Coach Highlight: Denee

It’s time once again for the latest segment in our “Get to Know Your Coach” series!  This time, we’re highlighting my better half, my CrossFit Open rival, the wizard behind the curtain that keep this whole CFKI show running, Denee Wolf.  Denee is away at a conference for her real job that puts food on the table, so this will be my own writing with a few of her own thoughts interspersed.  I’m wading into murky waters here, writing about my wife in one of her professional roles as a CrossFit coach (and where officially, I’m her boss), but as long as I keep it PG and positive, I think I’ll be in good shape…

Denee grew up in a small town about two hours north of Pittsburgh and two hours away from anything else, for that matter.  She excelled in sports, lettering in soccer, basketball, and volleyball in her freshman year of high school.  Denee is one of those people that if you introduce her to a new sport, prepare to lose as soon as she gets a hang of it, which is probably in a matter of minutes.  Not ultra-competitive by nature and a very intelligent athlete, she will scale every CrossFit workout to be exactly what she needs for that day.  She saves her competitive spirit for those few times a year that she actually competes… and wins.  In her first time competing in the Eastern Shore Affiliate Challenge (ESAC), Denee started flying through the first workout at a pace that I didn’t think was manageable for the long haul.  I counseled her, as her coach, to slow down and not run between movements.  “Take your time, you’re doing great!  Save some energy for the end!”  She didn’t listen, continued to sprint the entire workout, and won.

Denee’s wheelhouse workouts include short heavy intervals, long endurance burners, and everything in between.  When we compete against each other in the annual CrossFit Open, I will think that a certain workout favors me because I’m taller or I have a heavier 1RM deadlift so I should be able to win.  I don’t.  Denee finds a way, usually through sheer determination and heart, to push through the pain of the workout and come out on top.  It’s one thing that makes her a phenomenal athlete, and also qualifies her to be an amazing coach.

I’ve written in previous blogs about Denee’s supporting influence in starting the gym, so I won’t drain that again, but I do want to say that as a coach, she is involved more than you might think.
Denee has a full-time job, as most of our coaches do, and hers takes her on the road for days at a time.  So she does not have a regular coaching schedule but picks up classes as she can.  But as my partner in this crazy CFKI endeavor, we debrief every day about how things are going, which new members have joined, what are they like, how can we best serve and support them.  She gives me feedback on my coaching and how I can best help our members accomplish their goals.  So whether you see her in front of you at the whiteboard or not, know that she is making an impact on your fitness journey!

When she does get a chance to actively coach, her favorite part is teaching the fundamentals of movement.  Denee is outstanding at breaking down a complex movement and making sure that we understand all the basics, and then bringing it all back together.
Denee has achieved the CrossFit Level 2 Trainer status and has also completed the CrossFit Gymnastics, CrossFit Kids, and CrossFit Adaptive Athlete seminars.  She loves coaching all ages and abilities, and it really comes through in her enthusiasm and energy with each class.

Thank you, Denee, for everything you have done to grow the CFKI community and coach up our members into the great athletes and people that we are today!​​​​​​​


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