2446 Cawthra Road, Unit 6/7, Mississauga, ON — 905-275-9535 — info [at] crossfitselect [dot] com

Ana Taveira: Transformation

 IMG_0224A few years ago my father passed away after putting up a pretty good fight with cancer. I didn’t really know how to process that huge loss to an already pretty small family. I buried myself in school and work. At the time I was working as a bartender to pay for school. Anyone with experience in the service industry knows how easy it is to get sucked in to a lifestyle of excess. I began the slow decline of letting myself go. Eating at restaurants or grabbing take-out junk food was a norm as I didn’t care to learn how to cook and I somehow convinced myself that it was more convenient. It was a bumpy ride to finish grad school, find a decent job and go through a couple of bad break-ups all the while making poor choices with my body in regards to both nutrition and lack of exercise. Needless to say, after committing solid time to this downward spiral, the side effects began taking a toll on my body, I experienced weight gain, sluggishness, mental fog, constant fatigue and lack of energy, depression, erratic mood swings and that’s just to name a few.
Like a lot of people, I had a reasonably affordable gym membership to the big-name-brand gyms you see conveniently located all over town. However, I would rarely go. At times I would find short bursts of motivation and go for a week or maybe even a month, but then slowly drop off in to the “maybe I’ll go tomorrow” wasteland of my mind. I could not motivate myself to go to the crowded fitness classes where beautiful young people wearing super cute outfits talked about how little calories they consumed that week. The people were nice enough, but I just didn’t fit in, and I felt miserable.
One day during a family dinner I was talking to my brother, who struggles with complex mental health issues, about the benefits that physical activity can have on his moods. I could feel the irony swelling in my throat. I was not exactly the best person to offer advice since I was hardly making an effort myself. So I began to do some research. All the information I could read about Crossfit basically said the same thing, about how functional fitness can be for anyone starting at any level. I pitched the idea to my brother as a new positive hobby we can try together. My brother lives in Mississauga so I knew I would have to find a gym conveniently located to make this accessible for him, and to be honest I didn’t mind driving from downtown if he was willing to try. I came across the Crossfit Select’s sleek and stylish website and was instantly drawn to it. I emailed the gym and received a quick response to come in and try a class.
My first class felt so weird, I walked in to the gym and had no idea what to expect. Greeted by coach, Chris Harrington, who kindly showed me the facility, made me sign a waiver, and explained the basic class format. My brother and I left that class sweating, but something changed in me that day, I couldn’t wait to do it again. I made a pact with my brother to try the promotional package for one month. I promised him that we would put in our best efforts together and if we didn’t like it after that month then we would try something else. In my first few classes I tried my best to keep up with not only the amount of exercise but also the new Crossfit lingo. Unfortunately, my brother was not quite ready for the challenge due to long work hours and mental state, and so he dropped out after a handful of classes. I was torn. I felt guilty about him dropping out, but I was actually enjoying it, and to my surprise able to make it to classes around my crazy work schedule. So, I stuck to my end of the deal and went to as many classes as possible, maybe even too many. One basics class, during introductions people mentioned how many classes they had done so far; the responses varied, 1, 2, 6, 4, 8, and then I mumbled 20 under my breath, I had done 20 basics classes, to which coach Holly smiled and encouraged me to move on to regular WODs. When I started doing the regular classes I realized they weren’t all that different and that I can still scale them to my own fitness level.
My promotional month was up, and I had to make a decision. Did I want to sign up to Crossfit Select and continue to drive outside the city to a gym that cost significantly more money than my big-name-brand gym that I wasn’t going to? YES!!!! In one month I started to notice that I really enjoyed going to this gym. The coaches were all so professional yet friendly and approachable, and the community of athletes were all so welcoming and encouraging; I had never experienced this in a gym before.
These workouts were hard. I had never sweat so much in my whole life. I remember my first 2000m row. I couldn’t differentiate my tears from sweat rolling down my face. It literally took me forever to finish that workout, but coach Tommy pushed me to the very end, even threatening that if I didn’t finish he would add 200m to the total. I poured my wet blob of a body off that rower and on to the floor, my thoughts oscillating between life and death unable to make sense of what had just happened. But it was over, and I had finished it. The endorphins released were euphoric. I was hooked.
My eating habits gradually started to change, I learned how to cook and eat clean whole foods. I was showing up to WODs regularly. I even began talking to people, although slowly, because I can be super awkward. The positive energy at this gym is infectious; the people are fun to workout with and make me feel part of the community. The coaches are elite athletes themselves and quick to offer helpful advice. Although working shift work is challenging, it does give me the opportunity to meet a wide range of people at the gym for I am able to make it to morning and evening classes depending on my schedule. I have made friendships with such inspiring people and look forward to strengthening these bonds over time.
In just one year I have seen a dramatic positive shift in my life by changing my approach to fitness and healthy living. Here is a list of some of the benefits I have experienced since joining Crossfit Select:
• I am building strength (I used to struggle carrying my groceries up the stairs, now I can back squat 215lbs);
• I have lost a bunch of weight; learned a lot about bodies, movement, patience and healthy eating;
• I have tons more energy, stable moods and overall more positive outlook on life;
• I have made some great new friends (look forward to making more, but I am awkward so it takes time);
• Pull Ups!!! Which took me about 9 months of intense training but I finally got them;
• I now have way more exercise gear than clothes in laundry;
But above all of these, I wake up everyday feeling grateful that I made a good choice to come here.

