Athlete of the Month
Give us a brief introduction about yourself:
My full name is Allison Elizabeth Anne Carson, but you may know me as Athlete Allie. I am 23 years old and I like people, caffeine, dance classes, and country concerts. I was born in Edmonton AB and have lived in Ottawa, Dallas and Halifax since then but now I call Toronto (the 6) home (or is it the 9 now?? #views).
When did you join 416, where did you come from, what do you do outside of slammin’ bars and nailin’ PRs?
I joined CrossFit 416 in January 2016. I had just moved to Toronto from London ON. Outside of SLAMMIN’ bars and KILLIN’ PRs I am a full time graphic design student and I have a part-time job. When I’m not doing schoolwork I’m typically watching shark tank, at the grocery store, hitting up the track for some sprints, or doing pretty much anything else you can do in the sun.
How did you get involved with CrossFit? Tell us about your first workout, or any other memorable tales along the way.
Before CrossFit I played basketball, volleyball, rugby and I swam. I also competed in Muay Thai and as a black belt in Taekwondo.
I had been an athlete all my life, but was in-between sports when I came across CrossFit. I saw a video of someone doing 21-15-9 kettlebell swings and double unders. I had never seen anything like it, why were they moving so fast, and why was it so short?! I tried replicating the workout myself and absolutely died. I instantly needed to know more, so I searched up crossfit.com and YouTube for any workouts I could find that included the equipment I had (medicine ball, kettle bell, skipping rope). My first few months of CrossFit took place in my driveway and my backyard. My neighbors thought I was a little nuts. Soon I found a gym in my area and joined.
Since then, I have competed at countless local competitions (Beach WOD, Sweat Rx, CompWOD etc.), which are always an amazing experience. In 2014 I had the opportunity to compete at Canada East Regionals on a team for CrossFit Hybrid Competitive. My current goal is to make it to Super Regionals within the next few years.
As someone who’s been active in the world of competitive CrossFit, you’ve recently made the switch to our fitness programming stream. People may find this somewhat weird. Why did you decide to switch to the fitness programming?
I decided to focus on following the fitness programming because it is exactly what I need to do right now. I’m going to be honest and say that before I started doing the fitness programming I never looked twice at it, I just assumed it was the “easier option” and there was no way I could benefit from it. I could not have been more wrong. I could not have made a better choice in regards to my fitness by making this change! These workouts are sneaky! They look so simple on the board, but absolutely crush you when you hit them full throttle. By following the fitness program, I am becoming more fit while improving my weaknesses and imbalances by utilising dumbbells and kettlebells, and focusing on perfecting my movement patterns.
Although it’s exciting to snatch, clean, and do muscle-ups, while doing these complex movements, my body was overcompensating for imbalances, and that is not a recipe for having a fit, healthy body in the long run.
I decided to take a step back from Olympic lifting and complex gymnastics to ensure that my body will be primed for them when I do reintroduce them back into my workouts. It’s easy to blow past the fitness program in pursuit of that competitive edge but the fitness workouts shouldn’t be overlooked! Having a solid base before heading into performance key. #fitnessisfun #ilovefitness
What is your favourite “Girl”? Why?
LOL shockingly my favourite girl workout is Diane 21-15-9 deadlifts and HSPU. I like the descending rep scheme coupled with two of my favourite movements.
If you had to eat a certain food as your snack food every time you snacked for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Butter popcorn flavoured rice cakes with almond butter and strawberry jam on top.
How do you take your coffee?
Strong and black.
If you could have a theme song that played every time you entered a room, what would it be?
“Strive” by A$AP Ferg, Missy Elliott. If you’re reading this and have not heard that song YouTube it RIGHT NOW!
Tell us something about yourself that someone might never guess. What is your hidden talent?
I can juggle and used to be able to ride a unicycle because I legit wanted to join the circus.
What kind of fitness goals motivate your work in the gym? Tell us a little bit about what goals you’re looking to achieve in the gym.
Just being around other people working hard motivates me. If I want to take a break but other people who are literally dying are still going it’s like “Wow Allie get back at it”. My main goal is to make it to regionals so that includes simply trying to be the most well rounded athlete I can be and being better than yesterday every day. Also there is this one quote Josh Bridges says in an interview where they’re like “Josh you’re an animal, how can you just keep going” and he’s like “well, if I feel like stopping I ask myself if I’m dead, and if I’m not, then I keep going”.
Favourite cheat meal
Ben and Jerry’s half-baked with Golden Grahams Cereal on top
If you were stuck on a deserted island with one coach, who would it be and why?
Andrew, because he would make us swing coconuts like kettlebells, or something like that. (#kettlebellmaster) To be honest, any one of the coaches would be hilarious to be stuck with. (#coachlove)
CrossFit 416 June Athlete of the Month is Josie Klassen. Josie has been a member at 416 for almost 4 years now and has been consistently working hard and busting through barriers since day 1.
Below, we’ve given Josie a bit of an opportunity to tell us a little more about herself. Keep up the great work, Josie! Congratulations!
Give us a little background on yourself.
I had the pleasure of growing up on a vineyard in Niagara-on-the-Lake; which is likely where my inclination to pick up heavy objects developed.
My very first job was picking up rocks on the farm. Yup… The city girl in me drove me to Toronto, where I continue to climb the Digital Marketing ladder, although I prefer climbing ropes.
