I’m Paul Behar. I’m 23 years old and a Crossfit-L-1 certified coach. I work at Freakin Fitness as the CrossFit Kids Coach.
Growing up, I was never much into fitness. I played two seasons of soccer in middle school and one season of ice-hockey in high school, but otherwise music was my passion. I pursued music as a career and earned a degree in recording engineering. I toured the country playing music for three years and loved it. Eventually, I earned a degrees in Finance and Accounting and worked as a music teacher. While I was in college and working, I almost entirely lost touch with fitness. I developed some bad eating and lifestyle habits. And, I experienced firsthand the consequences of poor health.
At age 21 I was blessed with my daughter Rose. I looked in the mirror and thought, “do I want to raise my daughter with the image of a fat lazy dad who is lethargic and half useless after long hours of work?” I became determined to get in shape and healthy so that I could be a better, stronger father for her in the short and long term. I got a membership to a local gym, watched hundreds of hours of YouTube videos and tried my best to get fit. However, I lacked the knowledge of real fitness programming. I did not achieve the results I desired. I was able to bench press and squat some heavy weights, but I was still overweight, training with barely any cardio and not happy. Around the same time my best friend Chris Ratliff began training at Freakin CrossFit and within 4-5 months achieved better results in strength and body composition than I had in almost two years. Chris and his brother, Coach Lee, encouraged me to come to CrossFit classes, but I made every excuse in the book: “It cost too much, it’s not safe, the coaching is in a group so it’s not really worth anything.”
Another year and a half went by and I saw how many cool gymnastics and Olympic weightlifting things Chris was learning and doing and I became more interested. I asked Chris to teach me some CrossFit “WODs” and found that they were completely different than the type of slow “rest-between-sets” type of training that I was doing. In May 2018, I asked Coach Lee to teach me how to clean, jerk and snatch and he said he would if I signed up for one month at Freakin CrossFit so that he could coach me at the Box. So, I signed up for a membership.
During that first month I ate the words of every excuse I made. The coaching is the most important and effective part of the entire process. The coaches were always ready to demonstrate and explain the proper techniques and movements that I needed to achieve my goals. “The safety” concerns I had were never an issue. The coaches scaled weights and movements effectively to preserve the stimulus of the workouts and challenge me to get better. I immediatliy felt welcome by all CrossFit members, elite and average athletes alike. Everyone was giving it their best and that pushed me so much harder than before. The money was now completely worth it because I was learning so much. In 4 months of CrossFit I lost 35 pounds, set personal records in my squat, deadlift, and max pull-ups. I also learned multiple athletic movements such as the clean & jerk, double-under, and muscle-up. CrossFit taught me so much about movement and functional fitness.
Finally, I overheard Coach Lee and Julie talking about a CrossFit Kids Coaching position at the Box. I applied for the position and told Coach Julie, manager of the CrossFit Kid’s program, about my child and teen experience with fitness and that teaching kids how to have healthy relationships with fitness and food would be an incredible experience that I would like to be a part of. Coach Storm approved a position for me to shadow CrossFit Kid’s classes as a coach. Upon further approval, Freakin Fitness requested I pursue my CrossFit Level-1 certification. Once completed I would be hired as the CrossFit Kid’s Coach.
I have always been in the teaching industry. Teaching is my passion. I am very happy I can teach something that is meaningful to me. I can help kids that are in similar situations to the one I was in over the last ten years. The idea of teaching CrossFit and helping people achieve similar results as mine is entirely inspiring. This experience has satisfied and inspired me in ways that I have not experience in my previous eight years of teaching and I am excited to continue learning and coaching CrossFit!