Back in 2007 I was a Physical Training Instructor (PTI) on the Territorial Support Group (TSG) in the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS). God we love a TLA (Three Letter Abbreviation)! Some friends and I went to see a film called 300. It had a big behind the scenes story of how all the actors had got into shape for the film. Always on the look out for new ideas and regimes I did some research and thats when I discovered Crossfit. Compared to now the site as a resource then was tiny but still way bigger than anything I had ever experienced. A good friend Steve Rutter was totally taken by it too. Training as a competition? We got it straight away.
Looking for places and people we could learn from led us to Andrew Stemler and StemlerFit. A crazy fast talking instructor with borderline Tourettes who trained out in the street and moved from venue to venue like a gypsy. But he was the only Crossfit Level 2 coach in Europe. We attended a couple of his seminars and that was really the start of my Crossfit journey proper. I can still remember and often recount how I was dragged out in front of the class to “show off” my squat, only to be critiqued into oblivion. I had a lot to learn and improve on. I still practice improving my squat to this day. Thank you Andrew.
From their Andrew mentored me through the world famous iCourse through my Level 1 and Crossfit Gymnastics course. I remained a steady volunteer helping and teaching. Eventually I was asked by Steven if I wanted the Saturday gig. Their faith in me as a coach representing Crossfit London filled me with pride and coaching the classes has been a very exciting and fulfilling experience. During my Crossfit journey I went on to achieve a 2.5 times body weight dead lift, power clean 70kg, 33 strict pull ups, 10 strict muscle ups, a back lever, sub 40 minute 10k and a sub 19 minute 5k with a Fran time of 3′ 30″ (all before breakfast).
Now at the age of 46 a lot of those are no longer possible but there is still plenty to crack yet. However what does stay with you forever are the friends you make and the great memories they give you. The welcoming smiles, the feelings of achievement, triumphs, wins, PB’s, mastering new skills, penny drop moments, I could go on and on but I think you get it.
And that is what I want you to remember when you have those lows and doubts think of all the good times and the friends you have around you to support you. I used to teach officer safety at work and I always pointed out how we do not have colleagues at work. We know our colleagues first names, their partners names, their children, we drink eat and play together, we share the bad times too. We are more than colleagues we are friends. To a large part you can say that about your coaches and your fellow students.
You may have guessed I am leaving. I have started a 3 year Masters in Financial Crime and Investigation. So I can commit some serious money making frauds when I retire, only joking. I have tried desperately not to give up the classes but I cannot do you and myself justice with so little spare time available. Andrew and Steve have been very supportive and understanding and Andrew has asked me to commit to a regular but less frequent class, yet to be established.
My last class will be Saturday 1st December. Thank you to each and everyone of you for all the smiles over the last two and half years. I hope to see you all at the Crimbo party.
Oh yeah and we did this today:
Back squat 3×10 (67.5) 90 secs rest
GHD sit up. Fire those hips!
9-15-21 pull ups and thrusters for time