Sadly, during all of spring break, there were no classes. That resulted in me becoming a little bit rusty when I went back to class on Thursday, but to my surprise, Leah wasn’t there. Another instructor taught us the daily routine of warm-up, skill development, WOD (Workout of the Day), and stretching.
Not going to lie, I was pretty sore after the first class back mainly because we finally did wall-balls!! Wall-balls are basically where you throw a medicine ball that you’re comfortable with (I threw a 10 pound ball) at a line on the wall. I started out with a 14 pound ball, but I definitely couldn’t throw it high enough so I switched. The basic motion is to hold the ball, and your index fingers and thumbs making a triangle, then throwing the ball at the line on the wall. When the ball comes down, you catch it the same way you threw it, and squat at the same time. We did wall-balls and burpees in a sequence of 21-15-9, which means 21 wall-balls and burpees, 15 wall-balls and burpees, and so on.
We also did dead lifts (skill development) for the first time, but I already knew how to do them, so it made it easier for me. One important rule Leah taught me was to always keep my back straight and never curved. This is because when you lift the bar up, you can injury your back more easily.
In order to answer all the questions, I needed more time with Leah, and I got the time!
What kinds of learning opportunities does the mentor provide to expose you to new learning?
My mentor, Leah, allows me a lot of opportunities by giving me my own boundaries, so I can make mistakes. She encourages mistakes because once you make them, you can hopefully correct them and become better. For example, I talked about a power clean in previous blog posts and how I had the wrong form. Leah advised me to keep doing the same thing, but she would slowly correct my mistakes every time I attempted it. When she lets me make those mistakes, I remember not to make them next time, so I can continue to move forward.
What kinds of learning opportunities exist to reinforce new learning?
As mentioned in the previous question, when Leah allows me to make mistakes, I can build on those mistakes by myself. Whether it be at home or at the gym it encourages independent learning, so I don’t have to always rely on someone to fix my mistakes.
What kinds of opportunities exist that might accelerate learning?
There is the opportunity of taking weightlifting classes at Crossfit, but as my schedule is very busy, it would be hard to incorporate it into a daily routine. Although I cannot take them at the moment, I do know that it is a great opportunity to accelerate learning. There are typically less people at these classes, and more instructors which would allow me to get a better experience learning new things.
When you get together what do you talk about?
At the beginning of class when my mentor, Leah, and I get together, we talk about what we did throughout the week. This is just to ease the mood, so it is not always about fitness 24/7. Then, we’ll usually talk about what things I can improve on that are on the Workout board, so I know ahead of time. As there are usually other teenagers besides myself at the gym, as a group we’ll talk about less serious topics and joke around to make it a more fun environment. At the end of the class, Leah will usually tell me I did a fabulous job about what I did well.
What is going particularly well in your mentoring relationship right now?
I definitely think our communication is going very well compared to the first couple classes. Instead of never getting any time to talk to her, I have made the effort to have a conversation more. As time goes on, I feel more and more comfortable talking to her and expressing my feelings is something is wrong/right. As our communication is getting stronger, I hope other aspects will come into play as the months come.
What are you learning about one another?
Besides teaching me the correct form and directions, Leah and I also learn things about each other outside of fitness. I’m learning more about how she incorporates teaching at a school and teaching at Crossfit. Lastly, how she learned about Crossfit, and how much she loves both her jobs. Overall, I’m looking forward to learning more about her!