12 Reps with Danette "Dizzle" Rivera, CrossFit Coach, Vegan, and Mother
EDITOR'S NOTE: Welcome to our newest feature - 12 Reps. In each appearance of 12 Reps, our coaches, writers, and occasional guests will be answering the same twelve questions each time. Go "into the locker-room" with them and get to know our coaches and writers a little bit better!
12 Reps with CrossFit Coach, Vegan & Mother, Danette "Dizzle" Rivera
1. Who was your first coach and what did they teach you?
The first coach I remember was Coach Hearst from middle school. He thought I was a great athlete and always encouraged me. He taught me that it was okay to love being a strong athlete. Girls weren’t always encouraged like that back then so it meant a lot to me.
2. Who is the coach you most admire?
Coach John Wooden.
3. If you could have a superhero power, what would it be?
I wish I had the power to ease people’s suffering, in whatever capacity they feel it.
4. What athlete, dead or alive, would you most like to talk with?
Probably someone who had to fight to be an athlete, whether they were acknowledged or not. Someone like Wilma Rudolf or the women who crashed the first Olympic marathon. I love a trailblazer.
5. When did you know that coaching was your calling?
I’ve been coaching my own daughters since they were little. It just came naturally, but I remembering assisting my first CrossFit Kids classes and a couple of the girl athletes looked at me as if asking permission to be strong. That’s when I knew I could be a good coach - if only to guide people, teen girls and beginning women especially, to take ownership of their own strength. It chokes me up to empower them in that way.
6. What is the best and hardest part about being a coach?
Well, see #5 for the best. I think the hardest is watching someone with a lot of potential not believe in themselves. You can believe and encourage, but you can’t believe for them or do it for them.
7. What is your favorite physical activity or exercise?
8. What is your favorite "cheat" food?
Vegan pizza with a cornmeal crust followed by chocolate almonds. Mmmm.
9. What is your biggest accomplishment?
Right now, I’d say raising two, amazing soon-to-be women.
10. What do you bring to your students/clients that is different than other coaches and programs?
I am relatable. I think students see me as someone who used to be them. I’m approachable and I know how to encourage a wide range of people especially those who feel like they might not be worthy of their best selves.
11. What is your favorite quote?
“Nobody who ever gave their best regretted it.” - Coach George Halas
12. What was/is your favorite sport and why?
Tennis is my favorite sport because it’s so intense and it puts you in so many mentally-challenging situations that require constant adjustments strategically and physically. You have to be mentally tough as nails to survive that sport. I’ve always loved watching it and now I’m thrilled to play it.
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