Stories From The Gym – March 2012

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This place – this gym – it's like a playground mixed with a library. We move, we learn…but we play. It's an exercise Wonderland. 
As one client reminded me this week, our greatest gift is talking people into doing stuff that they never believed they could do. When Eva came home at Christmas, we did "her" workout (and she trained hard for it!) Next, she'll come home for Murph in April. When Mary came in on Thursday, it was obvious she was itching to do the CrossFit Open…but needed a reason bigger than herself (true of SO many mothers!) We found one. She's IN.
When Liza started doing Personal Training, she might not have thought she'd be competing in a worldwide competition a few months later. Most clients don't move climb the comfort-level ladder as quickly as Liza did…but she's SHINING up there. 
We WANT you to try things that make you uncomfortable. We'll make sure you don't lose, don't worry. This month, I'm turning the whole newsletter over to people who have DONE it. There are hundreds more; these are just a few whose lights have shone very bright in February. Read; share with friends; pass it around. If you like it, we'll stick to this format from now on…

Ignite! March Break Camps

I'm reading, "I'm Feeling Lucky" right now, and maybe it's the book that has me comparing the
Ignite! program to Google, but the atmosphere of work and progress around here has been amazing. Ty, Mel and I are all working ridiculous hours, but we're all more excited about Ignite! than ever, because of its progress into the mainstream. Mel is creating a testing standard for Tutoring clients that will measure not ONLY academic skills, but also REAL cognitive prowess. She's using the curriculum from the Ministry of Education…and memory tests. Focus tests. She's identifying weaknesses in eye tracking, hearing, and processing. It's a huge job, and she walked into it on her first day fulltime, but she's tackling it with an excited focus. Make no mistake: Mel and Ty do this for a living now. But the sheer volume of work they're pulling off is ASTOUNDING. 
In March, Mel will roll out our first annual March Break Camps for math (Move-A-Matics,) Reading/Writing, and Memory. They'll run from 9-12 every day (M-F) of the March Break, and parents can bring their kids for any one or all three at a big discount. Read more about it here.
Ignite! Coaches will be at the Queen Elizabeth Parent Council Night on February 27, and on the 29th, Northern Heights starts their weekly visits to the gym!
Athlete Profile: Sally Moore
 I am in my 3rd year with Catalyst. My sister and bff is the one who introduced me to world of CrossFit through Catalyst. I remember my first WOD downtown; I actually thought I was in some sort of shape haha. I quickly seen the light, BUT, I was not scared. Tuesday quickly became my most favorite night of the ENTIRE week. Watson, he was not easy on anyone and he called you on everything. He pushed you to your max every single time. It took me a long time to be able to do a "crossfit burpee" instead of a "Watson burpee". I left every class saying thanks and left every class wanting to get better. I thank CrossFit (Catalyst) for my life I have today. 

My favourite part? What isn't my favorite part! I LOVE every aspect of Catalyst, of CrossFit. Catalyst is the definition of wicked awesome. I love the nervousness I get before any event. The "I am going to effin die" combined with "I can't effin breathe", all favorite parts. I love that since becoming part of Catalyst I know I am a great role model for my son, for my daughter. I speak and live a healthy active lifestyle. Now instead of saying to my kids "do what I say not what I do" I can encourage and hope they indeed do what I do as well as what I say. THAT is a big favorite part. You want to have an endless positive conversation with me, let's talk about my favorite parts of Catalyst/CrossFit. 

I think the best strength I have is plainly ME. I got some huge balls, some wicked determination and I love crossfit. Those things will push me through all events and have me "sallymoore" the f*#k out of it to the best of my ability. I hate being disappointed in myself and I hate disappointing anyone else even more. 

At the Catalyst Games I had a huge moment for myself in event #2. All I could think about in event #3 was Adam making me look like an idiot by leaving me in his dust and most importantly I did not want to disappoint Watson as he was my judge. Event #4 was an all or nothing in my mind. I knew pull ups were my weak link and I knew Mel would get on the wall ball before me. I had no clue what number she was at when I got to that wall but all I had in my head was just get it done. I found out after she had a 25 rep head start and finished 2 wall balls ahead of me. I'm sure you could guess what I was thinking when I saw a picture of me SITTING on the ball DURING that event. It may sound lame but Watson basically molded me with his coaching and I felt I was ultimately representing him. All that was going through my head with each and every wall ball was the thought of me having to walk through the doors of Catalyst, looking Watson and Coop in the eye having done a bad job and seeing them disappointed in me. I could not have done that. 

