For many of our members, CrossFit becomes a part of life after hearing about it from a friend or even stumbling upon an affiliate and deciding to take the plunge. For Alan Jacob, a longtime CFE member and now coach, CrossFit became a part of his routine thanks to the fate of a gym opening next door to his workplace.
Alan completed his Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology at LSU in May 2012. He returned to New Orleans and had planned to start the Physical Therapy program at LSUHSC-NO, but was thrown for a loop when he wasn’t accepted to the program. He was determined to create a career in the field, however, and at the suggestion of a family friend, contacted Dr. Richard Bunch of ISR Physical Therapy (CFE’s neighbor in the building) to see if he could get a job as a tech, and possibly gain experience and work on reapplying to PT school. “That was the best decision of my life,” says Alan, who then interviewed with Marc Cavallino, also a current CFE member, and started working with ISR in August 2012.
With his career prospects back on track, Alan decided he also wanted to focus on his own health and fitness. “I was a little overweight at the time, but I figured with all the exercise equipment in the clinic, I could lose the weight in no time,” he says. His workout regimen at the time consisted of playing basketball with friends and some P90X, which he says “was great, but got old quickly.”
In August 2012, when the lease on ISR’s warehouse ended, Marc decided to find a better fit for the building. “Because he loves exercise so much, Marc contacted people from different CrossFit affiliates,” Alan recalls. “Lyle and Anne came to see the warehouse, and a new box was born! When they opened for business in November, all the coaches held an on-ramp session for the ISR crew and I instantly fell in love with it,” he says. “CrossFit was so new and different to me that I knew it was what I needed. So instead of feeling like a hamster with that elliptical machine in the clinic, now I had varied components such as rowing, kettlebell swings, box jumps and, my favorite, weight lifting. Never before had I seen or thought it was possible to lift weights above my head and literally drop them to the floor with no worry of breaking things or getting in trouble. I had a taste of the CrossFit juice and I was an addict.”
From CFE’s inception, Alan quickly became a regular at the box and his interest in CrossFit turned toward coaching athletes and helping others reach their fitness goals. He’s already made exceptional progress with his. “I am getting better with my nutrition and better with my lifts. I am faster stronger and more confident than ever before in my life. A year ago I never would have thought I’d be where I am today,” he says.
Recently, Alan was accepted into the Occupational Therapy program at LSU in New Orleans. He’s looking forward to bringing the new things he’s learning to the box, and knows that continuing his education will also make him a more knowledgeable coach. “The past couple of months I have been learning from Lyle, Anne, and Kevin about coaching and it’s been a wonderful experience,” he says. “Transitioning from member to coach has been a challenging experience, but one very much worth pushing through.” Alan also notes that the different styles of different coaches at CFE have helped him grow both as an athlete and a coach. “I love all of the coaches. Some of them are quiet. Some of them are loud. They all know what they’re talking about and know how to get the best out of us. I hope our whole coaching staff will be a favorite among the local CrossFit affiliates and perhaps even leaders in the whole CrossFit community!”
Alan’s determination and enthusiasm are contagious, and he brings a sense of teamwork and family to the classes he coaches at CFE. “The community is THE REASON I love CrossFit,” Alan says. “I have a new family here at CFE. We’re a part of this global CrossFit movement that’s pushed the boundaries of fitness and we’re having fun!”