Meet Coach Taylor! This blog post was written by Taylor as a short introduction to her story with CrossFit and how she became a coach here at Masá CrossFit!
My name is Taylor and I am a Level 2 Coach at Masá CrossFit, where I also assist Itamar in running and managing the business. Itamar and I have been dating for almost seven years, and we became engaged this October, so I can officially call him my fiance! I am currently working on completing my doctorate in social work, while working as a full-time school social worker in a high school. Life is busy to say the least!
CrossFit has been a significant part of my life since roughly 2012 or so. My sister was a CrossFit coach, which sparked my interest in wanting to learn what she did and how I could also find that strength within myself. I come from absolutely no athletic background. In fact, if you ask anyone in my life, they will tell you how much of a clutz I am. I definitely am not someone who has the best coordination and I may or may not have given myself a concussion from getting into my car. So, you get the picture.
I was on and off with CrossFit up until I met Itamar in May of 2014. He was so passionate about coaching and teaching CrossFit, so I made the switch to the gym he was working at and began to train there regularly. I loved being around him, but he was working long days and I was just starting my social work program, so this was the perfect way to spend our time together. We bonded so much through CrossFit and I am so grateful for that.
As he began to coach me, I could not believe the improvements I began to make. Within a few months to years, I was lifting weights that I dreamed of hitting and even building gymnastics skills which seemed impossible to me. To be honest though, it was hard in the beginning as I worked with Itamar. I mean I love him more than anything, but it is not easy having your significant other as your coach sometimes! It also did not help that I struggled so deeply with my own insecurities. I often found myself thinking I would like myself more if I could just hit “xyz” weight or finally get a muscle up. This even came across in my eating habits, where I felt like I needed to count every macro and eat as perfectly as possible. Needless to say, this built even more insecurities, and led to very disordered thinking about my own body. I had a stronger body that could suddenly do all the amazing things that I dreamed of, yet there I was still putting myself down and finding flaw after flaw. This lasted years for me (and sometimes still creeps its way back in). Itamar was and still is an incredible support who tries every day to help me get out of my own head. So when I decided to get my Level 1, I knew that coaching would be so much deeper for me. I wanted to have these conversations with other athletes to guide them in not only learning how to do CrossFit, but how to dig deeper into ourselves and work toward healthy physical and mental habits.
I have found this to be a story shared by many, especially females in the gym world. What I recently realized was how important it was for me to accomplish my goals for myself. Not to prove anything to anyone else, not to try to impress others, just to simply want to accomplish my goal because I want to. We often get stuck in the loop of wanting something because once we finally accomplish it, we will find happiness. Yet, once that accomplishment happens, we are left wanting more and still feeling unfulfilled. The day I got my first muscle up, I cried a lot of happy tears. It honestly was one of the most memorable and emotional moments for me. But shortly thereafter, I was mad that I couldn’t get more. And there I was, stuck in the loop. To be honest, looking back at these moments, I realize how much the people around me influenced these negative thoughts; the competitive thoughts that tore down my little shreds of self confidence that I had.
So when people ask me why Masa is so important to me and why it truly is the best community, this is why. It is something you feel when you walk in. In truth, it is simply filled with incredible people who can feel with you. It is filled with people who just want you to feel incredible in your own skin, whatever that means for you, and will support you to get you there. Each one of us has our story, and it is valued and respected within those walls.
There is something about the vulnerability of being inside a gym that brings out my story. I was not even someone who felt comfortable participating in gym class, I felt more vulnerable and exposed than ever. Being at Masá has helped me embrace my discomfort and lean into being vulnerable, because I know that I am surrounded by incredible people who are there, no matter how messy. I know this all may sound strange to some of you that may not face insecurity, but for me at least, the gym was the scariest of all and my hope is to help bridge that gap for those who may find it to be as terrifying as I did.
We are coming up on the two year anniversary of the gym and I can say with confidence that it is the happiest I have ever been exercising. There are no expectations, just pure fun after long days of work. There is no judgement, just lots of laughs and support throughout the hour-long class. And most importantly for me, appreciating my body and enjoying a healthy balance in my nutrition because I am a human who should enjoy life (and enjoy chocolate babka or a cold glass of Sangria at my favorite restaurant).
When we chose the word Journey in Hebrew to represent the gym, this was part of it for me. This is a small snapshot of my journey with fitness; going from unhealthy habits and thinking to appreciating the amazing things my body can now do because of CrossFit. I can assure you, each day is not perfect in my head, I still have days of frustration and self-doubt. But, I know I am finally in a community where not only is that okay, I have people to listen and support me along the way.
Thank you for listening to my story.