For years growing up I was always changing my ambition when it came down to what I wanted to do for a living. All of which came and went without a care. I realized years ago that no matter what I did, it had to be something that made me happy and made it easy to get up out of bed every morning. I have always been interested in exercise and was always the one going to the gym at all times of the day to get my workout in. I never contemplated the fact that I could turn my passion for exercise into a job where I could actually help people’s lives. I decided to pursue this as a career by going to Fanshawe College in London for Fitness & Health Promotion. I wanted to advance my knowledge of how the body worked as well as providing myself with the opportunity of becoming a better trainer. After completing the Fitness & Health Promotion program I went to the University of Guelph/Humber to obtain my Honours Bachelor Degree in Kinesiology Science. I had the opportunity of being in one of the few Kinesiology programs that had a main focus on exercise.
I can still remember the first CrossFit workout I ever did. It was Elizabeth (21, 15, 9 Cleans and Ring dips) of course I had to modify it a bit but when I was done all I could think was “what did I just do.” I have worked out for most of my life doing body building and sport conditioning but nothing ever hit me like my first CrossFit workout. I started to research more and more about CrossFit and knew from that point on that I wanted to open my own box. Everything about CrossFit just made sense. It was not about the newest gimmick, it was real and functional.
Ever since I started training at the age of 16 I was obsessed with being huge. I never wanted to be skinny and small. At one point I got up to 160llbs at 5’2” and I felt awful. I played hockey and soccer and being that heavy left me with little endurance and ability late in games. Something needed to change. After ditching the bodybuilding routines I decided to use more compound movements (with a terrible range of motion mind you) and I managed to slim back down to a reasonable 150lbs. Then, in June of 2009 came my introduction to Crossfit that I will remember forever. The workout was a couplet with push presses at 55lbs and box jumps at 24” that took me almost a half an hour and left me sore for days. This was the kind of training I needed. I was hooked from that day and haven’t looked back
When I started Crossfitting in January 2011, I was a "dabbler". I dabbled in a bit of running, a bit of yoga, some spin classes, and the occasional 4-week Bikini Bootcamp. Truth be told, I just hadnʼt found something I could be passionate about and that would challenge me enough to keep my attention so I kept trying to find something that fit. A friend suggested trying Crossfit, to which my response was "What the heck is Crossfit?". I went to my free intro class, quickly learned what Crossfit was, signed up on the spot and the rest, as they say, is history. CROSSFIT FIT.
In 2007, I graduated from a commercial dance program with the intention of becoming a professional dancer/entertainer. Considering my dedication to dance, becoming a professional dancer was something I felt I had to obtain. I began auditioning, networking and training and with success, I never felt satisfied. Dancing helped me realize I love to physically exert myself and expose my body to challenging movement. This is the reason why I gravitated toward crossfit. I'm exhilarated by setting a faster "Fran" time. I enjoy the mind games I have to play with myself to mentally push through "Karen". Knowing that I will snatch a 160 pound barbell not just once, but multiple times, drives me to keep training! Opportunity for success is endless and there is always something to improve on! Nothing gives me greater joy than seeing the surprise on someone's face when they finally lift something with great form that they believed was impossible. My goal as a coach is to help you reach a healthier state and develop you into an efficient athlete!
I initially discovered Crossfit as an aspiring university CIS football player looking to improve upon the traditional strength and conditioning programming that was offered to us. After one summer following the Crossfit football template I found myself a stronger, leaner and faster athlete and knew that Crossfit would be a large part of my life from that point on. I had a successful CIS career, receiving a nomination to play in the East West Bowl All-star game in my final year. The more I trained the more I realized that I enjoyed training more than the actual sport I was preparing for, so it was an easy decision to become a fulltime Crossfit athlete once my football career was over. Since committing myself to this I have continued to see improvement in all facets of fitness, a feat that I did not ever foresee possible.
My love for coaching also began with football as I have been involved in several levels of junior football coaching from high school to team Ontario. Winning as a player was a thrill, however winning as a coach and experiencing the thrill of success through young athletes gave me a satisfaction at a entirely different level. This has transcended into my Crossfit coaching career as my favorite part of the job is sharing in peoples self improvement and PR's on a daily basis.
Mandy has been a competitive Crossfit athlete since 2011. Prior to that, she was recruited by Bemidji State University of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association where she received a full NCAA Division 1 athletic scholarship for 5 years of academic study. She was voted Captain for 3 years of competitive collegiate hockey and was the leader in points as a defenseman in her senior year. Mandy was a dual sport collegiate athlete, also playing 2 years of Division I Softball. As a former Physical Education teacher and coach in Minnesota, Mandy trained up to 200 students in sport-specific movements and off-season conditioning. When she returned to Newmarket she furthered her coaching background by training and developing a range of multi-sport athletes, from local recreational level to national level athletes.
I am excited to be a coach at CrossFit Newmarket Central where I can share my passion and enthusiasm for fitness.
My passion for fitness started in high school when my football coach told me I was too small to play (sitting on the sidelines was not an option for me). I spent the next year training, eating and lifting my way into a starting position as quarterback and captain, leading my team to a championship victory. What I took away from that experience is this; the only thing in life you truly have control over is your body and what you choose to do with it. Your body is by far your greatest tool!
Multiple knee injuries prevented me from pursuing football further and forced me to re evaluate my future as an athlete. The strength and determination I found in my rehabilitation lead me to a new path. I was introduced to CrossFit in 2009 while working as a Personal Trainer and the philosophy immediately resonated with me. Once I realized the potency of CrossFit, I knew I had to be part of it.
I found what I had been missing - a workout that brings together the dynamics of competitiveness, camaraderie, and encouragement.
"You're not better than anybody else, but NOBODY is better than you".
From an early age I had always been involved in sports and physical activities. I played rep hockey and baseball pretty much my entire life and as I progressed through those sports, exercising naturally becomes the next steps in becoming a better athlete. As I started to get more serious with my hockey training, I came to the realization that the passion I first had for hockey was not their anymore and I decided to stop playing competitively and start focusing more on exercising and working out.
My obsession with exercise started in high school when I joined the wrestling team. The physicality of the training and the combative nature appealed to me deeply and the concept of struggling as a group or team but standing out as an individual was a perfect fit after a childhood of team sports. As I continued throughout my wrestling career however, I began to realize that it wasn’t the competition that drove me, rather it was the daily effort, the concentrated time improving myself and my technique that kept me coming back to the mats every day.
After high school I switched from wrestling to karate, Japanese ju jutsu and Brazilian jiu jitsu. Every new style brought a different view on the thoughts of self defense and competition, with a variety of techniques, movements and “ways”. One underlying facet of ALL the martial arts however (whether it is acknowledged or not) is how important it is to be STRONG. Not necessarily strength in the way of pounds lifted or how hard you punch, but strength in the sense of completeness of body and mind: Knowing your limits, assessing them constantly and never being afraid to fail in pursuit of higher goals and higher state of strength.