From member to coach

I first heard about Crossfit whilst in Royal Marines basic training (for those of you who don’t know, I’m a veteran), I wasn’t one of the fitter lads in my troop so asked the beasts of the group what sort of training they did – all said Crossfit. So after getting medically discharged I knew I wanted to do Crossfit to go back stronger and fitter, that’s when I found CFEN!

When I first walked through the door at CFEN I was greeted with a peculiar and mesmerising sight, Jack ‘The Eclipse’ Fletchney fast asleep. All I could think to myself is how can anyone do everyday functions with ears that big?


My first WOD was also an experience being introduced to the Airdyne, fair to say I didn’t fly like a Boeing 747 during it. After, while curled up like a hedgehog crying profusely I thought to myself ‘Why am I doing this?’ something I think we can all relate to. From that moment on I knew I was going to be pushed every time I walked through the door and I liked that. However, the best thing about it was the community side. You never feel alienated or left out at CFEN and that’s down to each and every member being friendly and constantly encouraging whether you finish first or last (This obviously excludes Ben Paynter, terrible man).

I signed up immediately because I knew this was going to be the hardest I’ve ever trained and would prepare me best for going back into marines training. Then, like a dark cloud coming over the horizon, I met Paul Lambert and immediately regretted my decision. As he sat there eating Broccoli or blueberries like he does, constantly swiping left or right on tinder and talking utter nonsense I thought to myself ‘I wonder what shade of fake tan he uses’.Love you Paul.

Fast forward a few months and the day came to have a medical to re-enter marines training…………..failed. This was obviously a kick in the teeth after waiting months post-surgery thinking the problem had been fixed. Jack immediately took me to one side and understood what I was going through as a fellow veteran. He asked me whether I would be interested in becoming a coach at CFEN. A question I probably thought about for all of around 3 milliseconds before answering yes. From that moment on I started learning about Crossfit through a coaches eye and was taken back at how in depth they looked into every movement, something as a member you don’t always see. I was immediately hooked as I had finally found something that I enjoyed, increased my very limited knowledge and could turn into a career.

This is where I started my apprenticeship at CFEN, and can honestly say I’ve enjoyed every moment since. Even having to circumnavigate around another job, which was challenging at times, I always loved coming to CFEN just to see Ed’s constant smile and buzzing personality.

During my apprenticeship I couldn’t thank Coach Ed and Jack enough for all their help in building my coaching knowledge and all the extra hours they put in preparing me for my Level 1.

Members board
From then on it was just about gaining experience taking classes. It has been a challenge learning how to take classes but one that’s been made a lot easier by  having the best members around to help you through it, even when you have Nick laughing like a hyena while you talk (he has such a huge forehead unlike myself). Now that I’ve started as a full time coach I hope to keep passing on the knowledge I learn to all members and keep you striving towards your goals. As a coach there really isn’t anything better than watching someone run over to the PB board, ring the bell with a huge smile on their face and listen to the whole box erupt with applause for them, the true CFEN spirit. Whether it is your first strict pull up, first muscle up or to see you lift a weight you never thought you could its rewarding to see when your hard work pays off.