athlete-of-the-month (1)

Ash & Amanda

February 2016

About The AthletesIMG_7415

Ash and Amanda started with us about 6 months ago and have become positive, passionate and very progressive members of our CFC community. Not a class goes by that they don’t seem to enter and exit with a smile, they are highly coachable and have truly welcomed and now embody the CrossFit spirit and mentality.

A little more about them…

What got you into Crossfit, how long have you been doing it and what keeps you coming back?

Ash – I first heard about CrossFit back in 08 or 09 after watching some videos online and I thought it might be for me due to the intensity and variety and in general how fun it looked. Rugby and various other self-imposed roadblocks meant I didn’t try it until last September – too bad I waited so long as I’m hooked! The social aspect, challenging myself and therapeutic time spent in ‘the dark place’ are what keeps me coming back!

Amanda – Ashley and I joined Crossfit together after we moved from Toronto to Winnipeg 6 months ago. We were looking for a new physical challenge that we could do together, and also to hopefully meet some new like- minded people in our new home!

What are some of your non-crossfit hobbies or activities?

Ash – travelling, motorcycles, running, biking, camping, spending time with friends/socializing and anything involving exercise (tough mudder, 5k runs, sports tournaments etc – pretty much down for anything!).

Amanda – Anything in nature! Love to run, cycle, hiking, canoeing, backcountry camping, exploring, and travelling. Love any and all new experiences and adventures- even going on the back of Ashley’s motorcycle! I also have a passion for nutrition and cooking (especially vegan/vegetarian), and learning about how nutrition and lifestyle factors affect our health- yes, this is my healthcare brain at work!


One sentence to describe CFC from your perspective…

Ash – Welcoming and fun community atmosphere with a high level of attentive coaching.

Amanda – CFC is an incredibly supportive and positive Crossfit community.

What is your favorite part of CFC?10645113_10101847863993121_4971971967076673263_n

Ash – getting lost in the rhythm/routine of that 1.5hrs of my day: warmup, instruction, fitness, metcon, warmdown, go home. Day-to-day life can get to be a lot, after just 6 months I already look forward to that hour and a half every day where you can switch off, leave your day at the front door and completely be yourself. You can have a chat and a laugh, push your limits, get given the tools by your coaches to push those limits and then willingly attempt to kill yourself in a Metcon!

Amanda – The community feeling. Having moved to Winnipeg not knowing anyone except for one another, we truly feel like part of a community here at CFC. That community feeling has really helped us transition to our new life here in Winnipeg. I have a demanding day job working on a spinal cord injury/amputee rehabilitation team, and coming to CFC helps me to completely unplug and leave everything behind for that hour. The coaching is incredibly high quality, the coaches pay unique attention to each member and help pull out the strengths in everyone.

Favorite and least favorite movement/workout, and why?

Ash – Favorite – back squat and clean, back squat as I enjoy the amount of weight I lift and clean because with my shoulder it’s the only Olympic lift I can do and I love how simple yet complex it is.

Least Favorite: I have a very competitive personality so anything I can’t keep up with the rest of the class on either speed wise in the Metcon or weight wise in lifting. At the minute that is any overhead movement: squat, snatch etc due to an old shoulder injury but it is starting to get better slowly and I hope to eventually make it into a strength!

Amanda – Favorite- Overhead squats and Snatch. With both of these movements demand strength from your whole body and doing them makes me feel strong!

Least Favorite – Cleans. Hopefully one day this will become one of my favorites, but for now it is one movement/technique I continue to struggle with. Attending barbell classes is starting to pay off and it is getting better week-by-week.

Favorite superhero, band/musician or celebrity, and why?

Ash – Spiderman (swinging from the buildings looks fun) and right now Broods, a band from New Zealand who I think have a cool sound and anything that gets me pumped for a metcon.

Amanda – I’ll definitely have to choose music on this one. I love all types, but some of my favourite bands right now include Of Monsters and Men, Alt-J, Mumford and Sons, and Florence and the Machine.

I also have to tell a bit on Ashley here- he forgot to mention that he puts “Get Low” by Dillon Francis on repeat (at least a few times) before each Crossfit class to get us going!

Biggest/proudest/latest accomplishment or PR?Ash MU

Ash – honestly – hurting my back a few months back and learning to squat from scratch and all round shoulder mobility improvement. With the squatting I pushed too hard with bad form (even after coaching – I didn’t listen!) and had to eat humble pie for a few weeks air squatting and working on mobility. It has helped me with everything I’ve been doing since at CrossFit and has given me the correct appreciation of the importance of mechanics before intensity. Also, first muscle up last week was pretty awesome too – surprising but awesome!

Amanda – Starting to be able to ‘Rx’ some metcons! Definitely not all or most, but more and more, which feels great! On my way to getting pull-ups and double unders ask me again in a couple of months I hope to be able to do both. I’m also proud of taking part in the 2016 Open, going to give it my all and have a great time doing it!

What’s your take on our coaching team?

