Athlete of the Month
I was born in Siberia, Russia and grew up in a place high in the Tian Shan mountains called Kyrgyzstan – a Central Asian country along the Silk Road, the ancient trade route between China and the Mediterranean. Almost 20 years ago I packed my suit case, grabbed my daughter and moved to Canada to build a new life. In January of last year, I relocated to Toronto from Mississauga where I lived for more then 13 years. I work for one of the Canadian banks (and, no, I don’t do mortgages). I am one of the people behind the scenes ensuring your invested money does what it is supposed to do – make more money.
I got into Crossfit because when you have friends who are into crossfit, and over the years you observed their body transformation, at some point in time you start asking yourself a question – why not try?… Recovering from a serious illness, and wanting to get back to normal life, I was looking for a type of physical activity that would be different from a traditional gym. Crossfit is the best combination for me in terms of fitness program and discipline. There is a team spirit, competition, friendships and fun – all at the same time.
Even before moving to Toronto I explored the area and came across 416. It was such a convenient location that there were no other choices. But it took me a few more months before I actually pulled myself together and walked in. In May of last year, a week before my birthday, a rotating banner on Facebook caught my eyes. There was a six weeks challenge for ladies at CF416. That was a true challenge: for 6 weeks 3 times a week lead by amazing coach Derya we all were at the gym at 5am in the morning (!). Considering I’m not a morning person, that was a life changing event.
My first impression of CF 416 was like “a love from the first sight” – I walked in and I remember the smell of the rubber and metal. That was all I needed. I stood there for a minute just inhaling… And almost a year later, each day before I get to the box, no matter how tired I am, once stepped in I get pumped and energized again.
I love people here, I love the atmosphere, I love the sweat I get during the workout, I enjoy the feeling of the accomplishments. It hurts. There are days when I cannot move some of my muscles. But that pain brings me back again, and again, and again…
Proudest moment at CF416? hmmm… I am proud each time I finish the WOD 🙂 Most recent that I am still feeling excited about is my first Open. 18.1 was the highest point of “I can do it!” (Big thanks to DK for pushing through it!). There is still a lot to learn and improve, but it is thrilling. And being part of the team, like being part of a big family, feeling how much every athlete supports one another is very motivating.
I have a list of things “to work on”… Crossfit is still fairly new to me. Continuing with balancing diet, enough rest, and preparing for the remaining Open. Getting my endurance to the next level and improving technique of the exercises to avoid injuries are my priorities.
If I were to create a WOD it will be simple – 9 deadlifts + 12 wall ball shots + 15 kb swings max number of rounds in maybe 12 minutes. I would call it a “hammer” (wish that was on the Open 18.3 lol).
When it comes to my most favourite 416 memory I have to go with the most recent again – cheering for my #Gymandtonics team at 18.1 and 18.2. Open occupies my mind these days. 🙂 It is a great milestone. For me it is more like a baseline, but I know now what to work on to improve to get stronger and maybe faster…
I grew up in the Boston area, but to most Canadians’ disappointment I don’t have a wicked thick Boston accent. My Dad lives in New Hampshire in the middle of nowhere, so I’m a little bit of a country bumpkin. Maybe like, 25% bumpkin. When I’m at home we ride dirt bikes, shoot guns, and feed our chickens sugar cookies. The other 75% of me loves living in the city and pretending to be cool by hanging out at hipster bars with arcade games in them.
I’ve been working as a Project Manager at a digital agency for the past 5 years. I spend my time leading a team of creatives and technologists that design and build things (mostly websites) for large companies. Think “Mad Men”, but with the internet.
My grad school program involved a lot of traveling; we lived in France and China for 4 months each and most of my classmates were not from the States. I ended up moving to Toronto 2.5 years ago as an indirect result of that program and love it here!
I tried Crossfit because a former roommate of mine in Boston convinced me to check out her gym during a particularly snowy/boring winter. I never played a sport before, yeah I know what you’re thinking, “She looks like an elite Olympic athlete, there’s no way she didn’t play for a D1 University at least”. Believe it people. I would have been too intimidated to try Crossfit so I’m really glad I joined her.
When I moved to Toronto I started working out at CF416 because it was the closest box to my office, and I was hoping to find a community as fun as the one I had in Boston. My first impression of it was that it was a little small and the group was kind of intimidating. The gym has evolved A LOT since then. The larger space was a game changer, and ever since we moved to it the vibe is more open and friendly. I feel like CF416 is way more social now, and members are very open about giving each other advice and support. I also love that there are two coaches for each class…we have some amazing coaches and their passion adds a lot to the atmosphere.
