12047134 10153331265618579 4245624438043540529 n


“Gratitude is the parent of all virtues.” – Cicero
I’m not great at many virtues, but I approach them the way a good CrossFitter / entrepreneur should: by focusing on the small changes that will yield the greatest benefit. So I try to start every day by recording ten things for which I’m thankful.
Sometimes–like today–it’s overwhelming. I’m almost paralyzed by the list because I’m afraid to forget someone. So I’ll start (as always) with my wife.
Robin prefers to stay in the background, but she’s the base of support that allows the gym to move forward. She fills all the gaps. Yesterday, that meant cleaning the gym for hours; the day before, it meant shuttling last-minute things (like the trophy, which I forgot) back and forth between Runway Park.
Jess took on the entire Games project solo this year. Charity and I gave opinions when asked, but Jess really did everything. If you had a good day, you know where to direct your thanks.
Charity’s Varsity kids were a huge highlight of the day for me. These kids had some of the best form AND attitudes of anyone there. That’s a direct reflection on her coaching. Dan gave up one of his very few days off to provide the fastest scorekeeping I’ve ever seen–in fact, I’ve never been to an event where athletes weren’t asking for updates. We’ll have those scores up by tomorrow at the latest.
Dave showed up with his truck and trailer on Friday morning and never left. It took us about 4 hours to build that rig, and all day to shuttle equipment to and from Runway Park. But on Saturday, it took us 20 minutes to break that rig down, dig it out of the sand and load it into my truck. We were unpacked at the gym by 6:40 and I was drinking hard cider by 7. Thanks to those who stuck around to help!
Many of you noticed that several judges were back from previous years, and never took a break. These folks routinely give up one of 52 precious Saturdays every year to help you. They’re not out there for the t-shirt. A few of them said it was easier to judge this year because the athletes were in a great mood all day.
Dave Wensley trucks his crew from 807 down a very long stretch of highway every year. This year, his top athletes competed at Granite Games the previous weekend, but he still took 3 days to bring a crew all the way from Thunder Bay. Victoria Niven did her first competition at Catalyst in our inaugural “Varsity” event with the Manitoulin crew, and now she’s showing up solo to compete. Amy Mavec made the trip from Timmins for the third year, and Margo’s Chapleau crew was a welcome addition. Espanola was even represented this year!
Many parents trucked their kids out at 7am and stayed all day to help. Thanks to Jim, Shane, Melissa and all the rest who support their kids in this crazy sport. And if you missed the Junior Varsity event on “tire hill,” you missed a great example of what fitness SHOULD look like. After the event, most of the kids wanted to do another; then they wanted to stay and play on the big sand hills. Perfect.
Andi Fraser did more squats than anyone else. She’s there at every event, taking pictures that hundreds of people will treasure and share. THANK YOU, Andi. We can’t say it enough. This year, I’ve told her to charge $10 for high-res pictures (she’s never done it before, and she’s nervous about it, but frankly shouldn’t be volunteering her art.) If you share her photos with a watermark, give her credit. If you want one without the watermark, give her ten bucks!
Finally, thanks to the athletes. Last year was intense, and we enjoyed it, but 2015 brought back the real spirit of the Catalyst Games. Everyone smiled all day, the venue was fantastic, and the cheering was ferocious. Congrats to our winners and our finishers!

1 thought on “Gratitude”

  1. This was our first year at Catalyst Games. Our daughter, Jaelyn, competed in Varsity. She thoroughly enjoyed herself and competed her ‘bum’ off! We were so proud of her strength in body, but even more so in character. She just ‘retired’ from 5 years of competitive gymnastics and were very worried how she would transition out of the sport she loved so much. Catalyst has been amazing for her… Charity and Eythan are amazing, encouraging coaches and we are thankful that both of our kids (Brennen is in Junior) have the opportunity to do this.
    After Jaelyn recovered from the last event, she said: “That was fun! I wish they had this more often..”
    Anyhow… Thanks to all who made the day possible.
    Melody and Shane Slagel