Jack’s Transformation

It’s amzing how quickly change happens once you set a goal and stay disciplined to achieving it. I can’t tell you how many pounds I lost in 8 months since I don’t weigh myself, what I can say that for the first time in my life I can do a handstand push, run 10k without breaks and I feel better than I ever have before

If it wasn’t for the coaches and fellow athletes at Crossfit Select my transformation would have not been possible. There is so much positive encouragement every time I walk into the box that I would never find at any other gym. Whether it’s a hi-five after a killer WOD, a compliment of how well I’m doing or a simple hello to acknowledge my presence, these are all things that the Select community has given me to help me achieve my goal.

What I did to transform myself was very simple….diet and exercise. I made an effort to sweat everyday, most of the time that would be at Crossfit Select but if I could not make there for some reason then I would go for a run, bike ride or a long hike through the woods. When I was at Select I left my ego at the door and followed the advice of the coaches. If Tommy, Holly, Steve, Lori, Nath, Drij or Chris told me to use less weight or keep my heels down, I’d oblige. And it was always to my benefit. Furthermore, what I realized is that by using less weight I was able to push myself more and have a more effective WODs. I was not taking breaks between lifts to mentally and physically prepare myself for a lift, rather I’d give it my all and was lying on the floor once the WOD was over.

I did not starve myself or take any diet pills, instead I followed a paleo diet which mimics what our ancestors ate, meats, fish, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables. This also meant that I stayed away from processed food and drinks. If I was going to eat a steak I would make sure it came from a local butcher but I would divide it into smaller portions to stay on budget. I’d shop at farmers markets every chance I’d got and more often baked my food rather than frying it. Once in awhile I did indulge and have cheat meals, but then that evening or the next day I would do an extra workout to balance out. Oh…and first thing I did every morning was drink a couple glasses of water.

My true goal is not going to be achieved in 6 months or a year, it will take a lifetime of living a healthy, happy and an active lifestyle so that I can still do a WOD when I am in my elder years. The only way I will be able to make that happen is by being discipled and driven to keep working at it everyday….it also helps to have a great team encouraging me along the way!!

Much thanks and appreciation to the Crossfit Select Family

 

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George Raya

Motivation cannot only come from other people’s success stories, it has to come from within so you too can create your own success story.

