Post-Games Interview: Lucas Proulx

Any surprises at the Games? Were you prepared to finish 2nd?

Overall biggest surprise of the Games was seeing the 55-year-old Spirit of The Games winner [Betty-Lou Mancuso] hold her chin-up for 2 fricken minutes! When I saw her casually chatting with her judge as she passed my max-effort 53 sec. mark I was stoked!

I didn’t have a certain spot I wanted to finish overall. My focus was definitely just more on trying to do my all-out best on each individual event, having a blast, and participating to help the Northern Ontario CrossFit community grow. The thought of finishing top 3 didn’t even cross my mind until Jon (1st place) told me I was going to win, about 2 weeks before the competition. I guess he forgot about how well he was going to do, hah.

What brought you into CrossFit, and when?

Jon [Balfe] got me into CrossFit in April 2009 when I was toward the end of Grade 10. For me, in public school I could play as much sports and wipe out skateboarding and snowboarding as much as I wanted to and I would never get hurt for longer than 2 minutes. Then when I hit high school, suddenly a bad fall on a snowboard meant a broken wrist or a separated shoulder, and jumping in cold to a track & field practice maybe meant a pulled hip flexor. Grade 9 and 10 were really fun, but physically they kinda sucked because I’d always have something hurting (back, hips, shoulders). I was going to physio twice a week and my body was “a mess” for a 15-year-old. 

Then one day after math class, Jon (also my math teacher) said I should stay after school with him and give CrossFit a try. He told me that it would be the best thing I could do for injury treatment and injury prevention, and he was right. Nobody in their right mind does CrossFit just to say they’re doing it. Everybody needs a huge underlying factor to begin it and motivate them to keep doing it. For me, it’s injury prevention. When I’m injury-free, I’m often very happy. When I’m injured, I’m often very grumpy. That’s just the way it is for me. All of my old problems just slowly but surely vanished away after starting CrossFit, and my next 3 years of high school turned out to be way more physically enjoyable. Now I’ll never stop CF’ing so I can keep those problems in the past.
How would you describe the training environment at GP?

Very supportive. Sporadic (which could also describe Jon’s lifestyle and mine). Uncharted for many (with so many movements in CrossFit, there’s always a number of people at GP who’ve never done the exercises we’re doing for that day). Knee-slapping (students and teachers are very creative at CrossFit jokes, and we also overuse all of the Ronnie Coleman lines). We usually always do a strength WOD before the met-con (unless the met-con is Fran) and the strength WOD atmosphere is always just jokes and form critiquing and that, but then for the met-cons the Van Halen usually gets cranked up a couple notches and the game faces go on. 

What brought you to CF Sudbury?

Laurentian. I wanted to go away to school for Kinesiology and since Laurentian offers a good program 2 hours from home and at the cheapest price, I figured that was my best option. That being said, I probably wouldn’t have came here if there wasn’t a CF gym or if I really didn’t like the CF gym, but like most affiliates, I love it so it all worked out. It’s also very supportive here and everyone’s super nice. I think I’ll have even more nice things to say about if we upgrade to the new place that Adam’s got in mind that’s 3 times the size (nudge to Adam, hah).

What are you working on next?

My workout schedule for the next 3 or so months is going to be CF Football. They follow a 3-on, 1-off, 2-on, 1-off with rest days on Wednesdays and Sundays, which is perfect for me because I have a heavy day of classes on Wednesdays and I also figured I need the steady weekly schedule while I’m in school so I can get a routine going. In the past I’ve done CFFB with the Collegiate SWOD’s but since I’ve never tried a linear progression strength program before, I decided that I’m gonna try the Amateur SWOD’s for a couple months. Up until 3 weeks ago, I hadn’t done strength sets of back squats in over 18 months because of a pulled hamstring from wide-stance box squats (my only CF injury in over 3 years of doing it, and it was because of bad form). So 3 weeks ago I started the 3×5 Back Squats and found a glaring, glaring weakness. I had a hard time getting through with 205#! So I’m excited about trying to build that up over the next few months, as well as my Bench Press, Shoulder Press, and Deadlift, which are also chinks in the armor for me compared to met-cons and technique lifts. I also figured that it’s a good idea for me to follow a program while I’m starting school here because if I did my own programming like I normally do then I’d end up wasting a lot of valuable time here over-thinking the combo of exercises for the next day.
Favourite CrossFit memory? 

Team Event 2 (row/pistol/hang clean) at the Regionals last year. I’m bad at rowing, but pistols and hang power cleans are two of my favourite exercises. There was more energy, effort, roaring, screaming, and crowd participation in that WOD than in any sporting event I’ve ever been in. I did that WOD a couple weeks before the Regionals to prepare for it, and I failed about 5 of the cleans and had to do singles the whole time, and my time was about 17 minutes. But with all of the adrenaline and energy of the crowd at Regionals I was able to do doubles with the cleans and I finished in about 9 minutes. This was because the GP team members who were in the stands next to me were working even harder than us, cheering us through it. Jon, Tina, and Erin each put everything they had into that event too, so it was amazing to watch once my portion was done. It was all smiles for the whole team after that.

Goals for this year?

Survive school, and get in 4-5 workouts every week without getting too behind in class. Last year I placed 40th in the Open, so I think it’s a reasonable goal to try to do better than last year. I would love to get Top 30, but I would also still love it to get Top 60. I’m really happy that we went Team last year, because as Jon said, it was like our culminating project. But obviously now I’m really hungry to try to qualify individually again and actually compete as an individual at the Regionals. But even if the events don’t go my way (like a 5 min. AMRAP of 315# Deadlifts) and I don’t end up placing where I’d like to then that’s fine. If I put everything I’ve got into it, then I’m happy. I’m learning that there’s only one thing in your control in CF competitions, effort. So this year I’m gonna make it a habit of only being truly concerned with doing my own best at all of the Open WOD’s, and hopefully the Regional WOD’s. I see myself performing better with that mindset.

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