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I was born in a small town in Quebec (yes… in Canada!!). I grew up spending my youth at my parent’s cottage where I would dirt bike in the summer and ski in the winter. Most of my youth physical activities consisted of playing outdoors. I also joined a ski racing team for a few years in high school. After many years playing in the snow, I slowly realized that moving out west was in the plan.
I moved to Quebec City where I attended Laval University in Engineering Physics. After graduating, I moved to Ontario (yes… still in Canada) where I was challenged to learn a new language: English. After 7 years in a community where skiing was not possible, I decided to move to Ottawa, Canada. This is where I met my beautiful wife Gill. We stayed in Ottawa until Gill finished her residency and finally starting to head west: Calgary (yes… still in Canada… but wait… it’s going to change soon). We stayed in Calgary for one year while Gill was finishing her fellowship. This is when we realized that we would stay out west at all cost.
Gill finally got an offer to move to Klamath Falls (finally in the USA!) in October 2016 and we have been here ever since. This is where our family started to grow: where we now have two little girls, Arielle (3 years) and Lily (18 months).
First disclaimer: While all of you reading this might think I grew up with skates under my feet… I did not. (more on that subject later…)
As mentioned above, I stayed active as a kid mostly playing outdoors and skiing. During my time at the university, I joined a few intramural teams to stay active and tried my best to go to the gym. As my professional life took me away from skiing, I had to find a new winter sport (in case you don’t know, Canada has 51 weeks of winter every year). This is where I finally got my first pair of skates and joined a hockey team. This kept me busy in the winter months until I met Gill and re-discovered skiing.
While playing sports for fun, I ran for a while to stay in shape. Running was a great way to stay fit but also came with multiples injuries (around 50% of runners get injured every year). I did try on numerous occasions to join gyms, but with the same results every time: I went for a few months and finally lost interest (but still paid my membership to feel like I could go back… sound familiar?)
My goal is simple - do all the sports I love for as long as I can (more specifically, I want to still ski hard in my 70s). I also want to do CrossFit for as long as my body allows me to. My role models are the Legends at Crossfit Hogback, I have the honor to train after them most days!
Advice to others...
Start today! While CrossFit might feel intimidating or prejudices prevent you to start CrossFit, I would say that both of those barriers are only in your mind. I found this out the very first day! Everyone can go at their own pace/capabilities, supported by the community and quality coaching.
Why Crossfit Hogback?
The main reason that our prejudices vanished was because of the coaches at Crossfit Hogback. On my very first day I saw the level of care that AJ and his team put in every single class and with every member. This was followed by thorough training (aka. Foundations Course) that really made me feel ready to tackle the daily workout. This is where I realized that other gyms only give you a crash course to CrossFit and leave you to figure it out on your own, putting people at higher risk for injury or no results. But CrossFit Hogback is different - the coaches will work with anyone that need more work to learn a movement safely. On top of the coaching aspect of this gym, we made many friends 😉
The biggest surprise from my year with Crossfit Hogback is that I have made so many friends and really feel like I gained a family. It is impressive how you grow closer to people that workout by your side every day. Everyone has different fitness goals, but we all come together under a larger idea of functional fitness and friendship. #Hogbackstrong!