December 2017 Athlete of the Month: Jed Perez

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:

‘Priyanka’

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).

-Jed