“My coach always said to either love your life or change it; a desk job simply wasn't a fit, I needed to work with people.” So Zoe Pond McPherson, cum laude mathematics degree holder and investment analyst operations took a leap of faith, quit her job, and embarked on a career change.  She went back to school, completing a pre-medical certificate program at the American University in Washington DC; worked as a rehabilitation aide at a physiotherapy center, training for and passing her CrossFit L1 trainig program; before moving to the Philippines’ to become Primal Ape’s resident gymnastics and mobility coach..

“I found Primal Ape Crossfit in the Philippines and just loved the space. I decided to stay because I met a good group of people who want to create a strong community and empower people to be the best person they can be both in and outside the box,” said Coach Zoe.

For Coach Zoe, gymnastics teaches athletes valuable skills that they can apply to nearly any aspect of life. For example, learning how to control minute movements of the body increases coordination and therefore, increases athletic performance in other aspects of sport. 

“You can throw a gymnast into any sport and they generally pick up the basics fairly quickly, but you can't throw most athletes into gymnastics and have them pick it up easily.  Otherwise handstands wouldn't be so cool!”  Coach Zoe chimes in.

Coach Zoe’s gymnastics program focuses on the fundamentals, combining this with proper technique, helping athletes gain strength needed to acquire new skills. 

“Too many people focus on the end goal and skip the foundations of good movement that lead to an efficient skill.  For example, right now we are working on strict pull-ups because I won't teach kipping pull ups, butterflies or muscle ups until an athlete can confidently complete 5-10 strict pull ups on any given day. It’s not fun, but it's necessary”, Coach Zoe explains.

Zoe’s message for beginners? “Don't get frustrated if you don't get something on the first try, or the third...or 20th, you'll get it.  Gymnastics takes patience but it's worth the journey” 

Learn to control your body and be a handstand beast. Sign up at Coach Zoe’s classes here.

By Cj Lampad

Full class schedules and other information can be found here, and on our Primal Ape App, available for iPhone and Android smartphones.