Mike Olejnik: No More "Routine"

I was getting really tired of the same old routine at GoodLife. I didn’t feel like I was getting the results I wanted, and when combined with the repetitive nature, I was beginning to lack the motivation to keep going. I am trying to better my times and performances in obstacle courses such as Tough Mudder so the lack of motivation to keep training in a gym was becoming disheartening. A colleague had mentioned Catalyst as something I might be interested in trying.
My first impression was that it would be challenging but fun at the same time. There were no machines, just a lot of equipment I was used to seeing on obstacle courses. Monkey bars, rings, walls, nets, and ropes are all things I had grown accustomed to on obstacle courses so seeing them in a gym made me smile. I was going to be able to work on skills and movements that would translate into a better performances while improving my overall fitness. This impression has not changed.
I think the greatest improvement has come from the fact that a lot of weight lifting and WODs utilize your whole body to varying degrees. Every time you do cross-fit you are making your whole body work in unison. I think this has improved my speed, strength, and agility a great deal. The tempo of the workouts has also been a tremendous benefit to my endurance which is something I’ve struggled with in the past.
I would really like to get my squat strength up as it currently dictates my max weight on some other movements such as cleans. Pull-ups are still something I struggle with too but I have noticed improvements and this has been really encouraging as I strive to be better at them.
In September I will be running my sixth Tough Mudder but it will be the first since joining Catalyst Fitness. This should be a good opportunity to see how I’ve been progressing. Then in November I will be running the 24 hour World’s Toughest Mudder event for the second time. This is ultimately what I’ve been working towards. Last year I completed 7 laps; this year I’m aiming for a minimum of 10.
My favourite Catalyst memory has to be the first Saturday morning group session I attended. It was only the second or third time I had been to Catalyst and I remember being completely gassed shortly into the workout. I couldn’t remember the last time I felt so winded, out of shape, and ready to pass out. I remember Chris looking at me and asking if I was going to be OK. I gave him a ‘thumbs up’, took a couple of deep breaths, and kept going through the routine. That’s when I knew that Catalyst was the place for me. I had pushed through the point where I would have normally stopped or quit in the past. There was motivation from the group, from the coaches, and from myself to keep going.