I feel like 100% the Catalyst family found me and it found me when I needed it the most!! I have always been a firm believer in everything happens for a reason but in 2013 I had gone thru the most difficult time in my life when I lost my dad. I couldn’t help but constantly wonder “Why is this happening?”, “what did I do to deserve this?”.
My dad was the strong silent type who provided for his family and friends, helped out anyone he could in any way possible, loved being outdoors, entertaining and walking everywhere, that is the man that I knew all my life and try to remember him as. The hard part was watching him go from that man, our rock, in the blink of an eye to being confined to a wheelchair, unable to communicate and eventually unable to eat or drink until the time of his passing. Seeing him go thru this broke me……broke my heart, my soul, my spirit, my entire world and changed me as a person.
Fast forward almost exactly one year to the day of losing him, I am surfing the internet and the Catalyst website suddenly appeared on my screen from out of nowhere! I felt like hhhmmm is this a sign?! I read every single bit of information on that website at least 10 times and BAM I was signed up for On Ramp. From day one I was pushed out of my comfort zone which is exactly what I needed and I have not looked back since. I continue to be pushed and encouraged every day by all the coaches – Coop, Jess, Karly, Tyler and Taryn (who BTW are more than coaches, you are friends and family and people I look forward to seeing every day). People think I am absolutely crazy getting up at 5am for a 6am WOD (and yes there are days that I would much rather stay in bed) but there is no other way I can imagine starting my day.
I was really angry and sad for a long time, in fact I continue to struggle with these feelings at times, but Catalyst became an outlet for me to do something for me, a place where I can focus 100% on something else and forget about everyday life, work, etc. and most importantly having so much fun doing it! To this day I still can’t figure out the reasons why this happened (and it doesn’t matter) I’ve come to the realization that it takes so much more energy to focus or obsess over why things happen and it is way more fun and easier to focus on the good stuff and realize how fortunate I am to have had 38 amazing years with him. I consider myself lucky. My dad was 68 years young when he died and I know he lived every single moment of every single year he had and I plan on doing the same.
I honestly am proud just to be a part of this family, it is like nothing I have ever been a part of in my life. We all have our WOD bubble (mine being 6am) but bring on The Open and we are all showing up at various hours just to cheer each other on. Catalyst provides an exceptional atmosphere of encouragement and support and a true sense of comradery. Catalyst not only helped me get strong physically, but mentally I am like a whole new person. I feel proud every morning that I walk through the Catalyst door as I know I am going to learn something new, and as far as I am concerned, learning something new makes you a little greater than you were so it’s a PR every day! Side note: getting my very first pull up was pretty amazing too!! Thanks Charity for getting me out of my head and to Karly for cheering me on in the background.
My favourite memory? The Open 2016, walking thru the doors at the Tech and hearing (even feeling) the crazy yelling and cheering echoing thru the hallways. Approaching the gym the cheering got louder and I couldn’t get there fast enough to see what was going on. That day I had the privilege of watching athletes completing their very first muscle up, it truly was amazing to watch and the atmosphere was indescribable. The roars of encouragement, willing them up over that bar was insane. This is why I am so proud to be a part of the Catalyst family and couldn’t imagine myself anywhere else.