Islip CrossFit Coach Spotlight
Coach Taylor Raimo
Congratulations Taylor! This month we honor you as our coach spotlight. The members and your fellow coaches have spoken, and we are all so proud of your growth and accomplishments as an athlete and leader at our gym. You’re enthusiasm doesn’t go unnoticed, your music choices are fire, and your ability to coach every member as specifically as they need is admired, not to mention your strength in which we envy. Keep on learning and sharing. Congratulations T!
A word from her fellow athletes….
Taylor has been around at Islip CrossFit since the very beginning. First, as an athlete and the past few years as an amazing coach. Being able to watch her growth during this time has been awesome. Not only has she improved as a coach but also as an athlete, she puts in the time and practices skills that she wants to improve and it’s paid off. Plus she loves to lift weights and snatches more than most boys, so what’s not to love! –Coach Nick
Taylor deserves this recognition for so many things. She is so invested in all the members and genuinely cares about each and every person who comes into that gym. She is also a blast to work out with or compete with always pushing herself and those around her to get that extra rep or hit that PR. Congrats Taylor this is well deserved! –Coach Pete
As long as I’ve been a member, I have seen Taylor work toward accomplishing many new skills. Even the skills she was good at before, are constantly improving! Shockingly, she has been working on her running, which has helped her endurance in longer workouts (YOU’RE WELCOME!). Taylor also makes it a point to make it to 4-5 classes on top of other workouts that she does. I truly believe she deserves this Coach spotlight, not because she’s my workout partner but she is someone I value and respect at the gym. Her obsession with Rich Froning and CrossFit truly shows the type of coach and athlete she has become and continues to be. She has everyone’s best interest when coaching and is always there to congratulate you after a grueling WOD, even if you wrecked you! Congrats Taylur! –Coach Mariah
Taylor is young but wise when it comes to CrossFit. She is willing to share her skills, knowledge and expertise to everyone in her class. She provides sound advice while listening to our needs especially with any limitations (which we all have had from time to time). T always keeps a positive attitude coaching even when the class is large and chatty which I am the #1 cause…lol! Watching T grow over the past 5 years has been a true pleasure…. She is a strong, positive, and beautiful person inside and out. BTW: can we talk about her amazing legs?!. –O.G. Maggie Donohue
All About Coach Taylor….
- Tell us about yourself?
- I am 25 years old, I live in East Islip with my lovely roommate of a mother and my dog King. I also have a brother Michael who is five years older than me. I grew up in East Islip but attended St. Mary’s from the time I was 4 years old all the way up to 8th grade. From there, I went to St. John the Baptist DHS and graduated in 2012 from there.
- What do you do outside of the gym?
- Outside of coaching at Islip CrossFit, I am a Physical Education teacher at St. Mary’s School in East Islip. I teach Nursery – 8th grade, which is quite the experience, but I absolutely love it! Outside of St. Mary’s I also babysit Sania and Jason’s son Travis in the morning along with their lovely dog Biscuit.
- Most embarrassing gym moment?
- This one is a real winner. One morning after 6am, Mariah and I were heading to the Y to swim. While we were in the parking lot talking to Lisa, I had to go to the bathroom really bad. That was also the morning that our rowers, assault bike and barbells were getting cleaned. I went to the bathroom, felt a lot better but never used the poo-pourri. As I was walking out, the guy who was doing all the cleaning walked up to use it with a smile so in return, I told him I’m sorry. I’ve learned my lesson from there.
- Favorite movement? Least favorite? Benchmark WOD?
- Ah, any barbell movement is my favorite but if I had to pick I would have to say squat cleans.
- My least favorite movement is burpees over the bar
- Favorite Benchmark WOD is DT.
- Favorite memory at Islip Crossfit?
- There are so many memories that it’s hard to just pick one but if I had to pick it would be anytime I workout with Mariah (when she used to “CrossFit”), taking class with any of our members or dying at Saturday, 7am open gyms! Surrounding yourself with positive people who push you is what I am about and that is where the memories are made.
- Something no one at the gym knows about you?
- This is a hard one but I would have to say one thing no one knows about me is that when I was in 4th grade, I loved Elvis Presley to the point that when I went to Vegas with my family, my Grandma took all of us to an Elvis impersonator show because I loved his music.
- What is your greatest achievement in your fitness so far?
- Running a half marathon. If you would have told me 2 years ago that I would have ran a half, I probably would have laughed at you. I look at running completely different now. Training with the runners from our gym is awesome and it’s something completely different from CrossFit which I now like! I encourage everyone to try a half or something outside their comfort zone!
- What/Who motivates or inspires you?
- There are many people in my life that truly inspire me but my top two have to be my Mom and Grandpa. My mom for one is the definition of a “super-mom”. When I was younger, my family moved to Mexico, so my mom raised two little kids while my father was working. We moved back to the United States and my mother had to raise my brother and I all by herself. This is something that I look back on and cannot believe how my mom was able to handle all of the stress. Additionally, my mom never complained, never asked for help and constantly worked her butt off to provide for her family. Her dedication and work ethic are two things that will never go unnoticed. My Grandpa is the hardest worker I know. Similar to my mom, My Grandpa worked 2 jobs and went to college all while being married and having 4 young children. My Grandma even admits he never complained and did what he had to do in order to support his family. Even at the age of 82, he is still working but now he has his fun on the weekends in AC with my Grandma!
- What changes have you made in your diet or workouts that have been the most successful?
