James Madison University

Alumni Highlight - Rebecca Phillips Caudill

Class of 2011 – Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology, Exercise Science program

By: Rebecca “Tory” Phillips Caudill

Exercise Science Internship

In January 2011 I was fortunate enough to conduct my internship experience at CrossFit Woodbridge (CFW) located in Woodbridge, Virginia. The owner Dan Broughton is a dear friend of my family and he agreed to teach me anything and everything about the day to day operation of owning your own facility to what it means to live the CrossFit lifestyle. I experienced so much personal and professional growth that I will forever be grateful. I learned that as a trainer some of the most important aspects include good rapport with your clients, excellent programming, and attention to the needs of the overall gym. Overall needs would include making sure clients are using the proper form and technique, understanding the various bar movements, maintaining a high gym morale, and providing amazing customer service. I was extremely fortunate to work with nationally recognized crossfitter, Gillian Mounsey. She is a living example of someone who has dedicated an entire lifetime to fitness. She taught me so much about program design, how to teach an effective workout, and being confident in front of your audience. CrossFit is unlike any other gym I have ever experienced. They embody what it means to have variety in your workout. I learned how to use so many different types of equipment better or even for the first time. When I first started I didn’t know anything about Olympic lifting or bar movements. Now I can effectively give demonstrations and correct member’s form. CrossFit is completely scalable and everyone can do it. Everyday people are putting their heart and soul into their workouts because they are committed to living a healthy lifestyle no matter how grueling the workout of the day (WOD) may be. CFW will always be very special to me because the members there are dedicated to fitness in a way that I had never seen and I really appreciated them letting me be a part of their lives.

Current Employment

I am back with the Prince William County Park Authority, where I have worked on and off since high school. I am working at the Chinn Aquatics and Fitness Center located in Lake Ridge, Virginia. I am a self-described “Jane of all trades”; there isn’t much that I don’t do. Since returning my responsibilities have expanded considerably. I still work the floor by ensuring patrons safety, providing great customer service, and maintaining cleanliness. This summer I got the opportunity to teach a cross-training camp, subbed for our seniors exercise class Fit for Life, and gave many teen orientations. Teen orientations are what we offer our youth under the age of 16 to make sure they know how to use the equipment properly. This fall I have taken on even more opportunities. I have requested to start taking on my own clients and I am the go-to sub for our Fit for Life class. I am going to be working at our sister facility, the Sharron Baucom Dale City Recreation Center doing sports instructing on the weekends teaching soccer, basketball, and t-ball.

In addition, I am the acting program assistant for the Mind, Exercise, Nutrition, Do it (MEND) program. This grant program started in the United Kingdom and has come to the United States. Most programs are run through the YMCA but we were lucky enough to get to partner with the insurance company Amerigroup. We are given the referrals of children that fall into the 85th percentile of obesity. This is not a diet program. We meet twice a week for two hours. Parents are required to attend each session with their child listening to lectures on varies nutritional and wellness information. The children also participate in an hour of exercise each session to get them active and see the importance of physical activity in our daily lives. Again, not a diet program but we are to give them the tools toward a healthy lifestyle change. For more information on MEND check out their website: www.mendprogramme.org.

I have been very lucky to have been able to work with almost every type of population. I enjoy all the challenges when it comes to putting together an effective program or workout. It is my goal to help others reach their potential within their fitness and wellness goals and I won’t stop until they succeed. I believe that success comes with lots of motivation, variety within the workout, and using proper form! I want to continue to get more experience as a personal trainer and instructor but also stay involved in youth programs such as my sport classes or MEND. Children are our future and I want that future to be bright and healthy!

Lastly I have finally begun studying for the ACSM health fitness specialist exam and I hope to complete it by the end of January!