Biggest Achievement….that is a not an easy thing to figure out. Besides embracing a well-rounded healthy SMOKE FREE life style, a great achievement for me was winning the Catalyst 2011 Games. The games really pushed me and showed me what I am capable of doing. I know no one EVER believes me when I say this but I am naturally shy and probably my biggest achievements so far are more mental and emotional ones. 

For the Open I want to do every event like it's the only chance I have to do my best. I am hoping I do well enough to be selected to go to Regionals as a competitor. At Regionals there is no let's try that one again. I believe that each day could very well produce different results and that is fine, that is life. My goal is to not disappoint myself or anyone else. I want to be able to look my peers and coaches in the eyes and not see any disappointment. If THAT happens than I have been successful. 

By the end of the summer I want a muscle up.

Profile: Lindsey Gioia 

What brought me to Catalyst? My story.
In one word- Whitney. To elaborate – My oldest daughter Shea was a competitive dancer for 5 years but as the years went on she became restless there. It was not challenging enough and wasn't helping her self-confidence. Last summer she made the ultimate decision; a huge part of her life was over. Dance was done. She found a new love in track and field with Coach Cam but was still looking for more. In came Whitney. She said I needed to bring Shea to try the teen program that her cousin Mitch taught at Catalyst. Despite being the only girl she LOVED it. So after many months of watching her confidence soar and seeing her tackle challenges on a regular basis, I thought… maybe I could do this too. I very much enjoyed watching all the adults cheer each other on as they lifted huge amounts of weight and thought, being an ex gymnast, this is how I wanted to work out too. I tried the machines and uncomfortable staring at other gyms and never lasted more than 2 days. So finally after Christmas I held my breath and told Chris I was ready. That's when I signed up for On-Ramp.

What is my favorite part? I have a few. Being out around town and seeing the friendly people whose names I don't know but who I see regularly at the gym and having them say hi to me. I love how fast my muscles seem to be remembering that at one time I used to be strong and in good shape. I also look forward to pushing myself harder than I ever have and being surprised that I made it through a workout without throwing up or lifting more weight than I ever thought I could. 
The Challenge….Me vs Shea 
Sometimes Shea needs a little extra motivation to push herself, and so do I. So naturally a little competition between us just made sense. We are both competitive and enjoy having a goal to work towards and what makes it fun is being able to work towards it together. My first week, I challenged her to a handstand competition and she beat me by a long shot. By week 4, I won! So naturally a back hand spring competition is next…..right? lol 
Biggest Achievement so far :
I NEVER thought I would be able to lift or squat over a hundred pounds. And to think, this is just the beginning. 
What is something I want to do by the end of summer? I want to be able to 100% keep up with my 3 girls. I could always play with them…to a point. If they want to run, I want to run with them. If they want to play soccer for hours, I want to play for hours with them. I want them to know how important it is to stay healthy and fit. And I want to lead by example.

Kids' Jiu-Jitsu On TV!

Catalyst Fitness – Kids Jiu-Jitsu

The Kids' and Teen programs at Catalyst have become very popular:

Rumble/Tumble: introduction to tumbling and CrossFit-style games for ages 3-6.

Catalyst Varsity – CrossFit Kids programming for ages 8-15.

Youth Jiu-Jitsu – a non-striking Martial Art that uses games to teach self-defense and conditioning.

