Ashley is one of the Owners here at CrossFit St. Catharines and loves every second she gets to spend influencing, coaching and helping people change their life for the better every single day!
I started CrossFit in May 2012 and immediately fell in love with the crazy workouts! I thought I had been working out at a high level, until CrossFit proved me to be wrong, very wrong. As most people figure out - its very humbling.
Not only did I fall in love with the level of training, I fell in love with the community that I was welcomed into from the very first day. My first CrossFit workout was alongside an amazing lady named Wendy, a grandmother in her early 50’s, and to my other side was a Brock University student in her early 20’s - and we were all slugging away at the same things. Sweating, swearing and laughing every step of the way. Just another amazing thing I love about CrossFit - anyone can do it! Right away I knew this was something I wanted to engulf myself in, in every aspect.
Shortly after starting CrossFit, I started training competitively in hopes of making the Canada East Regionals. Again, taking my training to another level, I fell deeper into the 'Kool-Aid' bucket.
Within 2012, I started coaching CrossFit as an intern and obtained my Level 1 CrossFit Certification. I also qualified for CrossFit Games Canada East Regionals and placed 18th overall in my first year (2013). Since then I have done several competitions and managed to qualify for the East Regionals in both 2015 and 2016.
Opening CrossFit St. Catharines and building our amazing team was one of the best decisions I've ever made. Being able to bring together an incredible community unlike any other, helping people on a daily basis to realize their potential in ways they never thought possible and being able to do it while dancing, laughing and having a blast is something I wouldn’t trade for anything. Every single day I get to come to "work"... but its never work, its my passion and I love every second.
Justin is part owner here at CrossFit St. Catharines and takes superior pride in every opportunity to change someones life when they walk through our doors.
During my undergraduate degree at Brock University I played for the varsity baseball team. I was a part of the 2010 OUA gold medal and CIBA silver medal team. Although finishing on a high note with the team, I needed to undergo reconstructive surgery on my shoulder from baseball injuries. Since the surgery in June 2011 I have recovered well and couldn't have done it so successfully and quickly without CrossFit. I am now able to compete in CrossFit competition and most importantly have fun training for it.
Having a background in Kinesiology and having to recover from injuries and surgery myself, I am happy to program for those with injuries, in need of rehab, physiotherapy and recovery.
I am a Level 1 Certified CrossFit trainer and have completed the CrossFit Judges course to benefit my training skills and to apply this knowledge to judge competition athletes. I love training others as much as I love training myself and I will always bring energy, enthusiasm, and knowledge to anyone I train at CrossFit St. Catharines or anywhere else. There is nothing more exciting to me than seeing someone realize their potential and achieving their goals that are geared towards health, fitness, and quality of life.
My coaching and leadership background through my coaching experience in minor hockey, and amateur baseball instruction with the Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Academy allows me to further educate our off season team training.
Tim is our Senior Coach and has been an avid part of our crew at CFSTC. Tim has shown us admirable commitment and training during his years with us. He is a gentle giraffe, but will whip you into shape in no time!
I was introduced to CrossFit in high school by one of my teachers. I went to St. Clair College in Windsor for 1 year where I played baseball until arm injuries forced me to stop playing competitively. I started my degree in Kinesiology at Brock University in 2012, but still had not decided what I wanted to do. But when I had my first official CrossFit class in January 2013, I knew this would be a new passion of mine.
My first workout was coached by Justin, and it left me lying on the floor. Originally my plan was only to try CrossFit for a month, then return to a traditional gym with some new skills. However, after that first workout I knew I was hooked, and I haven't looked back since.
The competitive atmosphere gave me back something I had been missing and definitely needed since baseball. This, along with the amazing community that is CrossFit, kept me coming back for more. In the fall of 2013 I joined the Crossfit St. Catharines Competitive team, and a few months later I began interning with the trainers.
My athletic background revolves mostly around baseball and other high school sports. In high school I played for the basketball and baseball teams, and was also a part of the track team for my junior years. My main sport has always been baseball in which I started playing when I was five years old and still play on a senior team. I was fortunate enough to be a part of two OBA championship teams, OFSSA finalists, and played at the Junior A level for three years, before going off to college. My passion for baseball gave me the opportunity to help coach for younger teams as well. I've used this experience to assist in my ability to be an effective coach at this box. I hope to use my passion for crossfit to help everyone grow theirs as well!
Katelyn is an incredibly passionate, bubbly and determined lady. She brings so much energy and laughter to our team and every class she coaches!
After graduating Brock University in 2012, and Niagara College in 2013, like most 23 year olds, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I filled the void of no longer being a student with working out. My brother was the first to introduce me to CrossFit. Growing up I was always an active individual. Focusing mainly on soccer, but I began to lose interest as I started getting older. I decided to give muay thai a try, but felt the team aspect was missing. I needed something to fill the missing aspect of sport in my life. In April 2014, when I joined Crossfit St.Catharines it did just that.
