AKC Certified:)

8 02 2008

I just realized it’s already been 2 weeks and I hadn’t had a chance to post about it. I wentcopy-2-of-dscn3274.jpg down to San Diego to attend the American Kettlebell Club: Kettlebell Lifting Coach Certification. It was hosted by Steve Cotter at Tim Larkin’s TFT Academy. Steve is as generous a host as he is a person (note: not that he’s any less generous as a trainer and professional. In fact, he’s very “generous”. You need to be ready and prepared, warming up your willpower, courage and perseverance when you’re about to be on the receiving end of that “generosity”;).

Saturday morning, having each been individually and warmly welcomed by Steve himself with that beaming smile, we all waited to get started. There was of course, as there always is, the anticipation in the air of the weekend to come and the learning to be done. Friendly, but quiet. Friends chatting in small groups, some reunions of those who have trained before at previous workshops, individuals stretching (actually, in these circles, most people don’t stretch, they do joint mobility:). I was impressed by the numbers that showed up (from as far away as Iceland).

copy-of-dscn3259.jpgThere was a group of folks with AKC shirts on that were conducting the registration and conferring with each other about the plans for the day. Then one of them, recognizable as Valery Fedorenko (world champion, Honored Master of Sport, Head Coach for the AKC, Lifter of Kettlebells), walks over and gets the kettlebells set up. As he begins to chalk up one of the bells (it struck me, as it was done with a tenderness and respect) another coach walks over. Marty Farrell….young, wiry, Master of Sport, Coach, Lifter of Kettlebells. I started to grin to myself (just out of a sincere observation) realizing that there was a similar quality in the way he moved to the way Valery moved (my brain going to the connection of the fact that they both lift kettlebells quite seriously). Relaxed, unassuming, fluid. It was the same with all the Coaches: Cathrine Imes, John Hoskins, Eric Liford (well, okay, Eric moved around the room with a seeming sense of purpose, the drive of someone who organizes events, yet still very relaxed). This doesn’t mean they were not without each their own defining qualities, which they most certainly were. Each very unique in their own right. But they shared a quiet humility, not ones to draw attention to themselves (okay, okay, Eric was definitely more chatty. But it was acopy-of-dscn3261.jpg nice balance, as he spoke for the gang, outside of the official program, sharing tidbits and anecdotes that the rest would not share, out of their modest nature, but that are often keys to ones training and inspiration:). Yet it was not meek or self defeating. Rather, there was a strength and energy that radiated forth from them (whether they wanted it to or not:).

copy-of-dscn3260.jpgAnd these qualities carried over into their coaching,copy-of-dscn3273.jpg demonstrations and interactions with us. No sense of self-importance, I know it all and you don’t, snobbishness or elitism. They were sincere, attentive to each of us individually (you don’t get this kind of one on one at almost any kind of workshop), honest, passionate, thorough. They cared. This was not just some money-maker certification. They really cared about what they were teaching, they cared that we got it right, that we understood, they cared that we got our questions answered, they cared that we all got the best coaching that could be offered in those two days.

I think they really achieved their goal (if we all payed close enough attention) of not just making us capable of teaching great technique, but of showing us, by sheer example of the way they carried themselves, the qualities of being great coaches.copy-of-dscn3262.jpg

It was such a blast and I count myself lucky to be a part of all this as I continue to learn, grow and move along my path. If there was one thing that I really came away from this weekend feeling, it was wanting to start putting my “time under the bells” and earn what we were given.





2 responses

11 04 2008
Steven Hogg

Hi Shane,

Followed your link from RMAX. You do have a way with words.

I enjoyed your post of your AKC experience as I’m preparing to go to the Scottsdale certification in October. Can’t wait.

Your gym looks a lot like mine – Little Tykes, sand boxes and clubbells, etc.

Just wanted to say a quick hi.


13 04 2008

Steve, thanks and thanks so much for dropping by!

Yeah, there is definitely a certain quality to a gym that’s infused with the “energy” of kids. I look forward to seeing all the levels of it’s transformation as the kids continue to get older;).

Great to hear you’ll be going to the Cert. in October. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. It will probably have shed it’s skin once again and be a completely different beast (in a very good way), with, of course, the same foundational qualities that make it what it is.

Take Care and I’m sure we’ll bump into one another at some point down the road:)

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