Heritage News -As the new year approaches, many of us are making resolutions to live a healthier lifestyle in 2014, and thinking of ways to incorporate more exercise and fitness into our lives.
Callum Owen, Storm Patterson and Alex Wilson are all passionate fitness enthusiasts. They say they've found the perfect workout, called Crossfit -and they want to share it with the community.
The three Queen's students founded Crossfit Tricolour in the summer, and saw massive success during their first semester of operation. Currently, the Queen's University club has over 200 members and has generated roughly $42,000, all of which went to purchase equipment for the club, as the trainers are volunteers.
So what is Crossfit, exactly? "The program encompasses weight lifting, track and field and gymnastics all into one," says Patterson, explaining that Crossfit borrows from all these disciplines and takes the best of what works from each.
"We draw from everything and we combine those exercises into as many different variations and forms as possible," adds Owen. "So the workout of the day is pretty much different all the time -it's never the same thing when you come in."
He says that Crossfit is a program for everyone- from those new to exercise to competitive athletes.
"I came from a competitive martial arts background and at my first workout I thought, 'oh this looks really easy.' I thought I would just fly through it and go get some food
afterwards....But I couldn't move afterwards. I had to call my neighbours to go get the food [I had ordered]."
All the same, he adds that there is no reason for anyone to feel intimidated, as Crossfit is designed to be easily tailored to all fitness levels.
Founded in the U.S. in 2000, the program has really taken off over the last few years, and while there are several Crossfit gyms in Kingston, Crossfit Tricolour is the first of its kind in the downtown core.
Owen, Patterson and Wilson believe that part of the reason the Crossfit is so popular is due to the sense of community members feel.
"Crossfit has brought this whole new paradigm to the fitness world," Owen says. "It's taken the focus off of yourself and what you can do -just going to the gym and looking at yourself and working on these machines and stuff and it's become about encouraging each other through these very, very challenging workouts. What keeps you going is the people around you, motivating you to push on."
Indeed, Wilson says that his favourite part of being a Crossfit coach is witnessing what a great experience members have.
"We got a message from one of our members going home for the holidays a couple of days ago about how meaningful this club has been for her this semester -to have not just this opportunity for fitness and wellness, but also the friends that she's made and the fact that people ask her how her day is when she walks in the door. It's that bonding experience and how much that's meant to her."
Patterson says that the friends he has made over the last semester make him excited about coming to Crossfit - even if that means getting up at 6 a.m. for the 7 a.m. sessions. He emphasizes that members are encouraged to stay and socialize after a workout, or even exercise more if they want to.
"We want a place where people can feel welcome at any point in time, and if they want to stay here and do more work before they leave, that's great. And we're doing stuff outside of the gym, hosting member socials. We're trying to make people feel like we're not just your coach, but your friend."
Crossfit Tricolour is open to Queen's students, faculty, staff and alumni. For more information on the club, visit www.crossfittricolour.com.
For more information about Crossfit in general, visit www.crossfit.com.