Coaches Spotlight: Brent Johnston

When were you introduced to CrossFit?

I was introduced to CrossFit in April 2011. My background had been triathlon and endurance running for the 8 years prior.  Injuries and burnout had me thinking about a strength training program and a few friends of mine raved to me about it.  The men of my couples small group all decided to try it so the 6 of us jumped in and the rest is history.
Tell us something about you and your family.
I am married to an amazing woman, Barbara, and we have 4 children ages 7-10.  We are a very active family with kids sports, dance, acting, hobbies, church and other activities.  We also firmly believe in doing life with others and have been in community groups for the past 10-11 years along with men’s and women’s groups.   We attend Northpoint Community Church and have for over 10 years.

What was your first Wod?
The first WOD I can remember was a “simple” 10 minute AMRAP of 10 pushups, 10 sit-ups, 10 pull-ups and 10 air squats.  Coming into it, I thought it would be a simple workout because my cardio was solid.  Who knew I was so weak?!?  Pull-ups were done with a green band and had to be broken up, sit-ups were ok but hard, push-ups—I spent more time staring at the floor than moving and my legs felt like they would fall off in the 4th round.  Even though I felt terrible, I was hooked.

When did you start coaching?
I started coaching CrossFit Group classes 3 years ago, but I’ve been coaching adults and kids in various sports like baseball, soccer, running and triathlon for over 15 years.

What is your favorite aspect of coaching?
It’s very hard to pick one single aspect of coaching.  Every situation, interaction and person is different.  One of the things I think I enjoy the most is seeing others remove the daily stresses of life and focus intently only on the task in front of them.  When I coach, I try to make the hour or whatever time they spend with me the best part of their day.  When I’m successful in doing that, there’s no greater feeling.

If you had one piece of advice to share from a coaching perspective, what would it be?
Be “coach-able”.  This can mean many different things for different people.  The primary message I’m trying to deliver is we each have our own preconceived notions of our abilities and understanding inside the gym, a race we’ve trained for, our personal lives, our spiritual lives and professional lives.  The fact is, none of us have all the answers and need to be willing to listen and be coached by others.  I’ve been very fortunate to have great coaches and mentors in my life.  I’ve needed their coaching throughout my life and am thankful for them and their wisdom.
What is your favorite Coaching moment?
I have many, but one of my most recent favorite memories took place in October 2015.  I had been coaching a few friends and athletes in preparation for Beach 2 Battleship Ironman.  We worked together for close to a year and they put in so much hard work to accomplish a goal they set for themselves.  I was fortunate to see all 3 of them finish the 140.6 miles and earn the title Ironman!  It was an amazing title earned through 8-10 months of very hard work.
What has CrossFit done for you personally?

Wow….where to start.  CrossFit has brought so many amazing people into our lives and I know we wouldn’t have met them without it.  Some of these people have become our best friends and confidants.  As an athlete, CrossFit has made me stronger, more durable, given me more confidence in my abilities, allowed me to express my competitive side, given me a platform to reach more people and build strong relationships all while making me a better all around athlete.  I also believe it’s one of the things that makes me a better husband and father.

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