CrossFit Heerlen is proud to introduce you to our new coach Gena Lawson. We are very excited to have Gena as a valuable member of our coaching team. She brings different strengths to our garage gym and we’re really looking forward to seeing her help you along your path.
Read more about Gena in below interview and on her coachpage.
Nickname: I have too many nicknames… In my last gym (CrossFit 405) it was G6.
Can you tell us a bit about you and your sporting background?
I have always been really active in sports through my life. As a child I was involved in Basketball, Softball, Dance, Gymnastics, Track, and Competitive Cheer. I started lifting when I was 15 for Cheer and haven’t stopped.
How long have you been doing CrossFit?
What made you want to try it in the beginning?
A video of Nicole (One of the original girls of CF) doing 15 overhead squats at bodyweight. It was empowering to see her drive to keep trying. In the video you see her fail over and over but she never gives up on her goal. This is why I wanted to start CrossFit. I wanted to be surrounded by like minded people that were driven to meet goals and succeed in their personal victories.
When did you start coaching? And what is your favorite aspect of being a CrossFit coach?
I started coaching in 2010 at CrossFit 405 in Oklahoma City. The best part of coaching is watching someone grow with the sport. I have seen so many people accomplish goals in and out of the gym because of the confidence and drive they found through CrossFit.
When and how did you find out about CrossFit Heerlen?
On June 21st my husband dropped in to a class with our best friends (visiting from the USA). He came home and said I needed to go check it out. It took a while to get me into the gym because I had just hiked across Spain for 30 days then went to visit family in the United States for another 30 days. Once I came in I loved the feeling of this gym. It felt like home.
What made you apply?
I really missed coaching and the members at CrossFit Heerlen were welcoming. It was a few of the members and the owners that made me initially want to apply for the coaching position. I went to the Lowlands Throwdown qualifier to support my husband and witnessed some athletes with heart and drive. I loved watching them set PR’s and try movements that were new to them. The feeling in the gym that day was what made me apply.
As a coach, what is the best advice you can give to early CrossFitters? And what advice would you give to some one who might be interested in trying CrossFit but is too nervous or feels like they need to get into better shape first?
New CrossFitters, take your time practicing technique and the strength will come overtime. You do not have to do the WOD RX’d. It is best to work at your own pace and not the person next to you. Always be proud of your time and score even if it’s a bad day!
If you are interested in starting, What are you waiting for? Do not be nervous because CrossFit is for everyone. If you can get to the gym we will help you with the rest. If your goal is to start CrossFit, then start.
What was your first CrossFit WOD ever?
Fight Gone Bad
What’s your favourite CrossFit WOD?
I have a few… Karen and Grace are my favorite girls. Bear Complex is another one I love to hate. My favorite Hero will always be Murph because of his story.
And what’s your favourite CrossFit movement/exercise?
I love Overhead Squat, Snatch, Cleans… basically anything with a barbell. 🙂
What’s your favourite workout music (genre and/or track)?
I have always listened to hip-hop or rock because that is what most US Crossfit’s blast during WODS. If I am working out alone in my backyard I listen to really girly pop and my favorite girl to lift to is Beyonce.
What are some of your favourite activities outside the box?
I love adventure and history. I am a history and literature student while I am not coaching. I spend time studying around Europe every chance I get. If you know any local history and want to share, I would love to learn as much as I can about this area.
My husband and I love to explore new places together and we love skiing, biking, and learning knew things.
Finally, what is your ultimate goal in CrossFit and/or at CrossFit Heerlen?
My ultimate goal with Crossfit Heerlen is to be a part of a coaching team that provides members with knowledge to meet their goals. I also want to help create an environment where every member feels welcome and driven towards a healthy lifestyle.