Being a trainer and coach means juggling a lot of different tasks and working with a lot of people. Sometimes we’re tired and often too tired to even do our personal workouts.
But from time to time we have clients and athletes take the time to let us know the positive influence we’ve had on our lives. Kyle Van Kirk is one of those people. Upon my retirement as the owner of CrossFit I35 Kyle took the time to write me this letter which I will never forget.
I asked Kyle if I could share his letter and he said he would be honored.
This is why we as trainers do what we do.
I read your email about retiring — WOW. What a ride you’ve had! So many testimonies of people, like me, owe the start and restart and love of their fitness journey to CFI35. From 2016 until I started in June 2017, I sat in my basement, working at my desk with a hurting back at 29 years old. I tried to convince myself that CrossFit was too expensive and I could get by with dumbbell home workouts and a joke of Planet Fitness membership. Getting in 2 days a week if I was lucky; I knew something had to change. All it took was a low-risk and cost first month (You had me at Groupon) to get me hooked and realize that I was gravely undervaluing the cost of fitness. My back pain completely subsided within a month and knew there was no looking back from here.
I’m very grateful for you and Cynthia, the other coaches, and members who have helped push my progress in my CrossFit journey. The cues of “PUSH” on my first pull in the clean. “Wait on it,” “Solid lockouts, no slop-fit,” & “You really can’t your knees far back enough” in the snatch — Those I still keep in my head and as I coached. The truth is hard to hear and I loved it. I needed it.
I came in the top 10% of the Open in 2019, reaching a goal I didn’t think I could attain that year (if I can get there now, I would move on to the quarter-finals– that’s crazy to me!). Your programming left me craving that 6:30 pm alert on my phone for the next day’s WOD. I would lie in bed, strategizing my metcon and selecting the weights for the strength so I was fully prepared. I still take on your philosophy about rest days: “Don’t plan on rest days; plan to show up everyday and when life inevitably happens, that’s your rest day.”
“Be quick, but don’t hurry,” is engrained in me as well.
I have much respect and want my gratitude to come forth to you and Cynthia. There is nothing “easy” about running a gym and I greatly appreciate you setting up a place for me and all to go and just freaking be. I didn’t have to think about anything else at home, work, marriage, other relationships… all those things required a separate type of energy. When I showed up between 5:29 – 5:40 am (sorry!), I just got to do what was put in front of me and it was the most freeing thing for me physically, emotionally, mentally, and (paired with my relationship with Jesus) spiritually.
You both set us up for that. Just show up, push hard, take instruction.
Much love and I’m sure I’ll see you around in years to come 🙂
– Kyle Van Kirk