Ash – firstly all the coaching is top notch and this is a mean question trying to make us choose! Each have their own strengths coaching specific but Shane has the best catch phrases (mostly how much the word spicy has entered my everyday lexicon), Jason the best ability to make people lift heavy to cheesy music, Matt the oddest warmups or alternate cues/fixes and Taylor the first person I’ve ever met with a personal chef!

Amanda – They have all been incredibly supportive! I was really starting from scratch from a technique point of view, and all of the coaches have been extremely supportive and patient with me. Taylor is very inspiring and his positive attitude is always appreciated! When I think I’ve had a tough workout I’ll see his posts on social media and think that next time I’m sure I could push that little bit harder! Shane has a knack for paying close and special attention to each person in class, giving very personalized cues and tips which I really value. Matt helps me to see how I can approach working toward the movements in new ways – my back is still sore from ‘negative pull-ups’ from last week! Jason’s high energy and positivity help motivate me on even my most tired days, and always motivates me to work to my best!

Do you have any goals set for the near future – in or outside of CFC?IMG_8305

Ash – in CFC, keep bringing the numbers up, work towards being able to Rx+ all the workouts/start doing the advanced part of the class and compete regularly by the end of the year. Outside of CFC, getting married in July is obviously pretty high up there and continuing to settle into and make friends here in Winnipeg.

Amanda – Starting to be able to ‘Rx’ some metcons! Definitely not all or most, but more and more, which feels great! On my way to getting pull-ups and double unders ask me again in a couple of months I hope to be able to do both. I’m also proud of taking part in the 2016 Open, going to give it my all and have a great time doing it!

Give us a little known fact about yourself…

Ash – when I was a baby I was in a TV advert for Diapers in Turkey. Apparently brown hair and brown eyes is big there. Yes, seriously this happened. No – I don’t have a copy of the tape. No – neither does my mother.

Amanda – I took a year off between my undergraduate and masters degrees to travel the world with a best friend. I have a tattoo on my foot to commemorate that trip that says ‘All over the world’ written in Thai. Whenever I look at that it reminds me of all of my life’s adventures and ignites my wanderlust!

Coaches Comments

Ash and Amanda have been a great addition to CFC. They bring such a positive energy every time they come in. While they usually workout together they both have a different approach. Ash comes in and always wants to push the boundaries and has learned to take his time and work technique. His gains and his form have improved greatly. Amanda takes a more methodical approach and is always asking about her positioning, which is fantastic. She has built a solid base from which to grow. They both have such a competitive spirit that is infectious much like my virus I had lol. They best part is they know how to ha e fun and make those around feel relaxed. They take pointers from the coaches very well and tradition that into results. The also make the class so enjoyable for the coaches. CFC is very lucky to have all the people that we do. – Coach Jason

Definitely a pair of good willed and stand-up human beings! Our first class together was intro to dead-lifting, it was filled with some laughs A LOT of technical work trying to get Ash to straighten those arms and trying to get Amanda’s hips working on some kettle-bell swings. Fast-forward 6 months and I am amazed at the movement progress and more so the level of intensity these two go through in literally every single metcon we do. It can be air squats and push ups and you better believe they are both going 110% until the last second for every rep; and as a coach and fellow athlete working along side them from time to time, this is exactly what we strive and ask for. The level of coach-ability and excitement they both have day-in and day-out continues to amaze me and frankly I love every chance I get to work alongside both of them sporadically on Saturday mornings. You guys are awesome! – Coach Taylor

Ash has made leaps and bounds since arriving at CFC. He started off on a bad note with some poor posture issues and shoulder problems, but with a lot of hard work he has improved his mobility and overhead positions a whole lot! He never had an issue when we modified workouts for him because he always knew we had his best interests in mind. Keep up the hard and consistent work and you will be crushing overhead squats before you know it. Amanda is just the best. Upon arriving at CFC she had little introduction to the barbell movements, and after a small amount of time here, she has grown to love them. She has a competitive edge which causes her to push to her limits and work with focused energy each time she walks through those doors. Her Olympic lifting is something she always wants to get better at and I appreciate her focus and hard work. They are both a pleasure to be around in class, coach and chat with on a weekly basis. Thanks for making CFC your CrossFit home, we love having you guys!!  – Coach Matt

 Ash and Amanda are awesome. Overtime we’ve become great friends, and I absolutely love the attitude both of these people bring to the gym. Coming from the same circumstance when I started CrossFit (Stephanie and I started together) – I can see that same competitive spirit and willingness to learn that Stephanie and I had when we started. Ash’s dedication to the mobilization of his shoulders has impressed me a lot. It’s been a limiting factor for him since he’s started, but he’s listened to the coaches, stayed away from movements he cannot do and worked hard to get his shoulders to move the way he needs them to move. It’s a testament of will and character especially when your partner (Amanda) comes in and can do all the movements (and do them well!). That being said, these two are rare gem who have embraced the CrossFit Corydon community through and through, and I can’t wait to see how they progress in the future. – Coach Shane


The CFC Coaching Team