Good morning and happy Thursday! This episode of “Get To Know Your CrossFit Coach” is brought to you by the success of the 5am class. Who knew that our most consistently attended class would be the one that happens completely before sunrise? Coach Jason leads the strong, resilient 5am crew through fun, energetic classes that get the day started right! Jason brings the same super-positive energy to our CrossFit Kids program on Saturday mornings as well. You have to come check it out for yourself!
Here is Jason Shand, in his own words:
I grew up on a cattle ranch in the small town of Fedor, Texas (population 76) in the middle of nowhere. People who lived in what most would consider small towns within a half hour didn’t even know how to find Fedor. When I got to my first class at the University of Michigan, there were 600 students, which was more than my entire high school and middle school combined. I had a feeling of not belonging that I knew I’d have to work hard to overcome. For most of college, I rarely missed a class, spent a lot of Saturday nights at the library, but, in the end, I graduated and made a lot of friends for life.
I had a similar initial feeling when I first started CrossFit. I walked into a gym of people walking on their hands, stringing together muscle ups and snatching so much weight I needed a calculator to add it up. I quickly felt out of place, a little embarrassed, and again rather small in a big place. Honestly, I just wanted to lose 10-15 lbs and have my clothes fit better. But I showed up the next day and then again and again. After a few months of being a box member, the owner asked me to go take my L1 and enter a 6 month internship to “possibly” become a coach. When I asked her why, she simply told me that I “get the process”. And thus, in 2013, my coaching career began.
I try to never forget the initial feeling from my first college and CrossFit classes as well as the realization soon after that those feelings were the same most people were having and we were all more alike than different. This is my approach to coaching and my mindset when working with anyone. If you are brand new or you’ve been doing CrossFit for a decade plus, there are workouts that are going to make you nervous or, honestly, you just don’t like. The same thing happens to me all the time. That doesn’t mean we can’t make it fun, embrace the suffering together and hand out some crisp high fives at the end.
I try to give as much coaching to the members who just walked through the door as I do to CFKI members of 10 years and even coaches when they take my class. Over my 9+ years of coaching, I’ve come to enjoy the success of others more than my own.
For me, CrossFit is a means to train for life outside of the gym and I try to use metaphors for the movements in our classes to echo this sentiment. Some of the 5 am crew have said my white board briefs often turn into science class. I simply want all of our members to live their healthiest, happiest lives and give them all the tools and knowledge I can to do so. I know I’m far from the coach I’d like to be so I am constantly trying to improve myself and learn to become not only a stronger coach but build a stronger community.
Jason holds a CrossFit Level 2 Trainer certificate, and is studying for his Level 3 exam! He is also adding CrossFit Nutrition to his long list of seminars and courses attended – he is always learning! When he doesn’t have his nose in a book (or listening to an audiobook since he probably logs 10 hours per day driving for his real job in construction equipment sales), Jason is also training to run the JFK 50 Miler! Wow!
Come train with Jason at the 5am CrossFit class, or bring the kiddos out to CrossFit Kids class at 10:15am on Saturdays!