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 Women’s and Family Fitness Expert Nicole Crawford:
1. Who was your first coach and what did they he/she you?
The first coach I remember was my eighth grade basketball coach. I was about eight inches shorter than all the girls on my team (okay, maybe three inches), and had never played a team sport before, aside from teeball when I was five. I was more of a music and drama nerd. What I remember about Mr. Haegele is that he made me feel like a part of the team, even though I knew I certainly wasn’t the strongest player. He praised my strengths and helped me work on my weaknesses, and he taught me to persevere in spite of obstacles.
2. Who is the coach you most admire?
I had a ballet teacher in college who I really admire. She must have been in her late fifties, but she was in amazing shape and a beautiful dancer. The dance classes I had as a kid were totally focused on flashy moves and impressive jumps, but she really understood the importance of the things teachers don’t always emphasize, like breath, poise, etc. She would spend a whole class just working on small things like turnout, head movements, and port de bras. She understood that you have to perfect your form before you can wow an audience.
3. If you could have a superhero power, what would it be?
4. What athlete, dead or alive, would you most like to talk with?
I just read about a woman in California named Anna Bretan who won a marathon six weeks after she had a baby. I would love to chat with her.
5. When did you know that coaching was your calling?
During my second pregnancy, I realized that I had something a lot of pregnant women don’t have: amazing support from my husband, family, and friends. The realization that there are women out there who have nobody is what made me overcome my natural shyness and start teaching and motivating other women during and after their pregnancies.
6. What is the best and hardest part about being a coach?
Right now I work with pregnant women at a local home for expectant mothers who were homeless or alone. Many of them have no idea that you can exercise during pregnancy, so I just love seeing them enjoy a workout. My purpose isn’t to crush them or even push them to their absolute limit; it’s to make them want to exercise on their own. Sometimes during pregnancy the very thought of a workout can be draining, and getting women to realize that their bodies are actually craving exercise is a huge step. The hardest thing is motivating them to keep it up on their own time.
7. What is your favorite physical activity or exercise?
I always hated running, but recently I’ve really been enjoying it and it’s become my favorite form of exercise. I think having two children has made running much more appealing, since it gives me quiet time to unwind and get some fresh air. I plan to do my first 5k this summer. I also love to dance, because it combines athletic qualities like stamina, flexibility, and strength with artistic expression.
8. What is your favorite “cheat” food?
Ice cream, without hesitation.
9. What is your biggest accomplishment?
I am very proud to be a mother. When I was younger I didn’t really think I’d be a good mom, and I never expected that it would be something I would be doing (and enjoying!) at this stage in my life, but I love it. Getting my Master’s degree was a big one as well.
10. What do you bring to your students/clients that is different than other coaches and programs?
All of my work is on a volunteer basis, and I think that helps me keep things in perspective. It takes the business part of it out of the equation and allows me to focus on helping women who may not have any other sources of support.
11. What is your favorite quote?
“Become what you should be, and you will set your world on fire.”
12. What was/is your favorite sport and why?
As a kid I loved dance and gymnastics, mostly because they combine strength with beauty, grace, and expression. Recently, I’ve become more interested in outdoor sports (skiing, rowing, rock climbing, hiking, mountain biking, etc.), because they involve amazing physical skill as well as the ability to work with nature and the elements. I also love watching soccer, as well as more obscure sports like fencing and Highland athletics.
Click here to read articles from Nicole.
Click here to do the Mommy Workouts, for new and expecting mothers.
If you missed any editions of 12 Reps, be sure to check out our archives. You never know who we might talk to and what might get said!