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Empowering Kids: Meet Michelle O'Brien, CrossFit Kids Coach

Updated: Jun 14

Michelle O'Brien supermum and crossfit coach; we dig deeper into her journey from being a mum of two beautiful smiling boys to being the epic kids crossfit coach at Asphodel gym, to receiving the Women of Wellness 2023 from Liv Media Magazine.

Two women standing together, one is accepting the award for women of wellness award 2023 which the other is smiling next to her. Sarah Fung from Liv Media and Michelle Obrien Kids Cross Fit coach from Asphodel Gym in Hong Kong
Women Of Wellness 2023 Liv Media

Can you share a bit more about your fitness journey? When and how did you find your passion for CrossFit?

My fitness journey started with attending dance classes. In my early 20s, I started going to the gym with no specific goals in mind. It was more of a social event for me rather than for health. When I got married in 2012, my husband introduced me to Crossfit. At first, I didn’t truly appreciate it or love it until I started to see improvements in my movements, skills and my body. After showing up consistently, I was addicted and developed a passion in this sport. I believe strongly in the benefits of Crossfit and the best thing about it by far is the community!

How did crossfit classes for kids start and what are the challenges you face when coaching kids?

A personal trainer mum carrying her two boys and posing for a photo at Asphodel fitness in Hong Kong
Asphodel Gym

CrossFit kids started 2018 in Asphodel as part of a passion project! The current owners of Asphodel, Cris O'brien and Vanessa Cheung, believed strongly in the importance of getting children to develop a healthy relationship with fitness from a young age, hence, they started Asphodel CrossFit kids! I was given the opportunity to help develop this program and took it up as I wanted a career change after being in the medical devices profession for 2 decades. I strongly believed in its cause as I had 2 young boys of my own! We started with one class a week with kids aged between 3 and 6. Due to the increase popularity of our classes, we now have CrossFit Kids program across both of our Asphodel locations, Kennedy Town & Central, for kids aged between 2.5 and 17, 6 days a week.

There are a myraid of challenges that I face when coaching kids. From having kids with varying skillsets in a class to children with bad posture and mobility from being sedentary at a young age. However, I take every challenge as it comes and overcome them with patience and tenacity. Every kid is different and have varying abilities and goals. At the end of the day, we just hope that they leave every class with some positive takeaways and big smiles on their faces.

What keeps you motivated to stay disciplined with your fitness routine?

I know I’m a nicer human being after a good workout! I'm a better person to be around and an even better mother! Therefore, I make sure I get my daily workout done, it is my NON-NEGOTIABLE!

What has been your greatest achievement so far?

My greatest achievement so far is watching our Kids program grow from one class a week with only 3 kids to the 100+ kids community we currently have. It's so rewarding to see the kids smile when they leave Asphodel after a good workout and get better every day. As a coach, I love seeing kids improving their fitness, preparing for sports and gaining confidence to overcome obstacles and challenges. Besides crossfit skills, they also take away important values such as team work, discipline and perseverance which sets them up for life.

What words of advice can you give to other women trying to up their fitness routine?

a women running to the finish line at a Hyrox event in Hong kong Asia Expo in 2023

Be consistent and choose an activity you enjoy! Consistency is key and incooperate it into your daily routine even if it is just 20 minutes. If possible, do it with a group of friends. WIth a good community, you will keep each other accountable. If you are looking for an inclusive and fun group of people to workout with, come visit us at Asphodel! We would love to see you!

What is your favourite quote?

"The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses - behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights." - Muhammad Ali



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