This is not a reflection on you as a person , it’s just a snapshot of your ability at a certain point in time

This was the statement that really hit home with me during my time at Crossfit Ireland . First though I’ll give you some background.. My name is Padraic Colhoun and I have worked as a Fitness instructor/Sports coach for the last few years in Galway. I found crossfit about a year and a half ago and have since been fascinated and regularly humbled by it.

So this all began with my curiosity of what it would be like to run a Crossfit affiliate in
Ireland and the challenges that it might involve both business wise and also training wise. I had been to Crossfit Ireland on a few occasions previously over the past couple of years for either one of the Invitationals or just for a day or two at a time but I wanted to spend a little bit longer learning about what to me has been a refreshing and interesting growth in crossfit gyms around the world and how Irish people would take to it.

So I contacted Tom and arranged to spend 3 days with the lads helping out and generally
just shadowing them around the gym to see how they really did maintain this ” Institute of
Awesomness” . To say I was excited would be an understatement. The few days I was to spend in Dublin began well as I was staying with some Local Crossfit celebs Dee & Ed so it promised to be a fun week of sarcasm and training talk.

As i arrived on the first morning i was greeted by Colm who had just done some emergency cleaning but was nonetheless pretty chipper for that time on a monday and was shown into the gym to get settled and changed . A little while later I met Tom and Will as they arrived and pretty quickly I felt that they took me on board as well as I could have hoped. Within minutes we we’re cracking jokes and taking the mick as I had suspected we might be.

Throughout the days I generally just helped out with any cleaning that was needed aswell as
observed some of the business meetings that the lads would have regularly. One of the main things about the meetings I found very heartening was the attitude of the lads to consistently refine and update their quality of service while maintaining as tight a ship business wise as possible. I also observed some of the classes being run by Will and Colm and to say the standard of coaching was good would be doing them a great disservice as the movement cues, amount of time dedicated to each person and the movement around the group were excellent.

It happened to be ”Mikko Salo” week while I was at CrossFit Ireland also so the fact that the
lads handled the extra workload of double workouts for each class with such consistent quality coaching was great to see. I also found the group management very good and picked up alot of little tips and ideas for not just any future CrossFit classes that I might teach but also any other types of fitness class that I would be teaching. As a side note I have rarely if ever experienced such a positive learning environment in any gym I have ever been in as I did while I was there.

Over the following couple of days I picked the brains of Colm, Will, Tom who were
brilliantly patient and very helpful even though they were very busy and some of the
more experienced members regularly aswell as got in some workouts with some of the regulars which I have to say was invaluable. I trained with Will on one of the mornings and it really showed me how much work I need to do in the future to maintain and improve all of the elemnts of my fitness and also my business knowledge.

I will leave you with some of the highlights of my few days spent with the lads.

  • Watching Jimminy getting a strong looking 70kg snatch with seconds left of the time alotted to find a snatch 1rm was very impressive.
  • Being able to keep up with a professional athlete ( Eamonn) on that most elite of exercises - double unders – was alot of fun.
  • Training with Will and realising more than ever that every coach needs a coach and how if circumstance means you must reorganise your training a bit it doesn’t mean that it has to stop altogether.
  • Watching how well Colm controlled the groups as well as how he found just the right balance of encouragement for the group and freedom also to let each member experience what Mikko Salo week is all about .
  • The consistent positivity aswell as honesty that the lads have managed to work into their own business owners mentality aswell as being able to transfer that to the gym members was brilliant to see.
  • Talking to Tom about his and the lads plans for the business and the passion that he has for making CrossFit Ireland a consistently great quality service for the gyms clients was very impressive.
  • I also put the fact that i managed to get both my first and second ever muscle ups while in the park with dee and ed on one of the mornings down to the fact that i allowed myself to be immersed among open minded CrossFitters with progress always on their minds.

Finally i just would like to thank Colm ,Will and Tom for the opportunity to catch a brief glimpse behind the scenes of what i firmly believe now to be a true “Institute of Awesomeness” at CrossFit Ireland. I may not ever open a crossfit affiliate but the few days i spent at CrossFit Ireland will definitely only benefit me in the future.

Padraic Colhoun.