About The Athlete
Ray joined CFC summer 2018 and has become a daily mainstay in both CrossFit and Barbell classes. His progress, worth ethic, attention to detail and sheer volume of mobility, maintenance and effort that he puts into every class, every day is legendary to say the least. His calm and friendly demeanor, and always positive personality embodies the spirit of the CFC community.
Since joining, Ray’s dedication to technique has led to countless personal bests and he continues to excel both in and outside of CFC. This past year he represented CFC in both the open and some local CF competitions and we’re sure there more of that to come.
Congrats Ray and keep pushing it.
When I was living abroad, I went to a gym (shoutout to Surfside in Barbados) that put on a six-week team competition that was similar to Fuel Your Life where we were awarded points but only for working out or attending classes. They had a WOD class that was worth DOUBLE the points of a regular class, so naturally I attended the WODs. I was immediately hooked and continued to to attend these classes even after the competition. When I returned to Winnipeg (late July 2018), I found CFC and the experience to date has been nothing short of rewarding.
I like how CrossFit has a natural competitive aspect to it (whether it be against your peers or yourself) so you can easily gauge your progression. Metcons are very humbling, sometimes you read what is on the board and think it is not worth your time but then you do it and it kicks your a** (is this PG13?). As strange as it is, this struggle keeps me coming back.
What are some of your non-crossfit hobbies or activities?
Back in my heyday, I did age-group swimming and stopped during high school and university. I recently got back into it and have really enjoyed that. However, I am often reminded by my brother that my 14 year-old self would crush me in a race.
When I’m not working or at the gym, I like to kill time watching basketball or playing video games. I also really cherish time spent with family.
One sentence to describe CFC from your perspective…
A welcoming environment with excellent coaching and inspiring athletes.
What is your favorite part of CFC?
The people at CFC is what makes it great. It truly does feel like a community and not just a bunch of strangers getting together to work out.
The coaches keep the classes light and fun but challenging at the same time. Each brings their own unique approach (more on that below), each which is effective in its own right.
I also love that classes never end on time!
Favorite and least favorite movement/workout, and why?
Least favorite: Anyone who saw me at the Festivus competition will understand that I hate hanging knee raises. I hadn’t (and still haven’t) figured out how to kip and flopping back and forth uncontrollably like a wild pendulum was rather embarrassing.
Favorite: Hands down my favorite movement is 1-min of rest. I also recently learned what a “cluster” is and wouldn’t mind seeing that in an upcoming WOD (guys, please don’t hate me).
Favorite superhero, band/musician or celebrity, and why?
I don’t really have a favorite, but in terms of superhero, I like that Wolverine isn’t the most agreeable person but always there to help when needed.
Biggest/proudest/latest accomplishment or PR?
Recently, I’ve been really happy with my oly lifts (still lots to go). I’m also proud it only takes the coach shouting at me once to kick into a handstand.
What’s your take on our coaching team?
A lot of this echos what others have said in the past, but it really can’t be said enough what kind of impact the coaches at CFC have. Whether it be directly when they are coaching or giving you pointers which they are also working out, the coaches at CFC really set the foundation and give us an environment to be the best versions of ourselves. The mix of experience that the coaching team really makes this place special. In alphabetical order…
Jason – I look forward to a team WOD when I hear Jason is attending because you know he is going to bring lots of energy and good for a hilarious moment or two during a long session. Jason is always very cheerful and encouraging during classes. Because Jason often does the Metcon during open gym, I enjoy attending his classes as he gives good advice on how we should tackle the metcon.
Lindsey – Lindsey is always offering great advice even when she is training. When Lindsey is demo-ing a lift, I always make it a point to watch. Due to schedules, I don’t see Lindsey often, but when I am able to attend her classes, she always has a great way to explain concepts.
Lisa – Lisa is really encouraging and helps pushes you to try new movements and weights. Every once in a while, she’ll seemed shocked that I’m not trying an advanced (in my view) movement and then offer to help me get there by giving tips and tricks for progression. She always has a smile on her face and I love her playlists! Lisa’s programming is also really neat and it’s fun to go to a light weight/high rep ‘buyout’ after going to a heavy.
Michelle – I don’t get to attend too many of Michelle’s classes but I often get to watch her coach the on-ramp class and see the impact she has on relatively newer members. The way she coaches really gives people the confidence required to those trying a new movement for the first time. I haven’t even talked about how much of a treat it is to watch her intensity during Barbell.
Sara – April is also Sara’s programming month! I’m sure I speak for all of us that it’s been enjoyable. I found it is a good complement to the programming I’m used to here (Greg Glasman is probably preaching “Constantly Varied” somewhere) by starting with metcons before strength or multiple short metcons. Her bubbly personality even excuses her from programming a max effort 1k row buy out after a 12 min metcon.
