The 32 kg kettlebell looks like a bowling ball on steroids with a handle that you grip with both hands. On that early weekday morning at CFCC, it did NOT look like something I should swing up over my head and then down in between my legs. I had never considered lifting the 32 kg in what is known as the kettlebell swing…until Erin Davidson, the owner of CFCC, instructed me to do so. I did so…10 times…something I didn’t think I could ever do.
What follows is my dream of the ideal gym and how CFCC manifests that ideal by continually getting me to do that which I doubt is possible:
- Individual, customized attention: What I didn’t understand when I began at CFCC is that I get personalized training within the context of a group session. I don’t lift the weight until a coach’s eyes are upon me, and then they move on to the next member only after advising me if any changes are needed. It’s the best of all worlds — personal training made more economical and fun within the camaraderie of a group.
- Skilled & knowledgeable coaches: As a medical professional, I am highly skeptical of claims without data and soft science. CFCC coaches, however, are scholars of nutrition, mobility, olympic weightlifting, and exercise science. They live and breathe it. They know what’s real and what’s fad. Most important to me — they’ve been there, done that. They were all chubbier, weaker, less flexible, and generally less skilled than they currently appear. I listen to them because they’ve put the work in and figured out the kinks and cues to articulate the movements for my benefit.
- Lack of judgement: For me, lifting something heavy, sweating, gasping for air, in a position that may not be the most flattering is an invitation to feel vulnerable and judged. What I love about CFCC is the lack of judgement. Showing up is all. I have often been the oldest and last member going in some timed workouts. Instead of judgement, I often receive shouts of encouragement and guidance that drives me to push through the most strenuous of sessions. I can’t stress the value of this enough.
- Always something new: CFCC is never boring because the sessions are so varied. The programming is strategically designed to build strength and skill over a cycle, but no two sessions are exactly alike. At the same time, repetition of exercises is included so that I can track progress over time.
I am 40 years-old, average build, with no athletic background. I never deadlifted before CFCC. I now deadlift 285 lbs (a few months ago 260 lbs was my peak). I never squatted, jump-roped, clean & jerked, or any number of things that I do now on a routine basis. And, yes, I now can use a 32 kg kettlebell. CFCC is my camp for adults, my stress relief, my discussion group of all things exercise and nutrition related, and my continual challenge to be that which I now believe is possible.