About The Athlete
Vanessa started with CFC fall 2016 out of curiosity and to change-up her current exercise routine. Since then she has not only become a staple member / personality in both our CrossFit and Boot-camp programs. She has made and experienced some EXCEPTIONAL progress in her strength components, conditioning and general willingness to suffer a little more today for the energy and well-being tomorrow.
Vanessa’s enthusiasm and outgoing personality embodies the characteristics of our CFC community. Her output per body-weight, movement quality and attention to detail makes for a power-house combination and of course a pleasure to coach and work along side. We are excited to see the progress she’ll make in 2018 and congratulate her on everything she’s achieved thus far! Go Vanessa!
A little more about them…
What got you into Crossfit, how long have you been doing it and what keeps you coming back?
I’ve always been interested in Crossfit but I was too nervous to check it out in Toronto myself. When we moved to Winnipeg, I capitalized on Matt’s research into a good gym and signed up where he did. I think he made a great choice. I started in On Ramp in Nov 2016. I was a little intimidated and apprehensive at first but it’s the people that keep me coming back. Also, it helps when you have a scary Russian (Tanya) to yell at you when you want to bail. In all sincerity, joining CFC is the best thing I could have done to transition into a city where I knew no one and had no friends. It’s really made Winnipeg feel like home.
What are some of your non-crossfit hobbies or activities?
I think Rihanna summed it up best – werk, werk, werk, werk, werk. Work keeps me pretty busy but I always make time for fun stuff like eating, reading, hiking, eating, baking..hmmm…and eating. I love trying new restaurants so please send me your recommendations!
One sentence to describe CFC from your perspective…
A really fit and friendly family.
What is your favorite part of CFC?
The challenge. There’s nothing more satisfying than getting that gold star.
Favorite and least favorite movement/workout, and why?
Favourite: Double-unders because I’m so much better at them than Matt.
Least favourite: Assault bike. I don’t know what kind of sadistic person created that machine. Really though, anything that requires long legs. The struggle is real, people!
Favorite superhero, band/musician or celebrity, and why?
I love Chris Hadfield. He’s so down-to-earth for someone who has spent so much time away from it. I’m a super-nerd, I know.
Biggest/proudest/latest accomplishment or PR?
Kipping pull-up. Boom. Mic drop.
What’s your take on our coaching team?
All the CFC coaches are AWESOME and really know how to lead by example. I constantly brag about them to all my friends. I’m like that annoying mom that boasts about her kids to anyone that will listen. And like all moms would say, I don’t have a favourite because all my coaches are special in their own way. In alphabetical order:
Jason. I love when Jason coaches. He has this unbridled energy and enthusiasm that is contagious. Jason is always looking out for everyone in the gym and is super helpful when you’re struggling with a movement. Plus, he has a killer early 2000s love ballad playlist.
Jenna. Don’t be fooled by her modest demeanor. She is a powerhouse of a woman. Jenna’s strength and her ability to out-lift many men at CFC is a recurring conversation piece in the Downey-Tran household. She is also one of the most genuinely nice people you will ever meet. Thank you for all the why-do-you-hate-us-so-much Bootcamp workouts, but mostly, thank you for being a friend.
Michelle. Speaking of strong ladies, have you seen Michelle do bar muscle-ups?! Wow, are they beautiful! Michelle was my On-Ramp coach and I couldn’t ask for anyone better to teach me the basics of CrossFit. She can so easily point out ways to refine those aerobic movements to make them more efficient. Thanks to Michelle, I can do a fairly decent beat swing instead of flopping on the bar like a fish out of water.
Shane. Shane was the first person I met at CFC. He was so welcoming and made me feel really comfortable when I first started. He has so much experience with lifting and can give great cues that will get you those gold stars. He has also mastered the nice-scolding. Like when you’re feeling lazy and aren’t pushing that hard, he will call you out with a smile on his face. He has a way of knowing when you’re ready to scale-up, even if you don’t know it yourself. Ain’t nothing to it but to do it, right Shane?
