This is the year I turn forty (shhh!) and thanks to the past nine months at CrossFit Guelph, I’ll be starting my next decade in the best shape of my life. I really realized how fit I’ve become just recently when a friend invited me to play squash, a sport I hadn’t played for over 20 years. As we rallied, I noticed that getting around the court felt almost effortless. My body was responding well – I was moving quickly and efficiently. And even though I was soaked in sweat by the end of the match, I felt light and clear, and barely winded. The thought crossed my mind that I could probably consider that hour of squash a “rest” day – at least compared to the effort I would normally exert on a CrossFit workout day or on a day when I train for long-distance running, my current sport of interest.

I can identify three reasons why CrossFit is really working for me. Firstly, CrossFit keeps me interested. It relies on a principle known as “muscle confusion training.” The theory is that you forever switch up your workouts so that your body never falls into a rut. In addition to being great physical conditioning, the variety of the workouts keeps it mentally interesting, too. It’s hard to get bored at CrossFit.

Secondly, the group dynamic is highly motivating, helping me to continually push my limits. We workout in a group of about 10 people and one trainer. The group dynamic is usually upbeat and always highly motivating. That camaraderie and encouragement is essential to completing some of the more challenging workouts. For example, one of my first workouts was 150 burpees. Well, after about the first 10, I wanted to stop. And by 30, I thought maybe this is not even possible or safe! If I had not been surrounded by a ‘team’ of other people doing the same workout, I would have simply given up. It took me 40 minutes, but I did it and felt such satisfaction! I had accomplish what I thought was impossible. And this is not an isolated experience – I am continually overcoming mental and physical obstacles at CrossFit.

And thirdly, in addition to the combined experience of other athletes, I get the direct knowledge and experience of what is effectively a ‘personal’ trainer. CrossFit Guelph’s owner and principal trainer, Michael Fall, is a straight-shooting motivator who lives what he teaches and is driven by a passion for helping others get results. Over the past year, I have steadily gained confidence in his advice, slowly incorporating changes to both what I eat and how I exercise. As a result, I am lighter, stronger and faster. Changes to my diet (particularly a reduction in the amount of sugars and processed foods) have helped to clear up what were possibly some low-grade allergies; improved my sleep and recovery time; and enabled me to shed extra weight. Michael has so much knowledge to share and great skills as a trainer. He balances a patience and understanding for those of us who have let ourselves get out of shape with a ‘come-on-now-you-can-do-better-than-that’ boot-camp patter that pushes you past your limits.

If you want to get into great shape, if you want to feel strong and fit, CrossFit Guelph is awesome and I highly recommend it. Come out and play with us.

Heather Finlayson
Owner & Graphic Artist
Mere Name Design
Guelph, Ontario