One of the first times I was really proud at CF416 was the day I got 30 unbroken doubleunders, those things are so frustrating. A more recent one was when I ran by first sub 8 minute mile at GRIT!
I just spent 3 weeks on vacation in Thailand in November, and then went home for Christmas so needless to say I have been eating and drinking a lot. Right now I’m focusing on losing that extra fluff and eating healthy. I really want to do well in this year’s lifestyle challenge, maybe even win. Watch out everyone!
If I were to create a WOD:
AMRAP: The length of 3 Bieber songs (coaches choice)
10 KB Swing
10 Power Clean
10 Bar over Burpee
Something that sticks in my mind as a great memory at CF416 was the day I walked in and there were soft boxes. I fell on a wooden box a long time ago and was scared to jump on them after that…I always felt stupid during WODs with box jumps. I did my first box jump in 2 years once we got the soft boxes. Thanks for investing in those, Dan!
Generally, what I love about CF416 is that even when I show up grumpy after a crappy day, I never feel like that after the WOD. Thanks to everyone who encourages me, you guys are great!
I was born and raised in the Philippines. My family and I moved to Canada in May of 2000. I then moved to Waterloo to pursue my studies in Biology and Psychology. I realized after doing my undergrad that I enjoy interacting and helping people in need, which is why I got into nursing. After getting some experience in different areas of healthcare, I decided that I would want to work in a fast-paced, high adrenaline environment. I currently work in a very busy emergency/trauma department in downtown Toronto as a Registered Nurse.
Crossfit was something a friend recommended to me few years ago. I was always skeptical and for the most part nervous about these new waves of physical fitness and workouts. After a long and careful consideration, I decided I would like to try something new. I started doing drop-ins in a CrossFit gym in Brampton where my parents live in the fall of 2013 and later settled in a CrossFit gym in downtown Mississauga.
Nearly a year into my regular membership at Square One CrossFit, I met my partner Ralph and we adopted our first fur baby Charlie. It was a challenge co-parenting an innocent cute little yorkie while living in 2 separate homes, so Ralph and I decided to move in together in King West. I wanted to continue my CrossFit journey and after checking out different CrossFit gyms in the city, I chose CF416. I had heard good things about the gym from other CrossFitters, particularly in regards to the coaching style and programming. I remember doing a drop-in at the old gym with Ralph before it closed down. I thought I needed to look for another gym, only to find out that the gym was relocating at the other side of the building.
My first impression of the gym was that everyone was strong and seasoned athletes. I worried that I would not fit in and I would just have to get used to the machines at Goodlife. I would often compare myself to other guys and ended up having unrealistic fitness goals. I thought the heavier the weights I use in the WODS, the better the outcomes. That has all changed throughout time. After being coached under the watchful eyes of the fabulous team at CF416, I have gained much more confidence and performed better in the workouts. I learned to focus on myself and not get into the hype of being ‘the best’ in the class. I learned that you are allowed to have good days and off days at the gym. I learned to put importance on recovery and rest days, and to indulge in moderation. I learned that with practice and knowledge application, I am able to utilize my strengths and turn my weaknesses around.
Any time I hit a PR or finish a WOD successfully is a proud moment for me. I believe in positive reinforcement. Treating a small 1-5 pound PR as an accomplishment goes a long way to achieve my personal goals. As a result, I am in better shape than I was 10 years ago. I have more energy, I feel good, and I owe these to CF416. Every time I come to class I always tell myself that I am doing something many people are afraid to do or would not even dare try. I get into this mindset to get through each workout and often surprise myself with how well I did afterwards.
I am currently working on putting more gym time to practice various bar and gymnastics skills. I want to sharpen my techniques in weightlifting so I can perform better and lift heavier. I would also like to work on some strongman movements. It is still an unfamiliar territory and a work in progress. The one thing I am doing differently lately and would like to do more of is joining other members for a post WOD workout. I get inspired watching members stay afterwards and do a ‘mini-WOD.’ So if you see me (usually at noon) and would like to put in extra work, do not hesitate to ask (nothing too crazy tho).
If I had to create my own WOD for the class it would be:
AMRAP x 15min
6 Squat Cleans (135/95)
9 Hand Release Push Ups
12 Box Jump Overs (24/20)
Aside from the little victories I have had at CF416, my favourite part of this gym is the people. I have had the pleasure of getting to know a number of its members and am proud to call them friends. I can honestly say that I am grateful to be in the presence of CrossFitters from different walks of life and diverse backgrounds. I would like to thank the coaches and members for your encouragement and ongoing support. There is nothing like a good camaraderie during a tough WOD and going for mimosas afterwards (PS I love brunch).
