I recently had a conversation with someone I truly like and respect, someone with a lot more CrossFit and coaching experience than I have. This person mentioned he had read my blog for the first time… and then referenced that it wasn’t exactly a “family show”. I started to laugh the comment off, but then I asked him to explain what he meant. And he did, tough-love lecture style. And it got me thinking.
I use pretty colorful language when I write. I drop the f-bomb here like it’s my part time job. In person, I may do the same, depending on the situation. I use good judgment. In the gym or training with Haskell, I use words that would make Chris Rock start taking notes. At work, with family or while training clients, I present myself far more respectably.
I always thought of this blog as my own personal area of free speech. I get to write about what I want, how I want, and express things in a way that I normally can’t. But every day, more people in the CrossFit community – people I look up to and admire – are checking out my blog. And a lot of those people are getting their first impressions of me as a CrossFitter and trainer through my web postings. I started thinking about how I would feel if someone like Lis Darsh or Maureen Martone read some of these posts. I mean, what if my MOM read some of these posts? I have to ask myself, is this really the first impression I want these people to have of me?
I would hate for my skills and merits as a coach to be shadowed by the notion that I have a mouth like a sailor. And right now, I'm betting that it would be hard to convince someone (a potential client, for example) who found me through my blog that I really do clean up well in person. Say I post a write-up that Lis Darsh thinks is fabulous. Would she link to it on the Affiliate page, if the rest of my posts were littered with f-bombs? Would Maureen Martone invite me to assist at a cert, after reading some of my more colorful rants?
I have spent a lot of time this past week thinking about what it means to be a coach, and by default, a role model. I am serious about taking my training to the next level by attending more certifications, participating as a demonstrator and coach, and most importantly, starting to train my own kettlebell clients. In order to establish myself in those roles, I need to do more than just improve my coaching skills and log more training time. I also need to project a professional image to trainers, clients and peers, whether it be in person, via email or through my blog.
I'm going to rethink how I'm putting myself out there, to both the CrossFit community and the general public. I can still be clever and funny without the use of the f-bomb. There’s a lot of room between Disney and Chris Rock, and I’ll find my place there. I think people will still be entertained, despite the lack of colorful vernacular. (Although I sure will miss a few of them.) What do you think? Please post thoughts to comments.
And thanks for reading.