| | | Reflections of a Johnnie Football Space Monkey: Part 2

Author / Carl Case

If you’re not on a journey and are just sitting stagnant, you better take a hard look in the mirror. There needs to be some sort of continual self-improvement, especially if you want to make progress as a coach, athlete, person, etc. You need to surround yourself with individuals who can push you along that trajectory; in your life be a citizen, not a tourist.   

September 25th, 2012 – January 13th, 2013 

When we last left off, I had just received the message to keep an eye out for any seminars that I could drive to. This was a very broad and somewhat ambiguous directive. Looking back, this message was probably intentionally set up this way. This left me wondering: what do I do until then to prepare? I knew the staff demonstrated everything which meant that being a great mover was a large part of the job. So I started there, setting up a weekly cadence of running through all of the warm up movements that were taught. I would film myself, review them, and pick them apart much like I would when examining a Power Clean or Back Squat.

I continued to check the upcoming seminar list day after day…after day. Until finally, there was a seminar in Lexington, Kentucky! A short five and half hour drive away. I remember typing up the email to send over saying that I could make it to the seminar and feeling incredibly nervous to hit the send button. What if they changed their mind? What if I completely bomb? In life, I have realized a lot of my growth has come from saying yes to things that scare me. I hit the send button and received a reply along the lines of “great see you there.”

When I arrived, I was asked what I felt comfortable doing. Knowing I had spent the last two months practicing the demos for all the warm ups, I confidently spoke up for all of them. After the seminar my hard work had paid off, receiving compliments on my performance. The next directives where the same as before: “keep an eye out for more that you can get drive to.”

June 3rd, 2013 

While watching for more seminars, I continued to try and forecast what the next task assigned to me and kept preparing. I knew at some point I was going to have to lead the warm-ups. So I created a Word doc for each movement, laying out the set-up, execution, points of performance and common faults. Every class that I taught, I would run through the script that I had created, working on making things feel more and more natural. 

Another seminar popped up in Ohio, and I immediately hit up the crew. This seminar was just going to be Luke and I, so I knew there was a good chance I was going to play larger role. As we were debriefing, my suspicions proved to be true as I was told that I would be in charge of a few warm ups. What I wasn’t prepared for was having to give the introduction talk; 5-10 minutes at most, laying out the “why” for the weekend. Something that I had distinctly not prepared for. I can remember the night before Luke giving me a pep talk and helping me realize that I was, in fact, an expert on the methodology, not just another seminar attendee. The last piece of advice he left me was: “go out there and swing a big hammer.” 

The journey is never ending. Along the road, you will face adversity. Ultimately, this is what will lead to the greatest growth and improvement. Having mentors, friends, someone who has been where you want to be is crucial to guide you along your journey. But first you have look in the mirror, and honestly assess whether you are moving forward towards something or just sitting still?

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Carl Case

Carl Case has been an athlete his whole life, playing both football and rugby in high school. After high school, he directed his focus to rugby where he went on to become a collegiate Midwest All Star. Carl continues to play rugby on a mens team near South Bend, and was part of a National Runner Up team. He found CrossFit and then Power Athlete as a way to fuel his rugby performance. He has been following the Power Athlete methodology since it’s launch in 2009 and attended his first CrossFit Football seminar in August of 2009.

After an introduction to CrossFit in 2007, Carl became a certified coach in 2009 and co-owner of CrossFit South Bend in 2011. In addition to coaching CrossFit and Power Athlete inspired classes at the gym, Carl has been coaching high school rugby since 2009. He uses the CrossFit Football and Power Athlete concepts to help his young athletes identify their goals and provides pointed instruction to help achieve those goals.

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