Early in 2010 I was offered a chance to become an intern in CrossFit Ireland. Needless to say I jumped at the opportunity. I was working in the fitness industry for the past year, had started CrossFit in September 2009 and I couldn’t get enough of the stuff (still can’t!).

I was hooked and considered coaching CrossFit to be my next port of call. This was an unbelievable opportunity to be landed with. I’d been curious as to what was involved in the setting up and running of a successful CrossFit Affiliate, the business, the coaching, everything.

Not only was I being offered a chance to learn from two great coaches, Colm and Will, but also from the business mind behind CrossFit Ireland, Tom.

Very early on the guys outlined how I would progress as an intern and what was required from me at each level. I would be tested and regularly given assignments to carry out. I was impressed by their professionalism from the word go.

I remember very early on sitting in on a meeting with between Tom and Colm and Sami Dowling. The guys were giving advice to Sami who was setting up his own strength and conditioning facility. This really gave me a huge insight into the processes involved in starting a facility up, the planning, the research, and the costs. I have to admit I was a little scared by it all, but this is reality of the business end of things. Still it was exciting to see someone setting up a business doing something they loved.

This holds true for the guys in CrossFit Ireland. They love what they do, they believe in what they are doing and they have a great vision of what they want to achieve. This really struck a cord with me and has stuck with me since.

I’ve learned so much in the past few months and still have areas I need to improve.
There is a lot more to booking someone in for an introductory session than meets the eye and I have certainly learned a lot more about the systems that make CFI run smoothly. I’ve practiced phone scripts and intros over and over and still need to work on them.

On the coaching side of things my knowledge and expertise is growing everyday. I qualified as a CrossFit Level 1 Coach in July of this year but interning has really allowed me to gain experience as a CrossFit Coach. It’s been invaluable. There is so much more involved in teaching a CrossFit class than I first expected, making sure it runs on time, group organisation, cueing. Colm and Will really do make it look easy.
Another great advantage of interning is that I can be critiqued as a coach. I’ve been given the opportunity of coaching one or two classes under the supervision of Colm, Will and Tom.

This has been great as it has allowed me to find the areas where I can improve my coaching skills. In CrossFit we are regularly humbled by our weaknesses. We all know we are only as strong as our weakest link. This is a belief that I really take to heart and I am working hard on those areas that I feel I need to strengthen, for example VOICE PROJECTION. This might sound easy to fix but it is something I struggle with. But I have no doubt that I will get there, the personal challenge in all of this is what keeps me coming back!

Good, better, best; never let it rest till your good is better and your better is best.

There are so many things I love about interning in CFI. The atmosphere is always friendly and when I coach, people are always eager to learn. I really enjoy helping people achieve their best, whether that’s a better position in their air squat or getting their first kipping pull up. I love seeing people do things they never thought they would do and pushing their limits. I love seeing the improvements people make over time. All of this inspires me and it makes me push harder in my own training. Getting to see the inner workings of CFI is a privilege and I’d like to thank Colm, Tom and Will for their continued support, patience and encouragement. If I come away with half the knowledge of these three I will consider myself very lucky.

Your Intern,
James “Jimminy” Sunderland