Peculiar. That was the word that Diane Fu used to describe CrossFit when she first saw Adrian Bozman performing a WOD.
Fu found CrossFit in 2005. After running into Bozman, a co-worker at the time, he put her through a modified Fran. “I realized there was something really special about it,” said Fu.
It seems she never looked back.
A Coach at San Francisco CrossFit in San Francisco, California, since 2008, and the founder and owner of FuBarbell, Fu dove headfirst into the CrossFit community. She became addicted to what she called a melting pot of information: talking and sharing are a large part of the CrossFit coaching community, as is the desire to seek knowledge.
So, when Fu was introduced to Olympic weightlifting, it’s not really a surprise she decided to pursue it further. She had questions that needed to be answered.
First, Fu wondered if there was one best style or technique? When she started, everyone had a different way of doing lifts. Second, did one need to become a full-time weightlifter in order to be proficient at the sport?
She had been told specialization was necessary. “It was really difficult for me to be able to process that level of information because the community that I worked with, the community that I enjoyed being within, they didn’t want to become weightlifters,” said Fu. “They wanted to access weightlifting so they could become better at CrossFit.” So, FuBarbell was born.
Fu’s thirst for information is only one aspect of who she is as a Coach. “I think my superpower is I know how to connect directly with an athlete,” she said.
Intuition and knowing how to understand and read athletes allows Fu to not only communicate correctly, but also build up trust between herself and whomever she is teaching. It’s a trait she has gained from hours and hours of “working and honing” her craft.
Interestingly, one of Fu’s largest driving forces for her success and desire to be a better Coach is rooted in a weakness — the fear of being afraid.
But, she works hard to beat that fear. For example, when she got a phone call about putting on her first seminar, Fu remembers stuttering and dwelling on the fact she hated speaking to groups. However, her immediate answer was not only yes, but that she’d love to.
“You have to seek out what feels uncomfortable,” said Fu. “I don’t want to feel like I’m backing out of a potentially very awesome opportunity because I’m afraid.”
Overall, Fu has found what she calls her voice — her own thinking and theory behind how everything works — as a Coach, and she encourages other Coaches to do the same. “If you are dedicated and determined to continue your own learning and to be creative with your thinking, you can do whatever it is you want [at] whatever capacity within your profession,” said Fu. “If you really wanted to take your coaching and become a teacher, become an educator, become an influencer, you could. You just have to believe.”