Emily Porterfield

Head Coach a.k.a. “M”


Coming from a family of coaches, Emily fell right into the profession following college, becoming the first women’s soccer coach at Christopher Newport University. She then went on to lead the T.C. Williams High School program for 9 seasons and finished as the coach with the most wins in the programs history.

During her college playing career, she won three NCAA championships with the powerhouse University of North Carolina. Her passion for coaching flows naturally from her formal training as an educator. Now in her fifteenth year of teaching in the Alexandria City Public Schools, she brings to Trident a keen understanding of how people learn and what is required to make improvements. As mother of three athletic kids, Emily utilizes all of CrossFit’s functional movements to keep pace with her active lifestyle. She is passionate about health and fitness and looks forward to sharing her knowledge and experience with others in their pursuits for great strength and fitness.

What’s your favorite workout?

My inner child jumps for joy, and shrieks with delight whenever I see a WOD that involves climbing ropes and pull-ups.  In some sick fashion, I take great pleasure explaining to people at work or my students, “why I am missing the flesh from my shins or palms?” When I first started CrossFit, I never imagined that I would be able to do some of these movements.

When you’re not CrossFit-ting, you’re…

I am dreaming about where I want to travel next.  I waited until I was in my twenties to start filling up my passport. My children joke about their mom dragging them on “history’s forced march” through Spain and France.  Whether diving into  a historical novel, watching Anthony Bourdain or getting a postcard in the mail,  I love anticipating my next adventure.

Advice for someone starting or wanting to start CrossFit

Part 1: This may fall into the unsolicited advice category but it’s really important to be patient with the movements.  Use all of your senses to gather in the information you need to execute movements cleanly.  Think “delayed gratification.”  For instance, nurture your air squat.

Part 2:  Welcome to the Competitive Cauldron.  I am a gym rat.  I spent my childhood playing sports and keeping score.   I had to learn how to channel my competitiveness and not worry about what other athletes put on the board. For me, CrossFit has been a lesson in object mastery. Take pride in the progress that you make.  Winning (at anything) is the by-product of doing the little things right.

Part 3:  This kind of goes along with part 1 and 2 but here goes:  Check your ego at the door.  CrossFit can be a humbling experience.

Certifications, Experience, Honors

  • CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
  • CrossFit Coaches Prep Course
  • CrossFit Mobility
  • CrossFit Endurance Certified Trainer
  • US Youth Soccer National Level Coaching License
  • Virginia State Team Coach, Girls’ Soccer
  • 3 Time NCAA Soccer Champion, University of North Carolina
  • Christopher Newport University, Head Coach, Women’s Soccer
  • T.C. Williams High School, Head Coach, Women’s Soccer
  • Successfully completed 12 marathons, including Boston, New York, Alaska, Disney, Shamrock and Marine Corps