What a long, strange trip it's been.
Albany, NY (PRWEB) August 10, 2012
In a final surprise twist to a contest that was full of surprises, Albany CrossFit announces that the first place prize in a contest to find its next coach will be divided among the final three competitors: Jenny Foucher, Chad Southwick, and Allison Meecham.
It all began back in March when applicants submitted audition tapes. All were current members of Albany CrossFit. "We've found that works best," explained Jason Ackerman, owner of Albany CrossFit and CrossFit Clifton Park.
"Bringing in outsiders hasn't usually been successful. So now we prefer to promote from within. And this friendly competition was very much in keeping with what we do every day. It’s all about transformation,” said Ackerman.
The nine finalists performed a variety of tasks during a five month period: everything from coaching classes to such mundane behind-the-scenes tasks as cleaning, repairing equipment, or helping in the office. Along the way, there were eliminations and immunity challenges.
But it was a bit different from a reality TV show in which the competitors interrupt their lives to live together and focus 100% on the contest. All the Top Coach competitors participated in the extended contest on top of their regular family and job responsibilities.
And all of them grew a lot in the process.
Allison Meecham said has “enhanced myself as a person” after being exposed to the many different coaching styles of the existing Albany CrossFit coaching staff. She said she has “learned a lot of stuff” she is going to take with her as she grows in one of her other roles as a softball coach.
For Chad Southwick, an engineer who calls himself “reserved,” the hardest part was “opening up my soul” in his audition tape. And Jenny Foucher says she got a big confidence boost in “how I could explain things and how the athletes were perceiving me.”
“What a long, strange trip it’s been” said Albany CrossFit owner Jason Ackerman of a contest that sometimes seemed it would never end because it was so hard to select a winner.
No clear winner emerged from feedback from Albany CrossFit’s members and coaches. In the end, it was decided to split the first place prize among all three finalists. Each will receive $500 towards the cost of being certified as a CrossFit Coach. All will continue as assistant coaches and have the chance for a spot on permanent coaching staff.
But Jenny Foucher, one of the winners, says the best outcome of all is: “We all worked really hard. We all developed a lot and got better as coaches.”
The Albany CrossFit Top Coach contest is just the latest success for a gym that began modestly four years ago in cramped space with a handful of members. It expanded to a second location in Clifton Park last summer. Renovations were completed at the original location earlier this year. Together, both gyms have over 500 members.
Why the success for a very tough workout regimen?
"It's the community feeling and the caring," says Albany CrossFit and CrossFit Clifton Park owner Jason Ackerman. "We treat everyone who walks through the door like an athlete, regardless of their current fitness level, and our members are great about encouraging each other. So people are able to go way beyond what they thought possible."
The workouts focus on natural and functional movements and are different every day. Every workout is coached and the coaches scale the workouts to accommodate different ability levels. CrossFit uses barbells, kettlebells, pull up bars and many body weight movements including squats and pushups.
And it's a bit like the TV series "Cheers": everyone knows your name. Members strike up friendships, go out together and travel together. A few have even gotten married.