As you may know, I have been assisting Jeff Marton, the Kettlebell master, for five years now when he travels to teach the very popular Kettlebell certification. It’s always been a privilege to do this with him, but when he invited me recently in Vienna, Virginia at Crossfit Rubicon, things were quite different.
In the past, Jeff has tried getting me to co-teach the certification with him, rather than simply assisting. Whenever he would make such an overture, I would immediately hit the panic button. I would think, is this man crazy? I could never do what he does. He’s been in the industry forever, and everyone loves and respects him! What was going on there, of course, was good ol’ Ana listening to her own fears. This is normal because I do suffer from a little anxiety which certainly does not make certain of my challenges any easier. Besides, I had told Jeff over a year ago, “Jeff, I only want to be your assistant.” He would naturally respond, “Yeah, okay.” He was my mentor, wasn’t he? And always supportive? And he does want me to keep progressing and challenging myself in the industry.
Suddenly the phone rings on Saturday night, just the day before the certification.
“Hi, Anna, did you get the memo?”
“Uh, what memo, Jeff?”
“I have to bail early for another event on Sunday, so it looks like you’ll have to run the certification alone,” he said.
I paused for a moment to register my inward thoughts. (“Eek!) I then said, “Oh yeah, that’s cool, Jeff. I’ve got this.”
I was such a liar.
I remember waking up at three in the morning and not being able to fall back asleep until 6 which was nearly the time I had to get up. I had even had a dream of what the day would be like, which all I’ll say wasn’t as comforting or encouraging as I would have liked it to be.
I had a small cup of black coffee, which I never drink and opened up some notes to review a bit. Although I’ve done this many times, and I knew every word that would come out of Jeff’s mouth while teaching, I felt like I was simply out of my element. I then realized that this was it. There was no turning back, and I had to step up to the plate ASAP!
To give you an idea of my anxiety, I actually went to the box on the other side of town! Fortunately, I had left early enough for an event like this to happen.
Once I arrived to Crossfit Rubicon, I was happy to see that David Wallach, our other assistant and owner of Rubicon, was there. We call David by his nickname Chef, from a former livelihood, which he will sometimes employ to cook special dinners. I was glad I wasn’t alone. Once Jeff left, it was game time! I felt better knowing that David was there with me. He’s brilliant and a great coach as well. We played off each other very nicely and split up the exercises we would teach individually. There were twelve great participants who all really impressed me. We verbally and physically taught and reinforced some major key points for the performance test they would have to take in the afternoon. I had the pleasure of testing them all. With the help of Chef, we were able to retest and pass everyone at the course, which was a great relief!
Once we handed out the certifications, I signed off on all the test papers and Chef immediately faxed them over to Jeff’s crew. When it was all over, I was humbled to have most of the participants come up to me and thank me for my help, They also wanted to know more about what I do, how long I’ve known Jeff, do I have a Facebook account, etc. I get this a lot, but it was especially a big deal because this time was different. I wasn’t an assistant anymore! Thanks to Jeff’s lack of communication (Ahem! 🙂 ) and eagerness to throw me in with half a day’s notice, I forged the courage I probably wouldn’t have had if he had asked a few weeks out. I’m very grateful for working with the best coaches in the industry and even happier that this class was a success! I’m looking to many more certifications in the near future!
-Anabell the Kettlbell Chick