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StrongFirst & Val’s South Korea Trip

I’m going to South Korea! I’ve been invited to be a team leader at the StrongFirst Level 1 and Level 2 kettlebell certifications at the beginning of October. For those of you who’ve been training with me for a while, you know that I’ve been wanting to teach at the certifications since I first picked up a kettlebell. Part of the motivation was to be acknowledged as a leader in my field – but more than that, I wanted to be a leader in THIS organization.

StrongFirst started as the RKC in 2002. Back then, the RKC  had the best instructors from all areas of fitness (physical therapists, chiropractors, college strength coaches, physicians, etc), and they were all good people.

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, I really felt like I found “my people”. I always say that there are a lot of trainers who get into this profession because they think it’s easy money, they like working out, and (mostly) because they like looking at themselves in those floor-to-ceiling mirrors that are  in most gyms.

The RKC, lead by Pavel Tsatsouline, was different – I met people who were in it because they genuinely wanted to help people live better lives. It’s a community of smart, educated people who are experts in what they do. It’s a collaborative community that works toward a common goal – helping people get healthier, move better and reach their individual goals. I knew THIS was an organization I would be proud to be a part of.

A couple years ago, in 2012, there was a split and Pavel left the RKC to start StrongFirst. I didn’t know which direction I would go – stay with the RKC or recertify with StrongFirst. I felt such a strong pull to what I knew as the RKC; however, I finally decided to align myself with StrongFirst. I did so because most of the teachers I connected with and learned the most from stayed with Pavel and moved over to StrongFirst. Most of all, I wanted to be in the organization that would allow me to always keep learning and growing.

I hold my Level 1 and Level 2 StrongFirst certifications. This means I have prepared, trained for and passed the requirements to train in this field. Both are intense physically and mentally and I am proud to hold these accomplishments. I was named Team Leader a little over a year ago, and have lead teams in San Diego and Chicago. This is such a cool organization and it attracts really great people. I can’t imagine being anywhere else. And to think it all started back in 2008 when Gabby and I took a one day kettlebell course…

Being asked to be a team leader  in South Korea is a whole other level. It’s an honor. Two of my mentors, Jon Engum and Dr. Mark Cheng, have enough faith in me to take me to teach internationally alongside them. It means the world to me.

After accepting the invitation, I found out I’m the first person these two are bringing to Seoul with them, the first female, and the first team leader. It’s a pretty big deal and I’ve already started to prepare.

Please, stay with me on this journey. I’ll keep you up to date and let you know what I’m doing to prepare, what the food, people, and kettlebell culture is over in Seoul, and how the certifications go!

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