A New Direction

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Dear Kingfield community,

You know that phrase “New year, new me?” The one that is one part hopeful and another part hokey? I mean, who actually goes out and reinvents themselves at the beginning of the year? Well, this year, I am. This is bittersweet news to share but as of the end of the month, I will be stepping away from Kingfield as a coach and manager.

While this may seem abrupt or unexpected, I have decided, with the help of my closest circle, that I need to make some changes. This decision has not come without strife and heartache - you all mean the world to me and I truly do love to coach. However, as many of you know, Alex and I are planning to start our family and we feel that it is in our best interest for me move away from the coaching lifestyle. I have long wanted to pursue a different industry, not because I don’t love the gym or coaching, but because I feel a compelling urge to immerse myself in something new.

But I do not write today to rationalize my decision. Instead, I am writing to thank you. There will never be enough words to describe what this group of people, people I consider a second family, mean to me. Some of you were here before me and welcomed me in, made me feel like I was a part of the family from the moment I came to Kingfield. Some of you came after me and likely received an email from me upon inquiring about the gym to the effect of “Thank you for your email! We would love to get you started at Kingfield. All of our new athletes, regardless of experience start in Foundations…” While this is certainly my blanket intro, every word was heartfelt and eager in anticipation at adding another awesome human to our fold. I have had the pleasure of getting to know so many of you, learning about your jobs, your hobbies, your interests, your families. You all fascinate me and make coming into work a new experience every single day.

As you know, our jobs as coaches go far beyond movement mechanics and running an organized class. We work in the relationship business and are only as effective as we can build a trusting, honest connection with each of you. Through those connections we hope to help you change your life and, as corny as it sounds, you change ours. When I first started coaching, I was an uncertain, awkward kid, fresh out of college, afraid to address a single stranger let alone an entire room full of them. But what I have learned, what you have taught me, is that if you can make it personal, make it about connection and make someone feel heard and cared about, you do not need to be afraid. That vulnerability opens the door to understanding one another, that we’re all just humans trying to better ourselves in this life.

That is another thing that impresses me most about all of you: your relentless pursuit for self-improvement. Relentless to the extent that you demand more from us, more feedback, more ownership of our role as coaches. It is truly inspiring to watch you show up, whether is 4:55am or 5:06pm, and seek to be better. Earlier this past year, at a coaches’ meeting, we were all asked what inspired us when we train. I said it was all of you, that even when I’m in the gym by myself I imagine you’re there watching. It helps me move right and push hard, because I know that you all expect nothing less from me. And I have come to expect nothing less from you. We talk a lot about holding the standard, about moving with integrity, about staying true to the intended stimulus. We hold that standard because you demand it of us, because you know that we can help you in your quest to be a better you. The structure of our system is reciprocal: we are only as good as you ask of us.

And that brings me to the incredible people I have been able to share the designation of “Coach” with at Kingfield. They are an exceptional bunch, each bringing something unique to the table but all striving to hold that standard you have come to expect. When I first started, it was really just Danny, Amanda, Chris and Tony Christopherson. I was looking for a group of people who believed in me and believed in CrossFit. I found the right group. I spent a lot of time hanging around then, getting to know them (and you) more and more. I learned that they were a hard working and fun-loving bunch. But at the core, always focused on that personal connection. Coach Josh entered the fold about six months after I did, and well, you all know what I thought of him (if you missed my blog post from a few weeks ago when we sent Josh off, you can read it here). Coach Chris is a stalwart example of consistency and drive to become more. I am always in awe of his patience and his attention to detail. He is kind and cares deeply for every one of his athletes. He too has benefitted and grown up just by being around all of you.

Between then and now, we have had a rotation coaches: after Tony C. came Tony W. and somewhere in between came Amanda L. Finally, for over a year, I have had the privilege of getting to know and work alongside Coach Anthony, an incredibly talented and smart young man with an overwhelming desire to help people. All of these people are special to me in their own right. Alone the energy and the time that it takes to hone one’s craft in this business deserves an award and I’d give one to each of them. While going the distance doesn’t always work out, you can be assured that everyone of us has taken away something valuable from our time in the Kingfield community. And we hope that you have gained something from our time with you too.

However, all of this is moot without a platform to stand on. Danny and Amanda, from day one, have graciously provided a place for all of us. Referring to the time and energy I mentioned before, we multiply it by a thousand and even then it’s likely not equivalent to what they have given to this place. I will forever be grateful for the opportunities, guidance and friendship that these two have afforded me. They have created something truly remarkable and it is not something that any of us should take for granted, coaches and members alike. They will continue to move the needle and provide a space that is inclusive and welcoming for all. You all have a lot to look forward to in the future at Kingfield. As I have learned in my four plus years with Danny, if he says it’ll happen, it’ll happen.

That is all I can share for now. If you would like to talk with me or ask me questions, I would be happy to set up a time to chat. I’m sure that there will be some sort of farewell gathering as the end of the month draws near. Until then, I plan to enjoy every second I have with my people. It will not be easy to leave but I will take the lessons I have learned, the memories I have shared and the love I have received with me wherever I end up and never forget what an incredible thing it is to be a part of Kingfield.

With love always,

Coach Caitlin