Lessons From the Level 1

By Eric LeMay

In Coaching, CrossFit

March 31, 2014

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Teacher Eric LeMay takes the CrossFit Level 1 Certificate Course and reflects on what he learned.

Each morning, over the blurry steam of a second cup of coffee, I open my email, braced against the small fires I’ll find in my inbox. The more emails I have, the more quickly I go hunting for the one from CrossFit, the one with the WOD and daily image.

Sometimes it’s eye candy: a cute kid pushing a sled, a firebreather hitting a handstand on a beach in Thailand. Sometimes it’s more inspiring: an athlete kicking ass in a wheelchair, a fallen hero.

Mondays always throw me off. If you get the email, you know that Monday’s image is always a composite of a dozen or so group shots from CrossFit Seminars held all over the world. About 50 people are in each picture, and their faces are so small you have to squint to see them.

All those faces used to make me cranky. It’s Monday. Give me a pig-tailed toddler with toy dumbbells or a tastefully athletic nude. Monday is not a day for fuzzy group photos.

But after months of looking at those group shots, I became curious about the faces in them. As a teacher, I’m fascinated by how and why people learn. So I began to wonder what all those athletes—Monday after Monday—took away from two days of immersing themselves in CrossFit.

Then, one weekend, I did it: I became one of those faces.

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