I always looked for motivation from other people and saw that they could do it and knew I was able to do the same thing. I just needed guidance, determination and hard work.

A year ago I was at my worst, having worked various part time jobs which involved being in the office, on the road and eating out a lot. It allowed for one kind of expansion and that was in the waistline. I was going to the gym often and lifting weight and getting big but at the same time I wasn’t loosing any weight as I just added on muscle underneath the fat. About a year ago I was at 272lbs. Looking myself in the mirror and telling myself I needed a change wasn’t going to work anymore. I need to go out and make that change for myself.

Having worked out at many gyms before and continued being unhappy with my lack of progress, friends from work suggested that I buy the Crossfit Select group on and give it a try. I took their advice.

I remember my first day in the box. I was introduced to the coach and feeling a little nervous even though I had been working out for a while. the fundamental classes were great to take as they refreshed my memory of movements that I had not done in a while and ones that I love doing myself and introduced me to movements I have never done. Coach Drij and coach Chris Harrington really emphasized the need for learning the fundamental movements and helped me fix my mistakes. Right off the bat I knew that this place would be a good place as the coaches pay attention to you as an individual while they are teaching the rest of the class. After finishing the fundamental classes I knew I wanted to jump right into the WOD classes because I was excited and prepared to take on the challenge that I had with myself.

image1My first WOD class, coach Tommy introduced himself and asked everyone to introduce themselves and say hello. I remember the warmup and thinking to myself. This is odd. Coach Tommy asked us to grab the small soft dodgeballs and to start playing dodgeball. During the warmup if you were tagged you had to do burpees/sit-ups/push-ups. I remember thinking to myself this warm up has to be the best I’ve done in a long time. Everyone was laughing and having a great time. Then coach Tommy started with breaking down the workout of the day and focused on each and every one of us. As easy as I thought the WOD was at the end of it I was flat on my back and gasping for air. This is where I knew I would be challenged and needed to pick myself up and do it all over again the next day. I have not looked back since.

Training at CFS has allowed me to meet amazing people! People who’ve become friends and I’ve started going to class with regularly and we push each other everyday! The more I came in for a workout the more I wanted to continue coming in.

About 4 months into working out many people started talking about the crossfit open games and the paleo challenge. I’ve always loved challenging myself but didn’t think I was ready for the open or the paleo challenge. This is where my friends and the CFS community really came in and pushed me to do both as they saw the benefits that I hadn’t yet. Things like “what’s the worst that’s going to happen george?” Were said… “You are going to set some goals and go from there” finally my favourite “you’re going to lose a ton of weight if you do these two things” I signed up for the open and it was the best thing I could have done for myself as it allowed me to understand that I have many weaknesses but at the same time I have many strengths that I didn’t think I had from the beginning.

After several days of debate and calling on friends for suggestions I went to the paleo challenge meeting and signed up. Here I am debating and contemplating … Went to the paleo challenge meeting signed myself up yet still wondering if I made the right choice. I went home that same night and started looking at all the success stories and decided that it was time that I create my own success story and stop looking at others.

The crossfit open games and the paleo challenge went hand in hand… Working out everyday and looking forward to the workout that was coming up week to week where I would push myself. There were workouts where I was upset but others where I surprised myself. It was tough but easy with the amount of support and learning I had from the coaches and from many of my friends who I met at CFS who were doing the open and paleo challenge as well.

IMG_6077I can proudly say with the amount of learning from the coaches and support I’ve had from the many friends that I’ve made at this wonderful place I’ve been able to lose over 50lbs and I feel great about it! This is one amazing community that I have been blessed to be welcomed into with smiles that are contagious, great positive attitudes a lot of knowledge and support.

This here is my success story and anyone who is reading this and thinks “I can’t do this”… You absolutely can! Work hard and want it like you’ve never wanted anything else. It will happen!

George

Brad Rodo. From 266lbs to 178lbs

The problem with weight gain is you don’t notice it happen until it’s too late.