Steph. Steph exudes this maturity that really impresses me. I’m always happy when I come to CFC and find that Steph is coaching. She is so knowledgeable in the kinetics of each movement and can explain the science behind it. She is also very encouraging and is genuinely interested in your improvement as an athlete. Not to mention, she can stretch you like a pro! Steph, you’re really changing my opinion on millennials.
Taylor. Taylor’s dedication to fitness is inspiring. I’ve never met anyone so committed to self-improvement. His passion for CrossFit is embodied in those insane METCONs that you don’t think are humanly possible but leave you feeling awestruck when you actually finish them. Taylor, you’ve helped me gain muscles in places I never knew possible.
Tyler. Tyler’s expertise in physiology, muscle conditioning, and stretching is the perfect addition to the coaching team. You can always count on a warm smile and great workout from him. It’s rare that I have him as a coach in the PM classes but when I do, it’s an absolute treat.
Do you have any goals set for the near future – in or outside of CFC?
CFC goals: 1 strict pull-up, stringing together kipping pull-ups, back-squatting 1.5x my body weight.
Non-CFC goals: finding a big girl job as a Clinical Microbiologist.
Give us a little known fact about yourself…
The only interesting fact I have about myself is that I was born in a refugee camp in Malaysia. Otherwise, I’m just an average girl below average in height.
Thanks for reading!
Vanessa had a fantastic 2017. She brings an awesome attitude every time she comes to the gym. She has embraced the community aspect of crossfit and has so much fun each class. She has really turned a corner when it comes to fitness and pushes herself harder each class. I hope she continues to bring it in 2018 and continues to grow as an athlete. She really does bring a great vibe to all the classes she attends. Good luck in 2018 and continue to grow and have fun. – Coach Jason.
I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing and coaching Vanessa from day #1 and the progress she has made, the strength she recuits and enthusiasm she exudes is nothing short of incredible. I am constantly amazed at the effort and determination she puts forth in every squat, every press and every workout no matter how long or how terrible it can get.In her ealy days at CFC, Vanessa’s reserved and very cautious/careful personality and appoarch allowed her to absorb everythign we as a coaching team had to give her and this continues today, the benfits of which shes reeps in every repitition or lift she performs. It is her attention to detail, openmindedness and willingness to try and learn new things that makes her a stand-out member and person in general. Not to mention, she loves a little suffering! I don’t think anyone fist-bumbs or high-fives as powerfully as she does AFTER a workout. She has either unlimited energy or is sneakign coffee breaks in-between sets; either way, we all ought to espire to have a little more of what she has mentally. She’s a great personality to have in our community and an even more intersting individual outside of the gym. I couldn’t be prouder of her progress and grateful to be a part of it. – Coach Taylor
(Dr.) Vanessa is one of the most hard-working individuals you will ever meet. A true scholar. Humble, kind and intelligent are three words that best describe Vanessa. She beams with positivity and is always willing to provide academic and/or life advice. Despite everything she has on her plate, including completing her SECOND post-doc…she makes fitness a priority and is a consistent member in crossfit and bootcamp classes. She pays close attention to movement mechanics and pushes herself to reach her goals. Congrats Vanessa, you deserve it!! – Coach Steph
Vanessa along side her partner Matt are a fitness duo! Since joining CrossFit Corydon, her dedication to improving her fitness is remarkable. I’m excited every time she’s in my class because I know she will always pay attention to form, and be relentless in the metcon. Month after month these seem to be the common traits that help us decide on an athlete of the month. Congrats!! – Coach Shane
Vanessa a pocket sized powerhouse and joy to coach. She is always so focused on the task at hand, all the while having fun. She is also very consistent, coming to classes 5 days a week. I always love seeing Vanessa working on gymnastics skills and I’ve seen a lot of improvement especially with pull-ups. Probably helps that she is pro at hollow rocks. – Coach Michelle
The CFC Coaching Team