Shane – I’ve really appreciated how Shane doesn’t sugar coat anything. He keeps classes light but will let you know exactly where you went wrong. Instead of saying “nice try” he will say “yeah, that wasn’t it, but you need to…”. As someone who learns best from feedback, this has been very helpful for me.
Steph – Steph has probably coached me the most different times of the day. Whether it be 6am on a Thursday, 6pm on a Wednesday, or any hour on Saturday, she has approach and energy. I hope that doesn’t change after she gives up coffee! You can tell she really cares about your well-being as Steph gladly programs a 3-mile run even though that means she will have to do it. Lastly, RIP my quads in May. #sickbicepcrease
Taylor – I recently learned Taylor’s fitness story and I still can’t tell if he was pulling my leg or not. I always see him in the gym so it’s hard to fathom that at one point in his life he wasn’t training for something. Watching Taylor train has been really reinforced the importance of having a consistent focus.
Tyler – Tyler’s area of expertise and strength make him an enjoyable person to be coached by and to watch. I feel he’s always got a fix for something. Tyler shows great care in folks well being. This one time, I had some shoulder pain and I asked Tyler about it. A week later, he asked me about it and to be honest since we get aches and pains all the time, it took me a second to remember why he asked about it!
Do you have any goals set for the near future – in or outside of CFC?
Inside CFC – I’d like to get to the point where I’m not always rolling on the ground following a hard bike or row. I’ve got a few #s in my head that I’d like to hit but more than anything, I’d like to be more consistent with my lifts (assuming they have a good foundation) or improve form.
Outside CFC – I’ve always wanted to read more. I went through a phase where I bought a lot of books, I think it’s about time to move to the phase where I actually read those books!
Give us a little known fact about yourself…
I’m pretty boring, so here are some photos…
Ray is a just a great pick for athlete of the month for May. He brings a positive attitude and is always putting solid work. He is patient and understands that building proper technique doesn’t happen overnight. He also puts in a health amount of mobility, which is key for a good recovery. I like how when it’s metcon time Ray just puts his head down and goes to work and keeps chipping away at all the reps. I just want to add keep up all the hard work the results are showing that you are on the right path. – Coach Jason
Ray is one of the most consistent and determined people that has come through our doors at CFC. The time he puts into his mobility, movement and strength work is incredibly motivating. It seems like he finds something to latch on to and then eats, sleeps and learns everything about it.Many MANY times I’ve had the pleasure of coaching or working alongside Ray, seeing the focus and effort in his eyes and then basking in a pool of sweat and post-workout euphoria uttering the words “ugh, that was terrible” and then be back the next day or taking a short break before finding something new to work on. Love it.He’s always been mobile, always been humble… but now he’s getting strong, fast and comfortable with his pacing. A force to be reckoned with in both life and the community of awesomeness. Keep up the awesome work and thanks for being a part of our community. – Coach Taylor
Ray-Ray is the best. King of mobility and all things strict. The man has some serious patience – he spends more time stretching and mobilizing than he does lifting. It’s no wonder he can squat like a baby. Ray is the best at moving his own body weight around – something us science nerds call relative strength: his strength in relation to his body weight/size is on point. One of the reasons why he prefers to do all gymnastic movements strict (#jealous). That and he would rather not tear a shoulder tryna do that weird swinging thing those crossfitters like to do. He is also very good at moving external weight around too- his lifts always look beautiful. A quality over quantity kinda guy. A coaches dream.
I love having Ray in my classes both as a coach and a fellow exerciser. He’s humble, funny, and he doesn’t chirp me (one of the very few… take notes people). Thanks for joining the fam Ray – you rock! – Coach Steph
Ray is a pleasure to have in the gym! When he started, all his pull-ups were strict. Nine months later, pull ups are still strict (at quadruple the volume and strength), and he is working on that strict muscle up that he will have in no time. We know this because Ray shows up early, stays late, and puts in the work. Not just for his training, but pays close attention to his mobility and recovery. He is a regular at CF class, barbell class, and open gym. It is not uncommon for him to hang out, with a smile, and encourage everyone through the evening. We love having you a part of the CFC family Ray! Can’t wait to see what you accomplish this year! – Coach Sara
Ray loves to come in and grind it out, then do all the mobility. Something I still aim to do on a regular basis. Asks great questions and is always looking to improve. Keep up the great work Ray! – Coach Linz
The Raysian sensation! This ones been a long time coming. Mobility work, thorough warmups and cool downs… probably to many double days but his consistency is wonderful to watch. Ray is one of the best (cleanest) lifters at CFC, and that isn’t just because of his muscular stature. Ray is very coachable, asks questions when he needs answers, and stays accountable too his goals. I look forward to seeing what Ray has to offer in years from now in both CrossFit and weightlifting. Congrats Ray. – Coach Shane
The CFC Coaching Team