Coach Highlight: Erin

What’s up everyone!  In our third installment of “Get To Know Your CrossFit Coach”, this week we’d like to highlight Coach Erin Madden.  Erin has been with us since 2019 but as you can see she has an extensive coaching and athletic background before that.  Erin sent me a stream of consciousness over several emails and I cut and pasted it into the following story.  The cherry on top was a one-liner that I didn’t know where to plug, so I’ll just drop it right here:  Erin once held a plank for 11 minutes and 39 seconds.  Whoa!!  Hands, or forearms, Erin?  The world needs to know!!

Now, without further ado, the life and times of Erin Madden:

A little bit about me:

I was born and raised in Annapolis, MD. I played Lacrosse and Field Hockey at Archbishop Spalding in High School, played Division 1 Field Hockey in college at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT, and then went to Towson University where I won Outstanding Senior of the Year.  They had a ceremony and everything… I think I have a pic somewhere.

I guess you can say that I am the ultimate nerd because I’m always learning and taking classes… but I’m also a PE teacher so does that make me a cool nerd? I’m a huge fan of Marvel, Star Wars, and Harry Potter. I watch Home Alone and Hocus Pocus all year long. Not kidding. They are my favorite movies of all time. Fun fact about me is I bartended and managed a bar for six years before I become a teacher. My husband Kyle and I met while he was the doorman and I was a bartender.

I have medaled as a 59 kg and 64 kg weightlifter. The biggest meets I’ve competed at have been the American Open Series and The Masters Pan American Championships. This December, I am qualified for the American Open Finals in Atlanta… I’m still deciding whether I’m going to compete or not.

My favorite grades to teach are 3rd and 4th. My favorite moments as a parent are seeing my son find joy in sports and exercise. It’s amazing how much they pick up just from watching us. Sometimes it’s the cuss words but sometimes it’s walking up to people after they finish a workout and giving them a fist bump while saying “Good Job”. He did that to someone in class last week and I thought, “ya know maybe I’m not that bad at this parenting thing”. 

This month I will be hosting my 5th “Reps For Recovery” fundraiser. My parents and I started the fundraiser after my brother died from a drug overdose at the age of 26. He had been battling addiction for 10 years and mental illness for much longer. I recognized the important connection between physical and mental health and started Reps for Recovery as a way to connect the two, while benefiting the Samaritan House in Annapolis, MD. My dad serves on the board of directors there. Since he has passed, I find a lot of meaning in the words “Stay Humble” – a tattoo my brother had on his hand, He had those words above a picture of an anchor. If you look at my lifting shoes, there’s an anchor on one and the letters SH on the other. I also have an anchor tattoo on my foot as a reminder to honor my brother by always Staying Humble and Grounded.

At the end of a long day of teaching… and some days seem longer than others… hello Kindergarten…. I look forward to going to the gym and hanging out with grown-ups. A teacher’s day is insanely busy and you are making a million decisions a minute so it’s so nice to walk into a gym where a coach just tells me what to do, how to do it, and when to do it. I love just showing up and not having to think about anyone but myself… it’s definitely my “me time”. Even though my little buddy, Keegan, tags along with me most of the time… thank goodness for the kids room. Kyle is the CFKI weightlifting coach, and he doesn’t even realize how good he is. He is patient and supportive and really cares about his athletes not only as athletes but as people. He is also insanely knowledgeable about the Olympic Lifts.

I’ve been coaching CrossFit since 2013. I started at Baydog CrossFit, then coached at CrossFit South River, then True Core CrossFit and now have found a home at CrossFit Kent Island after moving to Kent Island in 2019.

I wanted to coach because it aligned naturally with being a Physical Education Teacher. I always believed that a huge part of my job as a physical educator is staying active and exercising. I like to lead my students by example. I have a CrossFit Level 2 certification, CrossFit Gymnastics cert, CrossFit Kids cert, and a USA Weightlifting Level 1 cert. I also have a Bachelors in Education and a Masters degree in Athletic Administration.  I am pursuing my National Board Certification so I can become a National Board Certified Teacher. I am also hoping to start studying for my CrossFit Level 3 test next summer. I’m not sure what that gets me other than a raise lol.  The most fun I have coaching is that I get to coach people I consider my friends. That’s what I love about CrossFit, everyone is like family so it is just one big community helping each other create the best version of themselves.


Wow!  Thanks to Erin for spilling the beans on all of her great achievements, and what drives her to continue working hard.  As all of our coaches are seeing, It’s not easy to write about yourself (if it is, then you may be a narcissist), but this is such a good way to get to know your coaches better as people.  As superhuman as they look with a barbell in their hands, they are just like us!

Erin coaches the 5am class on Wednesday and we are hoping to find some more time for her to coach. She currently attends the 5:30pm class on Monday and Thursday, and 5:30pm Weightlifting class on Tuesday, as well as the 4:30pm on Friday and 9am on Saturday.  Come take a class with her, or brew some strong coffee and join her with the infamous 5am crew!


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