by Jenna Torres
I have sat at this computer for hours typing, deleting, and rewriting, trying to put into words how much I will truly miss each and every one of you. I have been trying to figure out how to explain to you how much you have changed my life. The truth is when I try to put these things into words I simply can’t.
I could say, “I will miss you a lot”, but that does not begin to explain the emptiness I will feel from not seeing your smiling faces everyday. It does not describe how each of you have made such a positive impact on my life, and it most definitely does not emphasize how each of you have changed me as a person, forever.
It’s no secret how CrossFit, CrossFit Hilton Head, and the philosophies CrossFit Hilton Head was founded on has inspired me as a woman and as an athlete. However, the way each of you have touched my heart was something I could have never prepared for. What started as a group of strangers, strangers I honestly didn’t expect to care about outside of these walls, became nothing less than family to me.
At the time, I moved back to Hilton Head to learn how to coach, and to learn how to coach from the person who coached me and inspired me so much as an athlete. I moved back because CrossFit Hilton Head held a special place in my heart for what it did for me during a challenging time. However, I have learned that this past year really had little to do with inspiring me as an athlete, even though I believed that was going to be a huge part of me being here. I also learned that moving here wasn’t just about the academic knowledge of coaching, even though what I have learned from Coach Craig, Jake, Christy, Jeff, Aaron, and Mitch is absolutely priceless, and consider myself extremely fortunate for having the opportunity to have been here. What I am saying is, I thought I knew why I was moving here, and fortunately for me what I knew was only scratching the surface.
Craig and I talked before I moved from Chattanooga to try this coaching thing out. “Jenna, I know where you want to go as an athlete. I know you have a passion for competing, but I need to know you can have that same passion for coaching,” “Jenna, you can be a great coach and a great athlete, but if you are going to work here, I have to know that coaching will come first.” “Sometimes you will have to make a decision between what is more important, training or coaching.” These are just a few ways Craig emphasized to me what I was getting into before I moved here.
I heard what Craig was saying, and I wanted to believe I was capable of doing that, but I honestly did not know how I was going to meet up to Craig’s expectations. Would I be able to give each of you the attention and energy you deserve when I was exhausted, when I hadn’t eaten, and when I had my own training to focus on? Could I care more about your success than mine?
I don’t know what Craig would say about how I have met up to his expectations over the past year, but I know I have learned. A little of what I have learned has been through studying, much of what I have learned has been through watching, but most of what I have learned has been through experiencing you, your needs, and your problems day in and day out.
What I have learned since December 2012 was not just how to coach, but how to be a coach, not just how to care about you inside these walls, but how to genuinely care about how your life is outside of these walls. What I learned is how to be selfless, how to care more about you then me. I have learned how to be empathetic, by treating each of you individually, and realizing everything is not black and white. I have learned all these things from each of you. You have each left a footprint on my heart. Each of you have taught me lessons about being a coach, and helped me find things in me I did not know existed.
More than anything I wish I could find the words to grasp what it is that you have all taught me, and how much you all mean to me. But, I guess the best way to describe this year is that I have been the student, and you have all been the teacher. All I can say is thank you!
Thank you Craig and Dayna for giving me this unbelievable opportunity. Craig, it has been an honor and privilege working under you. Coaches, I have enjoyed working next to you and continuously learning from you. Christy, I wasn’t too sure about you in the beginning, but over time you became like a sister to me, and I love you like one. Thank you to each and everyone of you for welcoming me with open arms 13 short months ago, and changing my life forever. You may be the most amazing group of people I have ever met. Like Craig says, “Superheroes without capes”! I truly love all of you!
1. Take care of my mom and brother 9:30 class! If you don’t I will come down and kick your ass!
2. Be nice to any new coaches when they come your way. You probably scare the shit out of them like you did me.