Meet Coach Allison! Coach Allison is military wife and mother of two adorable kids, Riley (5) & Nolan (1). She is originally from Mobile, Alabama but calls Indiana home. Coach Allison has a Bachelors degree in Psychology and one day hope to finish a Masters in Speech Pathology. Coach Allison moved to VA from NC in April 2017. Her favorite movements are deadlift and/or thrusters. When Coach Allison isn’t working out or coaching at Ardent, she is hanging out with her family.
How long have you been coaching Crossfit?
I started coaching CrossFit in October 2018. I took the Level 1 in 2013 while out in Okinawa. But, failed the test. It was a blessing in disguise because John had just deployed to Afghanistan, I had recently started a job at the gym on base, and was taking classes online for Speech Pathology. I could not have balanced all that while also coaching. But, the failure of it hit me hard. So, I decided it wasn’t something I was supposed to do. During John’s next deployment, I made my best friends come over to workout. Mostly because I needed social interaction. Riley was only 18 months at the time! It definitely wasn’t coaching – I was babysitting our kids (four of them, 2 and under at the time) while they did the workout I programmed for them. But, it gave me the confidence to try the Level 1 certificate again. After moving to Stafford and asking Ryan and Kasey if they needed more coaches, I signed up for the course. I passed this time! Obviously. After just over a year of coaching, I got my Level 2.
Why did you become a coach?
I have a teachers heart. I love people. I love helping people. I love getting to know people. I love watching people get better at something that they have been working on. I also love CrossFit. I love that everyone is different and the challenge that it presents. Everyone requires a different cue to help get things click for them. There’s nothing better than watching an athlete do something for the first time!
How long have you been doing Crossfit?
I started CrossFit in March of 2012. One of my dearest friends got her Level 1 and asked a group of us to do a workout. The workout was Fran. I remember thinking (judging) “Aw, how cute? CrossFitters name their workouts.” I agreed though. Leigh Ann walked us through the movements – the thruster and pull up. The thruster made me laugh … because I have the sense of humor of a twelve year old boy. She introduced me to the kipping pull up – which I thought was cheating because I could do a strict pull up and had worked hard at getting it! So…25 minutes later I collapsed onto the ground. I had “done” Fran with a 45# bar and strict pull ups. I hated it and I was hooked.
Favorite crossfit movement?
Either the deadlift or thruster. I love any workout that has deadlifts in it. But there’s something about thrusters that make me feel so accomplished at the end of it. I think I have a pretty good handle on breathing while doing thrusters — unfortunately, there are normally a ton of thrusters in a workout and mentally, that’s tough for me!
Favorite Crossfit movement to coach?
I love coaching gymnastic movements! Toes to bar might be my favorite, though.
What has been your favorite coaching moment?
I absolutely love coaching Open workouts on Friday mornings. There’s SO much energy in the room! I love watching people push themselves outside of their comfort zone!
What is your advice to new CrossFitters?
CrossFit is for life. We’re training you guys to use the functional movements in everyday life. Luckily, we do it in a fun environment. It’s easy to look at where others are in their athletic journey and compare them to where you are currently. But, remember everyone starts somewhere.
What’s your favorite Ardent memory?
Right now. I’ve been wracking my mind for a memory that trumps what we’re doing right now in our community. Does it suck we aren’t at the gym. ABSOLUTELY! But, I’ve seen so much growth and friendships forming in our Ardent family in the last week.
What’s been your biggest Crossfit accomplishment?
My first reaction was to say that I was on a team that qualified for the CrossFit Games back in 2014 and while that is quite an accomplishment, I don’t think it’s my biggest one. I did CrossFit through both of my pregnancies and now get to show my kids what a healthy mom looks like. Before CrossFit, I was a runner – I ran numerous 5k’s, 11 half marathons, and 3 full marathons. I was active, but I was not as healthy as I am now.
What are your favorite hobbies outside of CrossFit?
I am a giant introvert. I love audiobooks (in this season of life) and podcasts! I also love making yearly memory books for my family.