As a coach, one of my favorite things is watching an athlete really begin to hit their stride in an area where things just weren’t clicking. Lately especially, I can’t help but smile when I see Kalei move a barbell.
Kalei joined our Stronghold family with a pretty solid athletic background. But when I asked her to lift a barbell from the floor and replace her body under the bar with her arms locked out and sitting in the bottom of a squat in one fell swoop…she struggled at first with the concept of it all and with confidence in having the bar over her head. Both are common challenges for people new to these exercises. I remember the scene of one class session quite vividly in my head. “Don’t pull the bar up with your arms. Pull your body down and around the bar,” I would tell her. “You’re working harder than you need to. You can do it.” She nodded and went back to work.
Kalei continued to struggle with the concept for a while but she never complained. She just kept practicing, smiling the whole time, never getting overly frustrated. She just kept plugging away with a good attitude.
I can’t remember exactly when it really started to click, but as I mentioned earlier, I recently started to notice how proficiently and confidently she’s been managing herself around the bar. She’s getting more comfortable with the snatch and her elbows are fast in the clean.
Along the way, we’ve discovered she has a few strength imbalances side to side. While some athletes struggle with ego wanting to keep pushing through, she happily takes my recommendations to back off a little and focus on improving on her weaknesses.
If only all athletes could be this easy to work with. She really is a joy and its been super fun watching her progress so quickly. Really grateful to have her and her husband Dan as part of the family.
Please join me in recognizing and honoring CrossFit Stronghold’s May 2016 Athlete of the Month: Kaleianuenue Kuratko