- Depends on the day to be honest BUT I found that RP works the best for me along with intermittent fasting. RP tells me what time I have to eat, what foods I can eat, and I truly see a positive difference in my mental and physical abilities. I have tried macros and keto, and I cannot look at coconut oil ever again.
- What’s your go to breakfast?
- Usually my go to in the morning when I’m not doing the intermittent fasting is 3 eggs with any type of veggies and rice.
- Do you eat before you workout? (If so, what?)
- It usually depends on how I feel. If I workout in the morning I don’t eat but I will drink a sip of my protein shake. If I workout at night, then I will usually eat something small like rice and a turkey meatball or chicken to hold me over.
- Favorite Cheat Meal?
- DILLAS or sushi (I know completely different food groups)
- Favorite Quote?
- “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard”
- What Superhero are you?
- I’m not into superheroes but if I had to pick, I would say the Hulk. I am not an angry person, but I just like his strength.
- Biggest Fear?
- Raccoons and possums.
- Favorite workout music?
- EDM for a Metcon and Drake or Meek Mill for lifting.
- Best Vacation?
- When Mariah Nadia and I went to Miami to compete at Wodapalooza and having some of the ICF ladies there was awesome!
- If you aren’t at the box, where would we find you?
- At home napping, with my family, getting roped into some sort of activity with Mariah and Sania or working.
- If you won lotto, what would you do?
- Quit my job and go on vacation.
- If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?
- The Virgin Islands! My friend and her family would go every year when we were in middle and high school. Seeing their pictures from their trip looked awesome. Plus, I’m all about the beach and relaxing every now and then.
- Who is your celebrity crush?
- Zac Efron
- Last pic on your phone?
- This week’s coaching schedule so I don’t forget.
- What’s the wallpaper on your phone right now?
- My lock screen is Nadia, Mariah and myself from Wodapalooza and my home screen is myself and Rich Froning from the last time I was in Cookeville.
- What’s in your most frequently used emoji tab? (get a screenshot)
- Usually depends on the person I am texting. Mostly the rolling eyes emoji but usually the laughing one or thumbs up.
- What’s the last thing you searched for on Google?
- Football Instant Activities for Middle School kids
- Summarize your lifestyle in 5 words or less
- Mayhem, Active, Empathetic, Exhausted, Integrity
Taylor’s Coaching Philosophy…
- What do you thrive on as a coach?
- Seeing our members reach a goal that they have been working their tails off for or even seeing members go outside their comfort zone, especially when they think they can’t. For example, is O’Malley. The other night during the DB carry, she didn’t think she could carry the 50lbs which I knew she could and even instructed her to do them for the workout. By pushing herself to do that and seeing her not give up, that made my whole night and I was so proud of her.
- How do you manage/balance bettering yourself as an athlete while trying to better your members?
- When I’m coaching, I put the member’s goals first and mine are second. When I’m coaching, I’m in coach mode. I try and think about if I were in this class as a member, I would want the best hour possible, so I try to do that for our members. I also enjoy making an analogy for a specific movement because that helps an athlete visualize how the movement should be performed. A couple I use are painting a wall during the deadlift or blowing a balloon up during wall balls.
- What excites you most about coaching members?
- Seeing members achieve any sort of goal they accomplish whether it’s PRing a lift or getting double unders. Their excitement fires me up!
- What goes into planning WOD’s ? Are there specific parameters or a mastermind behind it?
- It’s all about time management. When I look at the Metcon the night before, I start planning my warm up based off the movements the members will be doing that day. From there, I find stretches or mobility movements that will benefit the athletes before they start the WOD. I try to pick two suitable movements. When we get to the skill movement, I usually watch a video on the skill the night before if it is a different kind of barbell or gymnastics warm up. I also come up with some crazy scenarios for the members to think of so that way they can visualize in their head on what they have to do (close the window-ttb, have your butt hit an object- sending hips back on a barbell catch, blowing balloon up – wall balls etc.) I know myself and other coaches agree that if we find something cool and it will benefit the class, we share it with one another.
- What do you to prepare to coach a class?
- When preparing for a class, I try and keep everything as simple as possible. If I’m talking too long (which tends to happen sometimes) I might lose the members attention, so I try and pick the key things to focus on in class whether its having the barbell make contact with their hips or simply trying to get their hips below parallel.
- If you were coaching yourself through a tough wod, what words of encouragement would you give yourself?
- I usually don’t think of words, I usually just imagine Nick just staring at me which 10 times out of 10 makes me go faster.
- What is your greatest achievement in your coaching tenure?
- Building and having a trusting relationship with the members. I genuinely love and care for all of our members and want to see nothing but the best for them!
- What has been the most challenging part of being a coach?
- Figuring out which member loves the push in class, and which one’s do not. Not all of our members love to be encouraged or yelled at during a terrible metcon, so trying to figure that out can be tough.
- Words of wisdom to other coaches, leaders, or those considering?
- Continue to educate yourself by reading articles from CrossFit, watch videos on different lifts, and listen to podcasts. I find those to be truly helpful especially Ben Begeron’s podcast. I’m not a big fan of his, BUT coaching wise, he gives great tips. Rich Froning’s podcast are my most listened to ☺
- If you are doubting yourself on getting your level one, don’t!! Even if you aren’t looking to coach, it is a great course that opens your eyes to CrossFit in an educated standpoint and reflects upon why we do what we do!