Name: Tanya Rutledge
Occupation: Kindergarten Teacher
What was your fitness background before CrossFit?
Up until I graduated high school, I thrived on being on any and every team: rowing, soccer, volleyball, basketball, badminton, jiu jitsu. Dance was also part of my life for 15 years. After high school, my physical activity seriously declined.
How long have you been doing CrossFit? What was your first WOD, do you remember?
I've been doing CrossFit for almost two years now! A friend of mine who had been a CrossFitter for a couple of years sent me a Facebook post saying that a new CrossFit gym was opening in St. Catharines and they were offering a free introductory class. I checked out the link and signed up for the class the following day. I was scared to death when I walked into the box for my first WOD. Justin was leading the warm-up and I just about died after the 4 rounds of jumping jacks, squats, mountain climbers and jump squats (mine were more like bunny hops at that point!). Then, we learned the intricacies of a proper squat for our skill session. My first WOD ever consisted of a 10-minute AMRAP of box step-ups, pushups and situps. It was so challenging, but exhilarating!! Even though I couldn't walk properly or sit down on a toilet without exclaiming for a few days, I signed myself right up for one more free class and then the Fundamentals program. It was love at first squat!!
How has CrossFit changed your life? How has it imporved your mental and/or physical wellbeing?
Oh, let me count the ways CrossFit has changed my life. I'm a stronger person, physically, for sure. I'm faster, more agile, steadier. I can play longer, throw further, kick harder. I can lift anything I need to. My daughter just said the other day, "Dad's older, but Mom's stronger." And, it's true! Not only am I stronger physically, I'm stronger mentally. I'm more confident in my career, my social life, my marriage and as a mother. I feel more able to stand up for what I believe in and say what I mean. Choosing to focus on my health and just on ME for that one hour a day, 3 or 4 days a week, has changed my life. CrossFit has changed my life.
What are your goals in the next 3-6 months?
I had a dream the other night in which I was doing double-unders with such ease, my feet were barely touching the ground and that rope was effortlessly whip-whipping around. I would like to make this dream come true!
I would also like to work on improving my squat clean which is still not the most natural lift for me.
What do you love about CrossFit St. Catharines? Share one of your favourite moments with us.
When I joined other gyms in years past, I couldn't figure out why I hated them and why I always ended up letting my membership lapse. I figured I was just lazy and unmotivated. What was lacking was the team aspect that had kept me so active in my younger years. CrossFit St. Catharines brought that back to me. I felt it the instant I walked in the first time and it's never left me. Everyone is so supportive and you truly feel like you're all in it together, as a team, working, pushing, groaning and cheering. It's awesome. We're constantly hearing (and saying) "Way to go!", "You can do it!", "You're almost there!" "Good job!" I've had so many amazing moments at CrossFit St. Catharines, but one that makes me smile is when we were doing a particularly gruelling, chipper-style WOD and our morning crew was joined by a newbie for his first workout after graduating from the Fundamentals program. As the "Woodies" finished one by one, we could see that this guy was struggling to finish his last round. Even though we were all completely tanked, we got up and joined in for an extra round of burpees to help him finish off. This is just one example, though. I've witnessed moment after moment just like this -- and that's why I love CrossFit St. Catharines!