The day I walked in to Crossfit St.Catharines for my first fundamentals class, I was so excited to see everyone working out together, and knew right away that this is where I belonged! I quickly immersed myself into the community; joining the competitive team, and a year later in 2015 I wrote my CrossFit Level 1. Crossfit has also taught me to consistently set goals, and work hard to achieve those goals. This is something I am passionate about, and want to help our members with, figuring out their own goals and achieving them!
I am very thankful and excited to be joining an already stacked team of coaches here at Crossfit St.Catharines. As a self proclaimed big kid, I am looking forward to helping develop the new generation of CrossFitters, through our little lifters program!
Vanessa is a very passionate, encouraging and strong female presence here at CFSTC! She's full of determination, dedication and fire!
In the summer of 2015 I decided I needed a change in my life. I was bored with my gym routine and was not seeing any results. One day I decided I would check out CrossFit St. Catharines just to see what it was all about. The atmosphere really stood out to me when I walked in so I immediately registered for a class to get started.
I absolutely fell in love with it! It was the perfect workout routine, challenging my body in aspects I’ve never tested before. Later that week I signed up for the year and ever since I knew I’d never go back to a standard gym again.
In high school, I played rugby and I was on two competitive cheerleading teams. I then attended Brock University for Statistics integrated with computers which resulted in a heavy workload. Therefore, I was not able to play rugby or compete in cheerleading because they both had very high commitment standards. I decided to try out for the hip-hop team at Brock and competed in my very first dance competition. I stuck with it for 2 years, until I found CFSTC. This became my biggest priority and I’ve never been happier!
When the opportunity to become a coach came to me, I instantly said yes with no doubt in my mind. I knew I would love coaching based on how much I loved creating and teaching Cheerleading/Dance routines. To see the growth and success in others is very rewarding for both myself and the girls I’ve taught.
Leadership is an aspect that is very important in my life. The amount of skills, lessons, and knowledge one can develop through being a coach is incredible and up-lifting.
CrossFit St. Catharines is the best part of my day and nothing is better than going to a job you love. The members here are absolutely amazing and I can’t wait to be a part of them conquering their goals!
• Level 1 CrossFit Certified
• Bachelor of Science, Brock University (Math Integrated with Computer Applications)
• Golden Key Society Member
• Dance Teacher, St. Francis Secondary School
MELISSA MARYNISSEN FRANK
Little Lifters Kids Coach
A sommelier by day, a Ninja-JR Coach by night ... Melissa is a fiery, fit and fun Mamma who loves to instil a happy and healthy lifestyle for our Little Lifters!
I entered a CrossFit gym for the first time in November 2013, I really had no idea what it was, what I was doing or what would happen. But I had tried so many different workout ideas and philosophies in my lifetime I figured why not! I do not come from an athletic background. I played JV and Varsity Sports in High School but kind of stopped there, so I was a bit new to all of this at the age of 33.
From the moment I walked into my first CrossFit box, I was hooked. No other athletic venture had captured me like that before. I automatically signed up my husband and I, and now almost 4yrs later, we are both in this for life. CrossFit St. Catharines is my forever home, but part of my heart will always be with the initial box that drew me in (we switched due to relocation for work). I had never experienced this sense of community or passion in a gym before, people cared and were interested in you and your goals. The sense of accomplishment you go home with everyday is not comparable to anything else I had experienced working out before.
I was lucky enough to be able to bring my young son Dexter (now 6, but when I began he was 2 ½), with me to CrossFit. He was always interested in what was going on and eager to join in and mimic the movements. He is part of my inspiration to maintain this lifestyle. It is so important for him to grow up knowing how important our own health and taking care of our bodies is. But it is also an amazing sport to have children grow up in and experience, because it can help them in any other sports they wish to learn and advance in.
This year I was able to put some time aside and take my CrossFit Level 1. The moment I decided to take the course I knew I wanted to coach and work with kids. Kids have such an open and fresh mind when it comes to almost everything we do in the CrossFit gym. They are able to move and be free with no fear, but instead with enthusiasm and eagerness. They have raw strength and so much energy that you cannot help but feed off that and become excited to work with them. CrossFit St. Catharines has been amazing at working with me and allowing me to grow and learn with the children and watch them become the best little athletes they can be.
• Level 1 CrossFit Certified
• Certified Sommelier, Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers
Little Lifters Kids Coach
Stacie is a force of nature full of flare, sass and animation. A perfect combo for our Little Lifters crew!
Member Intake/Relations & Intermediate Assistant Coach
Jim has a genuine heart of gold, a 'dad joke' sense of humour and a strong ambition to make every single person feel welcome and part of the family from day one!