Information on all – including times and rates – can be found at:

Personal Growth Profile: Liza Shand

When Chris approached me to ask if I would "tell my story" for the monthly newsletter I have to admit it seemed more daunting to me than the WOD. I mean how can I, someone so green, have much of a story to tell? 
 To begin with I guess I will come clean and confess that when I first came to Catalyst it had nothing to do with me at all. It was out of shear desperation for some assistance and direction with my son. Kolton is an extremely bright and loveable 6 year old who some might call hyper, loud and stubborn. I prefer spirited and determined however these traits don't always serve him well. Kolton is in grade 1 this year and let's just say the year began with many challenges. After many meetings, conferences and methods as well as what seemed an eternity of "banging my head on a wall" I took matters into my own hands contacted Chris. That is when we were introduced to Ignite. Kolton attended a session with Tyler and from day one he has loved it. An even better outcome is the progress we have both made with his teacher. It wasn't an easy sell but I think after witnessing the change in Kolton (and the constant persuasion on my part) it was quite apparent the techniques used are definitely beneficial and the results cannot be ignored. Ignite has given Kolton that "spark" and confidence to step outside his comfort zone and express himself as well as taught him skills that have lead to better choices and success both inside and outside of school! 
Now on to me…….Ignite not only sparked something for Kolton it lit a fire under my *@$ as well. After sitting on the bench or treadmill (that's right I was sitting on the treadmill) a few times waiting while Kolton had his session, I decided I needed to stop using the excuse "I have no time" to go to a gym because I was just slapped in the face with the time and the gym! Bring on Personal Training! Knowing myself I decided to purchase a package of Personal Training Sessions to "motivate" myself to continue to go and not "throw away" good money. 
It turns out this was not a necessary strategy because despite my reservations I was hooked from day one. Let me back track for just a minute, I wasn't a complete stranger to a gym and exercise. I have visited many traditional gyms in the past, owned a home gym and treadmill but none of these methods seemed to stick and, although it lasted the longest, even the treadmill became a makeshift clothesline. There always seemed to be something missing or driving me to push on. Despite this I did manage to find one passion a couple years ago when I started running for fun and just last year I decided to step it up a notch and try my hand (or feet) at racing. I have never finished in the top 5, but have always finished, so mission accomplished in my eyes. Unfortunately the summer of 2011 brought with it a running related injury and I was "out of the game" physically and mentally. I found myself sliding back into the "I can't do that" or "I have no time for that" rut. I also realized after numerous doctors, chiropractor and physiotherapy appointments that I was never going to be able to do it or get better if I didn't build more muscle, increase my range of motion and endurance.
 So, jump back to present time, knowing what I did about recovering from this injury as well as the HUGE push from watching all of YOU at Catalyst complete the WOD, I eagerly signed up for a personal training session. I have to admit I left this first session feeling great about what I had signed up for and about myself after all the squats and lunges I had done that night. Fast forward to the next morning, evening, and week! I received a quick reality check of my true level of fitness. I had a hard time getting into or out of a sitting position for a good week after that session (Thanks Mel!). Despite this, something (I now know some people) drove me to come back. 
I soon started attending Personal Training Sessions 2 times a week and surprisingly enough I did complete the homework assigned to me (even though it may have involved cursing Chris, Tyler, Mel or Mitch the entire time). After completing what would prove to be my last Personal Training session in January 2012 (for now anyways) Chris invited me to stay and participate in the noon group session. For those that don't know me yet, I will try anything once and if it is presented as a challenge I can rarely turn it down, hence my Novice involvement with the 2012 Open. 
 This brings us to today. I have been attending the noon hour group regularly since the beginning of January and I am absolutely hooked! I have found an outlet so to speak that is solely my own for 1 hour of everyday. During this time I am totally focused on myself and do not have the opportunity to focus or worry about anything other than the WOD, breathing and quite literally how I will move just one more time. So there is my 3 month story in a nutshell. I have accomplished more than I thought I would in a short time (I got you double under and welcome back 25 minute 5k!) however eagerly strive to attain so much more (I'll get you pull up and 90 burpees!!) I have never felt better or had as much fun or sense of belonging as I do at Catalyst! Thanks Catalyst Family, you are truly unique!


Quick Links…

Steel City MMA
Catalyst Varsity


The Park (our CrossFit gym)

Personal Training


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This just in: UFC figher Antonio Carvalho will be at SCMMA (Catalyst Fitness) coaching MMA and Jiu-Jitsu on March 3 and 4 (that's THIS WEEKEND!)
Two days of clinics and training with current UFC fighter, professional kickboxer and BJJ blackbelt Antonio Carvalho. 
2 sessions per day 1st session, Jiu Jitsu, 2nd Session Kickboxing and MMA
$45 for one day
$70 for both days
$45 for just jiu jitsu or just mma/kickboxing



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