Back at our old gym, we conducted a fun little social media and blog post series where we got to learn a little bit about our amazing coaches at CrossFit St. Charles. With us switching locations, the craziness of 2020, the influx of new members, etc. we figured it would be great to introduce and re-introduce our coaches! Kicking things off we Coach Jason Rutherford! Get to know Jason by reading our interview with him below!
1. What is your experience/ background in fitness and exercise?
Starting as a wee lad, I played baseball, basketball, and ran track. By the time I hit high school, I realized I wasn’t tall and didn’t really like running. So, basketball and track were out, but I found Football (less running) and wrestling. LOVED wrestling… So much so, I ended up wrestling through winter, spring, and summer. I played football in the fall and retired from baseball. Throughout college, I played intramural volleyball (1999 SIUE Intramural sand volleyball champions). In 2008(ish) I started a makeshift cross-training club where a buddy and I led co-workers through runs, pushups, squats, burpees, etc. during our lunch hour. I really enjoyed this time with my co-workers as I was helping drive them to finish the workouts every day.
2. How and when did you discover CrossFit?
(The following dates might be off a bit, but you’ll get the gist) In 2013ish I fell out of fitness and generally became inactive. 2015 started my journey back into fitness. I had tried to “get it together” for years by walking on a treadmill and hitting bench press, or I’d hit up some back and bis at a gym. In 2015, my buddy that cross-trained with me suggested we do a tough mudder. During the event, I stubbed my toe so badly (on the warped wall) I had to stop the event, and head to the urgent care. While I was at the urgent care, I was told I was overweight and pre-diabetic. This was a slap in the face and my wife suggested I try CrossFit because “they seem like your speed of people”. I called a box and didn’t receive a call back (days passed). My wife suggested trying one more. I called Kim the evening of October 17th, 2016, received a voicemail, and received a text a few minutes later where we scheduled our call for the next morning.
3. What are you most passionate about when it comes to CrossFit?
The pursuit of fitness. In pursuing fitness I’ve learned a lot about a lot, including but not limited to the following: proper movement, lifting technique, breathing, nutrition, and grit. All these lessons have improved my life in multiple ways. My relationships, confidence, stick-to-itiveness, and career have directly benefited from my pursuit of fitness.
4. Why did you become a CF coach?
I’ve been a student of the game for a few years, and I went to get my CF-L1 because I wanted to continue down my quest for knowledge on movement. Honestly, I wanted to learn to move better for myself. Before I was a coach (and still today) I watch videos on technique, read books, listen to podcasts, and review old CF games footage to learn about movement and strategy. My passion for the sport and knowing how much I enjoyed my cross-training back in 2008 when the opportunity presented itself, it felt very natural for me to jump in headfirst.
5. What’s a big lesson you’ve learned from being a coach?
Where do I start!?!? The big lesson is to be more coachable myself. The best athletes in the world are coached and are extremely coachable. I’ve been told for years my mobility sucks (my coaches used different words ☺). When I became a coach, I felt it necessary to practice what I preach. So, I’ve worked a LOT on all the things my coaches have told me that have been holding me back, starting with mobility. Add in all the other things feet, hips, hands, positioning, LAT engagement, the list goes on and on, but I’m working to be coachable. The cues from the coaches for things like range of motion, weight options, worked stimulus, and movement positioning are meant to keep us honest, efficient, and safe (come see me and ask me about the photo below).
6. What do you think is the most important part of being a coach?
Another difficult question!! As a coach, I want to help people achieve their goals. Goals tend to be easy to set but difficult to execute. Goals can range from getting a daily workout in, building strength, keeping a general level of fitness, conquering fears, feeling empowered, qualifying for the online open or games, feeling like part of a community, and/or getting out of CrossFit class on time. Because people’s goals have such a varying range, being as prepared as possible for all people’s goals feels like the most important part of coaching (leading/serving) our members.
7. What’s your favorite part about being a coach?
At CrossFit, many of us work on improving our level of fitness several days per week. To do so, we set aside our daily baggage for 60ish minutes and focus on ourselves. By working on ourselves, we become better versions of ourselves, better co-workers, better parents, and better humans. When members work so hard on themselves and are stuck on things like double-unders, pullups, or stuck at a specific weight on a lift, it can be frustrating. I’ve had some members execute a new skill and hit PR’s based on my cue’s and that is so rewarding. It’s rewarding for everyone! Seeing a look of pure joy on someone’s face because of what they just achieved is priceless.
8. What do you hope to do for others as a coach?
I hope to enable people to become the best versions of themselves by assisting them in their goals.
Make sure to say to Coach Jason if you ever get a chance or if you are in the 5 & 6 AM classes! Check back in next week on Monday for another “Meet the Coaches” post!
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