I was born and raised here in Toronto, and work as a Digital Artist artist on feature films and television.
Back in 2013 when my bootcamp gym was closing down, a friend mentioned a crossfit gym that she would walk past often (CF416 specifically), which was very close to my home. So I became immediately interested in trying something new, and signed up for the elements classes. My goal was to find classes that would kick my ass. I found that here and never looked back.
From Day One, I was very impressed with the coaching. I felt very comfortable and welcomed and I was pushed to my limits, while being shown good form, in every single class. Not only did I find a great place to workout, I also found a community, some great friendships and inspiring motivation.
I’ve had several proud moments at CF416. One being hitting a PR of 215 in my back squat. That being my favorite lift, I was devastated when I hurt my knee a year ago in a bike accident. I’m now almost completely recovered from it, and am trying to work my way back up there. A more recent proud moment is when Dan asked me to be athlete of the month. It really is a great honour!
Something else I love about CF416 is everything else they have to offer, aside from simply being a box with regular classes. For example, Grit class (or Endurance, last summer) is something I’ve been taking full advantage of to become better at running. Running is something that I’ve always dreaded, but the classes have allowed me to find enjoyment as I’ve improved. It is something I will continue working on through the winter, and in turn I expect it will continue to show improvement in my WOD’s.
If I were to create a WOD it would be called “Keren With An E”, and it would consist of:
20 box jumps
10 back squats 135/95
(I do love lower body workouts)
One of my favorite memories is when my team won the Crossfit Comp 2 years ago. It was great knowing that I made some contribution to that achievement, and made me feel super strong!
Thank you to the fantastic coaches for keeping my motivation high to continue coming to class regularly, and to the wonderful people I’ve met in these past 4 years and change.
I grew up in Calgary and then moved to Guelph for university. It was actually my first time in Ontario moving into residence that first frosh week 5 years ago so everything was new to me. This past month I completed a masters in financial Economics and permanently moved to Toronto in May. I w
as on the varsity swim team for three years and swam competitively for four years before that. On the recreational side I now enjoy tennis, hiking, soccer, skiing, among other things.
While swimming at Guelph we had a strength and condition coach that had a box in Guelph. Since meeting him I’ve been interested in joining a CrossFit andfinally bit the bullet this summer after getting rather bored with going to a regular gym. It has been a great choice, I enjoy the competitive aspect and how you can always find ways of bettering yourself no matter how good you become.
My first impression at 416 was that the coaches were all very welcoming and focused on your improvement as a CrossFitter. This hasn’t really changed; I still think that the coaches really care about your performance and improvement not only in how much you’re lifting but also your technique, alignment and fitness overall.
While competing at this past Classic I realised that this was the first actual structured athletic competition I’ve done since finishing swimming over two and a half years ago. This made me realize how much I enjoy focusing in competition and competing to do the best I can.
Now that the cycle prepping us for the Classic is over I’m looking for improvements in my squat and deadlift strength, I know it’s basic but I want see these weights go up. I also want to increase my competency in kipping pull-ups and muscles ups. Lastly I’m looking to improve my overhead strength and stability.
If given the chance here is what I would program as a class WOD
3 rounds of
5 deadlifts @225
It’s short and sweet so you had better sprint the runs.
Looking back on my short time at 416, so far my best memory was the atmosphere and support at the Classic. Everyone was cheering each other on and competitors were pushing their limits. I wanted to break 200lbs on the clean and jerk but unfortunately I only got the clean but I think this is a bit of a milestone for me. But I want to continue getting stronger and make 200lbs look light.
Hi, I’m Meaghen. I was born in Ottawa, raised in Toronto. I’m currently finishing my last term as a math undergrad – majoring in Statistics and minoring in Computer Science – at the University of Waterloo. I’m interested in pretty much all things data. I was in Toronto on co-op this past summer, where I officially finished my last co-op requirement. Goo Me! Oh, and I have an amazing twin sister, Emilia, who you might be seeing around the gym so say HI!
I looked at CrossFit as a transition activity for a continued active lifestyle after being a varsity swimmer. I swam for four years at university, but when my dadhad his heart attack, it created different family dynamics. I lost my motivation for a period of time and thought that Crossfit could put me back on the right track. I definitely didn’t come to CrossFit because I liked the gym, in fact, I hated going to the gym. However, CrossFit introduced me a community of fitness-lovers, a new lifestyle, and a chance to get healthy again.
50 Wall balls (14lbs/20lbs)
50 Med ball Sit-ups (14lbs/20lbs)
50 Box Jumps (14’’ / 20 ‘’)
50 Front Squats (50 % of 5RM)
1000 M Run