5/11/20
Community

Meet the Coach Monday: Ryan King

Hi everyone!
We wanted to take a little time to help you get to know your coaches a bit better! Fill you in on our fitness journey with some stories along the way. Each coach's version will be different, but we came up with 10 questions to help keep us on track (*keep me on track!).

Our hope is to build some additional trust and use these as a catalyst for you to share your story with us. Let us get to know you better!

For me, this journey is about learning who I am and what I am good at definitely not good at.

1. How did you get started on your fitness journey

There are a few times that come to mind when answering this question...
I've always been athletic. I played sports beginning with T-ball at 3 or 4 years old. Baseball is certainly my favorite. I also ran played Basketball when I was young, ran Cross-Country, played Football, and Wrestled all throughout High School.

Part of the reason I bring that up, I feel like I was a late bloomer with my body or physical ability. Hence why I take Softball too seriously these days...
I was always the little guy, not necessarily picked last, but not quite big enough, strong enough, good enough to get where I wanted. It played a huge part in why I workout now.

Getting to College, I switched majors 3 times. I finally settled on Exercise Science because "Fitness will always be important and always good information to know." Literally what I thought as I decided not to go to the business school. In hindsight, Business school would have helped immensely but I likely would not have ended up here!

After College (in Mankato), I moved to Breckenridge, CO. My favorite place!
I had all this new information but did not know what to do with it. I think, at the time, I was taking my "leap year" except after school. I set up a job at a ski shop and played for a winter. To keep it short, I came back after the winter, worked at Lifetime Fitness in Sales before selling cars for 2 years, and then moved back to Colorado again.
After trying to find a more fun and lucrative job, it was back to car sales! Then one day, I read in the paper "CrossFit gym coming to Frisco, CO.". The next day, I showed up unannounced, they were painting the walls still, walked in and said I want to work here (thinking it would be at least somewhere similar to Lifetime).

It was very much NOT like what I was expecting. But, this was the actual beginning of my fitness journey.
Even though I had all this knowledge, and kept telling myself all I had to do was go to the gym and lift....I never did.
It was not until I signed up at CrossFit Low Oxygen in their very first On-boarding class, that this took off.

I was instantly hooked. Part new and exciting, part locker room banter, part team camaraderie, part everyone is going through the same thing, part competition. What's not to love!?
After about 5 months, I saved up to take my Level 1 Certification and started coaching!
It was less than a year later and I knew this is what I had to do. I started doing the homework, planned where and how much I needed, and moved back and into this very location.

Everything was sooooooo different back then. The only important thing was a soul-crushing workout, and that they learned some better technique along the way. We did not have standards for how long before you can kip, what is required before you can snatch, or handstand push up. It was gritty, very dirty, and extremely humbling.

Fortunately, over the years, there have been many mentors and coaches along the way to help us learn that there is more to this than a crazy workout! That this is about helping people, not just seeing who is the fittest in the room.

I could go on, but I hope you understand from the story above, how much this has changed for the better. Competition was fun, but it beat the crap out of us. There is still a long way to go. So thankful you have come along for the journey!

2. What motivates you

This has changed over the years. I told the story of being the smaller athlete, never being the biggest guy, fastest, strongest. When I started this, I saw a way to become that person, with (to be honest) the least amount of thinking possible. I only say that because I know how challenging it can be to not know where to begin....even if you know what you are supposed to do!

Today, part of me wants to keep my ability. It's fun at softball to be 10 years older than my teammates and to be able to run circles around everyone. That also spills over to being physically capable of going snowboarding for the day, helping my family or friends with projects, etc. Not getting tired or worn out too quickly. In the long run, I know I do not want to be much older and not capable of doing the things I enjoy. It seems like such a generic answer, but I will literally go crazy if I can't be up and doing something.

I'm still ultra-competitive, but I have learned that destroying my shoulders will not help me be able to teach my children how to throw a baseball. Beating up my back will not help me snowboard at 60 years old, etc.

3. What are your biggest struggles

Couple of things. 1) I'm selfish with my time...I like to do things when I want to do them (so stubborn too). I'm also not a morning person whatsoever! It would be much easier if I wanted to get up in the morning and get my workout knocked out. 2) I'm not good at saying NO! This means if there is free food somewhere, I will usually eat! Of course, this includes things I shouldn't. I do an ok job of keeping it to a minimum but it's still a struggle.

I have gone all-in on eating clean and diets before, but for myself, I usually like a balance and will not adjust till the scales (sometimes literally) have tipped too far in the wrong direction. Do not mistake this will a yo-yo diet. This is where you hear about people eating "80% clean". It's ok to indulge sometimes, as long as you keep it in moderation. Sometimes you just have to tighten it up.

4. What is your biggest fitness accomplishment

This is a tough one for me. I've been blessed enough to experience some fun things, meaningful things to me...but not necessarily huge fitness accomplishments.

I've gotten 60+ days on the mountain, in a season, when I lived out west. I've been able to do CrossFit, then take a trip to the mountains and being able to ride much longer than the friends I was with.

