Sunday, March 15, 2009

Days 539 and 540...oLyMpiC LiFtiNg cErTifiCaTioN...

Well, I attended the Crossfit Olympic Lifting Certification the past two days. I have attended other certifications...and I'm always nervous...but this was by the most nerve wracking of them all. The thing is...I have always felt fairly proficient in the movements that I was going to "learn" at the other 2 certifications. That was not the case this time. I had NEVER really done a Snatch with a Cleans needed A LOT of help...and while I know how to do a Push Jerk, I had NEVER done a Split Jerk. The other part of this is that I was scared to death of Coach Burgener. I know that he is a great coach, but I was terrified that I would screw up and he would yell at me.The first day (Saturday) we spent the entire day working on the Snatch. It was very humbling. It is so interesting how you can feel so strong in one thing at the gym and find that you are so weak in another. Give me a barbell to bench press or deadlift any day...load it up with weight...and I can do well...but hand me a bar and tell me to snatch it (jump, land, and end holding the weight over my head down in a full squat) and I can scarcely handle a bar without any extra weight on it. This was way out of my comfort zone, but I did practice and learn enough to feel like I can improve greatly with some practice in the gym.

The next day (Sunday) was all about the Clean and the Split Jerk. I recognize my weaknesses in the Clean, but I definitely felt more confident than I did about the Snatch. At the same time, I feel like I did improve. I was shocked at how easy it was to learn to do the Split Jerk...but I think the MOST shocking part of the certification was how my opinion of Coach Mike Burgener changed over the past two days.

Coach Burgener has many years of experience. I would definitely consider him an expert in his field, and he has a talent for teaching. Was he as tough as I envisioned? YES! When he asked a question, the entire class had to YELL "YES COACH!!!".  When he said the word "burpee" in a sentence, we had to YELL "YAY BURPEES!!!". If we did not do these things, we had to suffer what he calls "motivational consequences". In other words...we had to do burpees if even ONE of us did not comply. I went in thinking, "Why should I have to yell like I'm in the military? I'm paying 600$ to attend this certification! I should be treated with respect!". I soon realized that he was not being "disrespectful" at all. I found myself yelling without ant any reservation or embarrassment at all.

I think one of the most impressive things to me was how he was able to teach us using the simplest of terms. He made complicated movements easy to learn. I was also impressed with his passion and the joy that it brings him when his "students" do well. This man was truly blessed with a talent and he has worked hard to use it for the betterment of others. I enjoyed myself and learned more at this certification than I have at any of the other certifications or classes that I have attended. I feel really lucky to have learned from such a great coach. I know without a doubt that I am a better trainer than I was before I attended this certification. Coach Burgener changed me and I am so glad that I went. "YAY BURPEES!"

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