Shortly after University, I found myself sitting at 266lbs, out-of-shape and unhappy. A routine physical illustrated just how bad things had gotten. Pretty much anything that could be high, was high. My doctor called for an immediate change before it was too late. I tried dieting, I tried running, I even tried hitting the gym, but nothing seemed to work. I have the world’s biggest sweet tooth, running was hard when you’re that heavy, and I had no clue what to do at the gym. It was at this point that I stumbled upon obstacle racing. After completing my first race in Dallas (Muddy Buddy), I was hooked. I began doing as many as I could, as often as I could. During one of the races, I overheard people talking about CrossFit and how awesome it was. I did a bit of research, however felt a little overwhelmed at how intense it appeared. It wasn’t until I received an email for a Groupon for CrossFit Select that things began to change. The deal looked fantastic, so I figured why not!

Brad Rodo weight loss story

Brad Rodo’s Success Story: 250lbs (left) and 178lbs (right)

I remember showing up my first day feeling totally out of my element and nervous. The coaching staff quickly turned these feelings around with how knowledgeable and friendly they were. During my fundamentals class, Coach Tommy went through, and had me try each and every lift, pull, or exercise in the gym. He was gaining an understand of my strengths and weaknesses, which would later be useful in tailoring my workouts going forward. After completing my Fundamentals classes, I was ready to begin attending regular WOD classes. Believe it or not the most intimidating thing about CrossFit isn’t the weights, or the workouts… it’s the people. Imagine showing up for your first class, not knowing a soul and seeing everyone deeply immersed in conversations about each other’s lives. Everyone seemed to be friends with everyone, and yet there I was, “the new guy”, awkwardly standing off to the side trying to look busy so as not to look like the only person not chatting with someone. This all changed the second the coach walked in the room. Coach Holly instantly made me feel at home and welcome. We went around the room introducing ourselves and I was surprised with how helpful everyone was. People offering assistance in finding things, showing me where to go, asking how my day was…. It was amazing. Everything was going great until people around me started to finish the workout. I began to panic; “should I cheat? This is so embarrassing! I’m the last one done! Everyone’s waiting on me!”. it was at this point that the true sense of community emerged. Instead of people staring and waiting for me to finish, the entire class gathered around me and began shouting words of encouragement; “Keep going! Don’t stop! 2 more reps! You’ve got this!” I gained an instant boost in confidence and powered through the workout. Upon completion I had to ice my hand from the amount of high-fives I had to give out haha. CrossFit is the only sport I can think of where the person in last place gets the loudest cheers.

CrossFit Select's Brad Rodo success story

Brad Rodo’s Success Story: 250lbs (left) and 178lbs (right)

After my first class I was hooked. I began increasing my workouts to twice a week. Weeks past and my confidence levels grew. I knew what I was doing and having fun while doing so. I was feeling stronger but still felt “fat” (even though it had only been 3.5 months, I was eager to see better results). That’s when I heard about the Paleo Challenge. I had tried dieting in the past without success. This was different, this wasn’t so much a “diet” as it was a challenge of mental determination. The idea is simple. Eat clean, see results. I decided to give it a shot and off I went. Let me tell you, if you think CrossFit support is huge, try the Paleo Challenge. The support and tips and ideas from friends and strangers alike blew me away. It was tough, but worth it. I instantly began seeing results and by the end of the 8 week challenge, I saw myself go from 210lbs to 188lbs. Not since before university did I see my health and weight at this level. I felt great, and looked it too! Not only did I prove myself wrong about “dieting”, but I showed myself what was truly possible if I put my mind to it.

