In September of 2018, a young couple from Florida joined the gym. They had recently moved up from Daytona Beach where she was a kindergarten teacher and he did what I assume all guys in Daytona do… he drove race cars. They were very friendly and had experience with CrossFit in Florida, so they fit in immediately. Remember: Your coaches don’t have favorite athletes to have in class… but if they did, it would be the Higginbothams.
A couple weeks later, Alicia Higginbotham came to some Open Gym time, and did what all good CrossFit coaches hate – she started coaching the other members. She fixed someone’s overhead squat as other people looked on, and then they started asking her for pointers on their kipping pull-ups. I watched, and tried to hate it, tried to be a good CrossFit coach and assert my dominance, but alas I couldn’t. She was good! At the end of Open Gym, I let her know that I saw what she was doing. Sensing that the stern message of “you’re not a coach, you can’t do that” was coming, she started to apologize. I stopped her and said, “no, sorry, that’s not what I meant. I mean… umm… do you want to coach here?” It was then that she let on that she had just recently achieved her CrossFit Level 1 Trainer status before leaving Florida and had coached a little bit, and really enjoyed it. We put together a plan for her to shadow me for a while, so that she could learn how we coach at CFKI and get some practice reps in. After 3 or 4 classes when I realized I was learning more from her than she was from me, we took off the training wheels.
Now Alicia is a recent CrossFit Level 2 Trainer, and an experienced and accomplished coach. She holds certificates in Pregnancy and Postpartum training, and Adaptive Athlete training. After playing college basketball, her new athletic pursuit is obstacle course racing, and she has coached up groups of CFKI athletes to race with her, which is a blast! She is constantly learning and applying her skills to her coaching of groups and individuals, and we are proud to have her as a coach. She also brought a skillset of organization and planning that I was severely lacking, and our events and social media have benefitted immensely from her involvement. Thanks to Alicia for seeing a fault and correcting it during Open Gym in September 2018, and changing the trajectory of CrossFit Kent Island because of it.