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Eunice looks back after 8 years coaching at MadLab

I never dreamed of being a coach.

I kind of fell into it accidentally after finishing 7 years of University majoring in stupid things like political science, and less stupid things like journalism, and being somewhat lost as to my next step in life. As the story goes, Patty took me under his wing, promised me a great experience, helped "get me off my mom's tit," and I never looked back.

Maybe I shouldn’t admit this to our community, but I’m going to anyway: The tape in my head often tells me that I’m not like Tom or Chesty or Andy—people who have always been 100 percent passionate about being fitness professionals. I always tell myself, “I like coaching, but I’m a writer at heart who also coaches.”

But I realized this weekend after re-watching an old video I made for Patty’s birthday in my first year here, that the truth is, after 8 years of coaching, I’m not just a writer who also coaches. I AM a coach and I love being a mother f** coach! Your coach!

(Even if I look dishevelled at 6 a.m. and aren’t meeting the minimum makeup (and hair) standard, I promise you I love seeing all the eager faces at 6 a.m….)

I love Walter’s somewhat stoned questions.

It makes me chuckle when I see Tony glare at me as I turn the fans off, or as I start walking even remotely close to the thermostat to crank the heat.

I love watching Steph stick around after class, and like a dog and a bone, work on her freestanding handstands with such determination.

I love Joey’s disruptive entrances (OK, maybe not so much), but I love Joey.

It is so rewarding to see people like Jocelyne go from being scared to jump on a box, and crying through half her personal training sessions, to competing at Nutts Cup and overcoming her fears of box jumps and rope climbs.

And so rewarding to watch people like Laila gain strength and skill in her 50s.

It makes me so happy to see Caleigh’s passion for cleans (and now double-unders), even if her efforts are sometimes misguided.

It’s so inspiring to me to know I have played a role in James’ transformation in the last three years—the strength and skill he has gained is insane (7 strict handstand push-ups recently and he now lifts more than me when we squat and deadlift together).

And Thea: What can I say about Thea? She’s pretty much everyone’s favourite these days, and gives us all hope that the next generation is growing up to be hard working, dedicated, and beautiful human beings. I could go on and on…

Oh, one more: Dexter! This man shows up and trains with me on good days and bad days, on days I want to push, and on days I want to slack off and talk more than train. He’s a training partner, a therapist and a great friend to me.

Yes, this place is about fitness. We all came here to improve our health and fitness so we can do life better. And that’s a beautiful thing.

But if it weren’t for the personalities—if it weren’t for people like James, who has cried in my arms and me in his—I wouldn’t still be here. Improving your back squat and pull-ups and rowing is rewarding, but it doesn’t bring happiness. True happiness lies in forging real and lasting connections with other human beings. This is what I have found here in the last 8 years, and I am honoured to be your coach.

Here's to many more years with you!