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Brad at Element Team Challenge 2014

Not long after starting the Paleo Challenge, word spread around the gym about “The Open”. What was this thing everyone was talking about? And why was it so important. Turns out the Open is a world-wide competition where any and all CrossFitters can complete set workouts, submit their scores and see where they ranked on a world scale. Considering it, I figured that since I was new to CrossFit, and I was doing Paleo, that this would be an excellent “benchmark” to see where I started. At the end of the Open, I was happy with my results. I finished somewhere around the middle of pack for my age group and for my box. More importantly, I gained an understand of what my weaknesses were. I began upping my workouts to 5-6 days a week which in turn also began upping my results. I began hitting PR’s more frequently, which in turn upped my spirits. The thing that is so awesome about CrossFit Select is not only the people, but the coaches. Each one brings something different to the table. It’s that variety that keeps things interesting and keeps me wanting to come back for more. I started this journey overweight, out of shape and unhappy. I am proud to say that after one year, 2 Paleo challenges, The Open, and some amazing support, and dedication, I’ve lost over 65lbs, put on muscle, and made life-long friendships. You know how at the end of those diet/exercise infomercials they say “results not typical”? these results ARE typical…. If you’re willing to work for it!

Brad at Crossfit Open Games 2014

Brad at Crossfit Open Games 2014

Quinn – I lost 40 pounds!

Whoaaaaaaa what is this CrossFit Gimmick, is that what you’re thinking? I know I was. I didn’t want to be HUGE! The workouts look insane? and what about all these negative stories? Well, CrossFit Select changed my mind from the second I walked through the doors to A BIG POSITIVE, SUPPORTIVE AND ENCOURAGING FAMILY!

Quinn's success story - before picture

 

Pre-CrossFit Select.

 

I was always athletic as a kid and into my early 20’s until I encountered a few unfortunate events of life that left me with floating cartilage in both shoulders, a tilted pelvis and an awkward yet minor back problem. I lost all motivation in my 20’s and my activity came to a screeching halt! My weight loss/gain has been all of the place for the past 6 years. I tried ever diet/circuit training/ commercial gym and even an expensive personal trainer/nutrionist,Quinn's success story - After picture nothing worked!. It always came back. I lost 40 pounds due to a bum thyroid (metabolism) running on overdrive WOOHOO. I had my Thyroid removed and BAM back to 198lbs in 3 months..

 

I walked through the doors at CrossFit Select in March 2014 at 188lbs. I left my first WOD (work out of the day) dripping in sweat and grinning from ear to ear! I DID IT. With the help of Owner Tommy Snarr and the most amazing coaching staff within a few weeks they had made me realize that biggest obstacle to building and maintaining a healthy lifestyle was me. So I made a promise that I would see my CROSSFIT family and eat healthy for 30 days. It was during the pain, sweat and tears of WOD after WOD for 30 days (4-5 days a week) that I knew I was “ready for change”

 

CROSSFIT SELECT has given me my health back, NO MORE Physical Therapists. Crossfit itself, optimizes fitness by a constantly varied functional movement, performed at relatively high intensity and CROSSFIT SELECT is CROSSFIT at its finest. The dedication of OWNER Tommy Snarr, his Coaching staff and its members make this box my family! Just checkout the FACEBOOK page and you’ll see. Owner Tommy keeps our WODS fresh, you’ll never be bored, and he’s great for a laugh, cry, scream or dance! Coach Holly has Rainbows and Unicorns following her around. A TRUE inspiration to our BOX, you need a motivation/positivity boost, find her, the one with the constant smile. Coach Lori, will kick you in the ass and you will be laughing while sweating through a WOD, that you will both love and dread. Coach Steve = Mr Stretch, best stretching routines ever!. Coach Chris, always seems to have the workout/stretch/answer you need! I’m sure, I’m missing a few coaches whom I haven’t had a chance to work with, but the one thing I can say for sure is, this is a family who will welcome you with open arms. A family that will encourage you and help you grow physically, mentally and emotionally, because everything we do, we do it TOGETHER! As family we will sweat, cry, laugh and yell, and always pick you up from the pile of sweat in which you lie! I cant say enough about our box, come check us out, you wont regret adopting CROSSFIT SELECT as your newest family member(s)