When it comes to softball, I've been recruited to play on traveling teams.
I've nearly won a homerun Derby against a guy who played for the Pittsburgh Pirates AAA team.
All things that outside of telling my story, are just random trivial things to most. They are what stick out to me though.

In CrossFit, there are a huge number of things coming to mind. None of them were podium finishes or event wins. They were things that felt awesome to me!
At the Granite Games in 2015, I improved my Snatch PR from 155 the Tuesday before the event, to 205 at the event that Friday night.
At Gameday Eau Claire in 2018, I almost PR'd my Fran time and was the 2nd one finished, behind an athlete who almost made Regionals.
At the Midwest Championships in 2016, I rowed a 3:19 1000m row in the middle of a workout.
At the Granite Games in 2017, coach Kyle and I were the only RX team to carry our sandbags (in a ridiculously grueling workout) back across the entire football field without putting them down.
Those are all fun and memorable to me, but mostly I remember competing with the other awesome people on my team. Our goal was always to do just a little bit better than we expected and we almost always did.

5. What made you want to become a coach

Two things:
1) I had a pretty good knack for explaining things in layman's terms. Albeit I can still certainly over-talk when doing so! When I first began CrossFit, the coach would explain something, I would see another athlete not fully understanding, and I would be able to simplify it. I've learned now that no matter how much you explain, or how simple you make it, there will still be people who miss it or do not understand. You know who you are and we still love you!

2) I always wanted a career where my ideas would be heard and actually become something. Why not just do it for myself? I knew there was an opportunity up here, so I jumped on it.

6. Pet peeves in class

There are obvious ones like talking while a coach is talking. Or asking a question, listening to the answer....but not actually listening to the answer. Most of the time I feel like I did not explain it well enough then and try to adjust.

But, I'm going to pivot a bit here. It really bugs me when people do not give this a fair shot!
I say that knowing full well that it is NOT easy to jump into something like this. The fear of working out in front of people, let alone surviving some of the workouts, etc. I get it.
What I mean, the people who can get past most of that and then let everything else get in the way. Being here, with the people around you, not just to workout, can be so powerful! These life things just need to be talked about with someone you trust.
So I have been working on being more empathetic, but I am not good at asking the right questions to let someone know I care and they can share with me. I get distracted thinking about what I need to do behind the scenes. It's not the right thing to do, but I want you to know that if you are willing to share with me...I am here to listen, I am here to help, I will be there for you.
So, when that big crap in life comes up and gets in the way of working on yourself, turn to a coach you trust and let them know what's going on!
I'll keep working on being present and open. That can 100% be your pet peeve of me!

7. Favorite/least favorite movements

Favorites:
-Double Unders! Not because I am good at them, but because I was bad at them for so long!
-Muscle ups. I have not been doing them lately in order to help my shoulders. But before I was proud of being smooth and efficient at them.

Least:
-High rep, light to moderate weight Snatches. Never good at them even though I love heavy 1 rep Snatches.
-Burpees. I mean really, I know they are not everyone's favorite, but it's mostly because I was never able to master them. I was never able to make them as smooth or efficient as Muscle Ups or DU's.

8. Current fitness/life goal

Similar to #2, what motivates me...I just want to stay capable throughout my life. I want to play ball as long as I can, I want to snowboard as long as I can.

There are some other life goals, family, and other things, but I will save those as surprises for the future!

9. Who inspires you, your role model

People who know what they want. Could be in business, life, sport, whatever it might be. It's always been inspiring. Seeing someone have a dream or goal, make a plan to get there, and then watching them achieve it. Fortunately, I have a couple people super close to me who are like this... ;)

I have never been money motivated. I am motivated by creating something that people will have respect for, yet I have made plenty of decisions that counter that. My point is; I have learned over the years, what I am good at and what I am not. The people who inspire me most are often the ones I have or can learn from to help me with those weaknesses.

10. Most memorable coaching moment

I love seeing someone do something they did not think they could do!
There have been a few memorable things in classes....watching Coach Coole walk in to see Scott Lunt strict pressing what he thought was 315lbs! This was right before Coole started and did not know the bumper plates even existed, he thought they were all 45lb steel plates on each side!
-We had an 80's day back inn 2013 where everyone dressed up.
-There have been numerous times during the CrossFit Open where the entire place lights up for the last person finishing their workout.

I remember the times' people lifted a bit more than they thought they ever could. Or hit a handful of Double Unders in a row for the first time. I remember a lot of first Muscle Ups.

But mostly, I remember the smiles and "glad that's over" 's, the high fives and people talking to their new best friend at the gym.

I started this by explaining I've learned a lot about myself over the years. With much help from people around me and coaches we have had here.
This is not about PR's...if you can't do the basics perfect first. This is not about getting on the podium at an event.

This is about connecting with people and giving them a space to be themselves without judgement....while working on your fitness at the same time.
I hope this helps you be more comfortable here!

Ryan

Ryan King

Owner / Coach