to have a post about the Regionals, but this is not that post. If you’ve followed any of my other blogs, you’re accustomed to to the despair, heartbreak and broken promises that comes with following me.

Instead, this post is about one thing: Certification.

No Homer, not that certificate.

Last weekend was my Level 1 Cert up at Reebok and I kicked its ass. We had an awesome coaching staff headed up by EC Synkowski and composed of Heather & Ben Bergeron, James Hobart (AKA J. Ho), Dave Lipson, Austin Malleolo and Mr. Smooth Talker himself, Jon Gilson. As you’d expect, all of them were smart, friendly, funny and extraordinarily helpful.

The sheer amount of information covered in the two day cert is astounding when you look at it on paper, but everyone does such a great job of explaining things and covering all the bases that it doesn’t feel like a gigantic info dump. I wish I had kept a tally of all the times I thought to myself “Oh, so that’s why we do that.” Just in the first day, I was probably already in the teens.

If you haven’t taken it yet, it basically boils down into a combination of sit-and-take-notes lectures (on the more general things like what CrossFit, nutrition, programming, that sort of thing) and mini-lectures on a set of movements followed by a breakout into groups to practice the movements and try our hand and spotting flaws in form. I’m torn on which was my favorite. The breakout sessions were great and we learned a lot about the actual coaching side of things, whereas the lectures were fascinating and didn’t destroy my calves nearly as much.

The other two things involved over the weekend are one WOD per day (three guesses what one of them was and the first two don’t count) and… The Test. The most interesting thing about the test was that for about 80% of it, I could look at the question and recall just who covered the answer for it in their lecture. The moral of the story is, when someone with a red shirt is talking to you, pay attention!

So my recommendation is, start saving your pennies and go to the first Level 1 cert you can. It’s worth the money for the education alone, then you have fun on top of it. What could be better, right?

There was also one other little bit of stress to add to the whole certification process: Today at noon was my first class coaching all by myself at CFNH. And what better day to start your coaching career than a WOD with a max effort power snatch? It’s not like that’s a complicated movement to teach or anything, right? Then we had a max effort weighted chin-up, which was much easier to teach (do a chin-up, but with weight. Go!) and we finished it all off with Isabel – 30 snatches for time.

Pictured: Eagle Eyes.

My first class went okay. I had all my steps in my head as I drove to the box, going from ground to overhead. Then I see Dan as he’s leaving and he tells me how he teaches it, which is head to toes. Now I’m starting class with this mixed bastardization of down-to-up and up-to-down steps boiling in my head. Fortunately there were only four folks at the class, yet somehow we still managed to span the full range of abilities in those four people. I’m proud to say that by the end, I’m relatively sure everyone was snatching better by the end of the class than they were at the start and no one died so, Mission Accomplished.

Next class: Friday at 6AM. And this time, we’ve got back squats and deadlifts. Those of you who really know me can imagine the smile on my face when I say that. It’s wheelhouse time, baby!