How did you first arrive at CF 416? Do you remember your first workout? Tell us a little about it.
After years of routine workouts at a conventional gym, I recall my first day at 416 about 4 years ago now. I arrived at the box slightly nervous. I sat on the front steps and observed what was to be in the coming weeks/years. My intro group class consisted of 7 ladies, and Jeff lol.
Daniele and Andrew were our coaches for the first 2 weeks. They provided meticulous instruction on all the basic Crossfit movements for a solid foundation. I remember the initial WODs, using just the barbell, and thinking to myself: “Why is this so hard? I work out all the time!” And so it began.
What keeps you coming back?
Crossfit 416 is bar none the best workout experience I have had! Thank-you to the entire coaching staff for your expertise, top-notch coaching, and wide range of great tunes that keep me coming back for more; and for never giving up on reminding me to keep my legs closed ha ha 🙂
416 is more than a place to get a good sweat. Dan, the entire coaching staff, and all the members make it a place that I look forward to going every day. After every grueling WOD, I leave feeling stronger, grateful that I’m able to lift tonnes of weight in mere minutes, and, sometimes, with a few lash marks here and there. ♥DU
What do you do for fun when you’re not picking up heavy things and putting them down?
Besides my affection for Crossfit, I love beach volleyball, kayaking, and anything outdoors.
What is the best place you’ve visited, and why?
One of my favorite destinations thus far is Costa Rica. It’s gorgeous, laid back, full of delicious pineapples, cute little monkeys, and there is lots to do, such as surfing & kiteboarding—quite scary!—and zip lining right beside a volcano. It offers fun for all!
Biggest TV/movie guilty pleasure?
The Bachelor and/or Sex & the City. I know…
Bali. It looks like an amazing place to visit.
If you had to be stuck on an island with one coach, who would it be and why?
Dan: because he’d likely start an outdoor box and I’d get all the bananas. (If you didn’t know, Dan loves bananas!)
Hypothetical scenario: Let’s say Dan was feeling generous and allowed you to program a WOD; what might that WOD look like?
Hmm…. It definitely would not involve running! Maybe a mix of movements for time, something like:
10 Wall Balls, 10 Hang Cleans, 10 Front Squats, 10 Deadlifts, 10 Pull Ups
If you could go back in time and give yourself advice before your first CrossFit class what would you say?
Favourite cheat meal?
Tough question… A bacon cheeseburger and Reese’s peanut butter cups paired with a nice cabernet sauvignon. Not necessarily in that order.
CrossFit 416’s inaugural athlete of the month is a member who has really taken every possible thing we’ve thrown at him, and ran with it: Paul Collins!!!
Paul’s commitment to CF 416 is incredible, and his transformation has been a pleasure to watch. Paul’s strength numbers are the stuff of legend around the gym, and his willingness to embrace the lifestyle challenge head-on saw him make some incredible progress both physically and performance-wise; not to mention that Paul memorably crushed the Assault Bike Challenge with a whopping 45 calories accumulated in a minute of work. He also downed a protein shake in just over 3 seconds to seal the victory in that challenge.
Below, we’ve given Paul a bit of an opportunity to tell us a little more about himself. Keep up the great work, Paul! Congratulations!
Tell us a little bit about how you got started here, what brought you here, how long you’ve been here, what you enjoy most, etc.
September 2, 2014 was the day I purchased myEelements + 3 month membership. It was no doubt a decision that was partially brought on by the questionable decisions I made over Labour Day weekend, or, you know, the previous 25 years of my life.
A year and a half later, I can honestly say that was one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. I never thought I would look forward to going to the gym each day, but now I find myself sitting at my desk watching the clock slowly tick away the minutes until I get to head there, unless that day involves double unders—they are the devil.
The thing I enjoy the most about the gym is the community; we have amazing people here who are fun to be around; always willing to help you out and push you to make yourself better every day. My favourite movements would be anything strength related; shout out to 3 lifts! (Paul and Andrew’s pet project and powerlifting club in the works).
Give us a little background on yourself. Where are you from?
I wasn’t like every other kid, you know, who dreams about being an astronaut, I was always more interested in what bark was made out of on a tree. Richard Gere’s a real hero of mine. Sting. Sting would be another person who’s a hero. The music he’s created over the years, I don’t really listen to it, but the fact that he’s making it, I respect that.
Okay some real background on me, I grew up in Newmarket which is just north of the city. I played a lot of sports hockey, rugby, lacrosse, baseball and snowboarding. Spent four and half years in Guelph for university, who wants to graduate on time anyway? I wanted as much time as I could to refine my drinking skills before making my way into the real world. After I finished my B.Comm in human resources I moved to Toronto, got a job in my field and now I’m here.
Favourite Movie or Television series?
Zoolander – should be obvious by this point
Favourite post workout meal?
Nothing exciting just some chicken, baked sweet potato and veggies
What were you doing fitness-wise before joining CF416?
Keg stands…surprisingly no help for handstand push ups
What keeps you motivated and coming back to 416?
To one day be fit enough to get on Avraan’s no rest day program
What is your dream vacation?
Some place warm, a place where the beer flows like wine, where beautiful women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano. I’m talking about a little place called Aspen.
How do you take your coffee?
If you had to be stuck on an island with one coach, who would it be and why?
Tough one, but it would probably be Rachel, just for her dance moves
Fun fact or quirky thing about yourself that others might not know.
I was in a Molson Canadian commercial once.