Sarah Eddy: A Catalyst Story

Three summers ago, my cousin’s wife Esther told me about Catalyst while we were at camp. She said it would be perfect for me as I was athletic and enjoyed a challenge. I shrugged it off thinking maybe I’ll try it but never got around to it. The next summer at camp we were talking about Esther’s fitness level when she brought up Catalyst again. She told me that I would love it and to least try it out because the first class is free. Who could turn that down? So I called my friend Sarah and told her she had to come try it out with me. Esther was a coach at the time and told me to come to a class she was teaching, which was a Wednesday night. I thought I was in decent shape but after that workout I was sorer than I had ever been. The funny thing is I enjoyed the soreness and went back the next week.
Fast forward a year and a half. I am the strongest and happiest I have ever been. I am going to classes 5-6 times a week. The group atmosphere is extremely motivating, whether it’s the members cheering me on to finish the WOD or when I’m neck in neck with someone and pushing to stay with them. The coaches are so knowledgeable and have helped me through a low back injury, making sure that I am doing every movement properly and scaling the movements when I’m hurt. People ask me how I get up and workout at 6 or 7 in the morning and I tell them it’s the atmosphere of the gym. No matter how tired I am or how much I would rather stay in bed, I still manage to get up and get my workout in because I wouldn’t want to start my day any other way.
My favourite Catalyst story would have to be doing the last workout in the 2016 open, thrusters and burpees. My friend Sarah and I, the one who started Catalyst with me, decided we were going to do the workout RX’d. We were a little nervous but said we would do it together, no matter how long it took us. Since we started at the same time and have basically done every workout together, we are a little competitive with each other. We were put on platforms side by side, probably because the coaches knew we would push each other. The countdown was on so we wished each other good luck and then began. Of the two movements, thrusters were my strength and burpees were Sarah’s. While going through the reps, we would both casually glance over to the other to see where they were. By the end of the workout, there were only seconds between our scores. We both fell to the floor gasping for air but managed to get a high five in. If it wasn’t for her, as well as all the other members and coaches, I wouldn’t push myself nearly as hard or progressed as much as I have.
My proudest moment at Catalyst would have to be the 2016 Catalyst Games. After a year of being at Catalyst I decided I would do the Games RX’d to challenge my physical and mental strength. It was a whole new experience; going from quiet morning group workouts to having a gym full of people scream and shout and encourage me to get more reps in. It was so rewarding to know that I did the best that I could while having all the support of the Catalyst members. This motivates me to train harder in order to improve for the 2017 Catalyst Games.
Many people ask why I go to Catalyst. I always hear “why don’t you just go to the school gym, it’s free” or “Catalyst is so expensive, go to Goodlife or Fit 4 Less”. What people don’t understand is that Catalyst isn’t just a place I go to increase my physical strength. It’s a place I go to forget about all my every day stressors. I show up and focus solely on technique and the WOD. I am able forget about all my problems for that whole hour while a coach guides me through a workout, making sure I do every movement properly. I am able to shut off my brain and forget about assignments, tests, work, and other external stressors. It helps me become mentally and emotionally stronger. The hour I am at Catalyst is filled with focus, laughter, and encouragement. I look forward to the morning group just to relieve my stress and clear my mind. It has not only challenged me physically, mentally, and emotionally but has helped keep me sane throughout my last 2 years of university. I am happy to call Catalyst my gym and would not have it any other way.