Her full name is Valerie Haas and although her typical Dutch family name she is originally from the USA. Valerie began regularly participating in CrossFit in May 2013 at a military affiliate called CrossFit GK, where she scaled every movement to start and eventually became a double-unders jedi. She has provided consistency for the gym as the only member left who was also there at the beginning.
Valerie has been attending CrossFit Heerlen as a member since October 2017 after dropping in several times, where she has found an energetic and welcoming atmosphere. Observing CrossFit Heerlen coaches conduct and methods on a regular basis and assisting them, Valerie has taken away many lessons and ideas on how to coach, which she has brought into her own coaching style.
Along the way she has learned from multiple coaches who encouraged her to keep pushing herself and try new things. Now a coach herself, Valerie especially enjoys helping new CrossFitters accomplish their goals in all areas of life.
Get to know coach Valerie!
Can you tell us a bit about you and your sporting background?
I grew up playing volleyball and basketball, as well as throwing shotput and discus. When I studied music at university, it was difficult finding time to exercise, so I just did some running and yoga when I could fit it in.
How long have you been doing CrossFit?
What made you want to try it in the beginning?
Everyday I walked by the CrossFit gym on my way to the “fitness” gym and they kept asking me to come workout with them. One day I just got tired of them asking and joined them for a workout. I came back every day that week!
When did you start coaching? And what is your favorite aspect of being a CrossFit coach?
For the past couple of years, I’ve been helping new CrossFitters with specific movements, judging competitions, and generally assisting coaches as needed. Several people started encouraging me to attend the CF Level 1 course, so I finally did in October 2017. I love seeing an athlete’s eyes light up when they beat a previous score or perform a movement for the first time.
When and how did you find out about CrossFit Heerlen?
I heard about CrossFit Heerlen from Coach Daniel and dropped-in for the first time in July 2016.
What made you apply?
The atmosphere at CrossFit Heerlen is friendly and fun. Not only is it someplace I look forward to going, but the athletes are so excited to workout together and I want to be able to help them improve their skills little by little.
As a coach, what is the best advice you can give to early CrossFitters? And what advice would you give to someone who might be interested in trying CrossFit but is too nervous or feels like they need to get into better shape first?
The best advice I could give early CrossFitters is that every day at the box is a victory! Even if it feels difficult or you don’t get the score you want, just finishing the WOD equals progression.
I was one of those people wanting to “get in shape” first. But once I just started CrossFit, I realized CrossFit is THE WAY to get in shape. The amazing thing about CrossFit is that it meets each individual where they are–you can walk in to any workout and do it at your own level. The community of people encouraging you means personal progression comes naturally, and you are able to accomplish goals more quickly than trying to do it on your own.
What was your first CrossFit WOD ever?
I don’t remember my first WOD ever, but the most memorable one was shortly after I started CrossFit. For Time: 100 wallballs–each time the ball drops you must bearcrawl 20m to the other wall, perform 4 wallwalks, then bearcrawl back for more wallballs. To this day, that workout is the most brutal I have ever done.
What’s your favourite CrossFit WOD?
(For Time: 5-10-15-20-25-30-35-40-45-50-45-40-35-30-25-20-15-10-5; Unbroken Double-Unders.)
And what’s your favourite CrossFit movement/exercise?
Double-unders, wallballs, and KB swings
What’s your favourite workout music (genre and/or track)?
Anything upbeat that doesn’t scream at me.
What are some of your favourite activities outside the box?
Playing volleyball, singing, and traveling
Finally, what is your ultimate goal in CrossFit and/or at CrossFit Heerlen?
My goal is to keep myself and the members constantly learning and growing, not only in strength, speed, skill, etc., but also nutrition and overall wellness. Together we help each other try new things and learn more about ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. We all go through seasons when we feel we have nothing left to give, that’s why we uplift each other and help each other achieve our goals.