When I first heard about CrossFit, it was through some friends that had been doing it for a while. Coming from a very competitive sports background, I was interested but out of shape, so was very reluctant to try it.
Once I finally decided to give it a try, it quickly became a significant part of my everyday life. Being able to work hard, competitively, but at my own pace, and get back in to shape was amazing. But most of all, what has kept me going is the feeling I get everyday from being a part of such an amazing community of people. Just like everything else in life, it doesn't work if you don’t work at it, but if you are ready to commit to yourself, then this incredible community is ready to commit to supporting you along your adventure, and that is something you won't find anywhere else.
It is truly an honour to be selected as part of the CFSTC team, and I am really excited to be a part of this community from a new angle, and be here to support others through their transformative journey at such a top notch facility. The coaching staff here is second to none. It only takes a small step through that front door to realize you are now a part of something special!
• Bachelor of PHed with Honours, Brock University
• Former member of Canadian National Soccer Team and Canadian Soccer Academy
• Coached Ontario Provincial Womens Soccer
• Certified Coach, Coaching Association of Canada and the National Coaching Certification Program
MIRANDA TABAKA PARRO
Front Desk & Intermediate Assistant Coach
Miranda is a gentle soul with a contagious laugh that will put you in a great mood any day! She's welcoming, supportive and a killer athlete to boot!
Throughout my academic past I spent most of my time in pursuit of sport at it's highest level. This culminated for me with a proud four year university soccer career in Tennessee. After finishing my four years at Bethel University I decided to come back home and start a new focus in school to become a registered nurse. I am proud to say that I am now a registered nurse and I have the privilege of interacting with people and helping on a day to day basis trying to make their day a little better!
With my shift in focus from sport to career I was definitely left with a void from not spending many many hours each week at the soccer field. I finally decided it was time to get moving and try something new that would challenge me and allow me to immerse myself in an environment that pushes me and holds me accountable (much like my soccer family did). When I stepped in CrossFit St. Catharines there was no doubt in my mind as I knew this was the place for me. I love the training style, the coaching, the variety, and being around like minded people who push me to be my best within my training and outside of the gym too.
Just as I am excited to help people who visit me in the emergency room, I am so excited to help people learn about CrossFit St. Catharines and receive the service they deserve. I look forward to assisting CFSTC's kids program, which truly is unique to the Niagara region. And if you see me at the desk, don't hesitate to stop and say hi, ask me questions, or just chat.
- Registered Nurse
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing
I graduated from McMaster University in Civil Engineering and played competitive hockey. After hockey was over I was looking to continue working out in a similar manner. A good friend told me about crossfit.com and suggested I give those workouts a try. I went to a globo gym and squeezed in mainsite workouts while getting all the weird looks. In 2012, I took plunge of going to a Crossfit box and like many others I immediately fell in love. The Crossfit community took me in with open arms and I have never looked back. While continuing to drink the Kool-Aid, and loving every sip of it, I competed as a team member at three Crossfit Games East Regionals. The Crossfit community is like no others and will always be a part of my life.
With CrossFit listing nutrition as the basic block on the hierarchy of needs, I started to focus more attention on nutrition to have more control of my health and training. After trying a number of different diets and programs, I went through the Precision Nutrition 1 year Nutrition Coaching program which absolutely changed my life. Following that I obtained my Level 1 Certification in Nutrition Coaching and currently going through the 1 year program for Level 2 certification. Nutrition is one of the few things that has an impact every single day and it is so exciting coaching others through change and take meaningful action in their lives towards a healthy quality of life.
• Precision Nutrition Certified Coach Level 1
• Precision Nutrition Certified Coach Level 2 (currently enrolled)
• CrossFit Level 1
• CrossFit Movement and Mobility Certificate
• CrossFit Judges Certification (2014/15/16/17)
• Society of Weight Training Injury Specialists (SWIS) Seminar 2015/2016
• SWIS Exercise Muscle Testing Certification
• Canada East Regional Team - 2013/2014
• East Regional Team - 2017
I had my first experience with CrossFit over two years ago and I haven’t looked back since. I fell in love with everything CrossFit had to offer, amazing workouts, high intensity, friendly but fierce competition and a support network of people who I quickly considered family. CrossFit is equally as challenging as it is rewarding and will continue to push your limits past what you thought was possible. I am a proud Father of three wonderful children and cannot express how amazing it is to have something the entire family can do. CrossFit has shown me what the true meaning of “inclusive” really is, whether your five or eighty-five, CrossFit has universal benefits and will continue to enrich your life.
It wasn’t long after I started, before I wanted to take my Level 1 certification and have the opportunity to pass on the knowledge I was so graciously given through my coaching experiences. Coaching for me and having the privilege to help others fulfill their fitness goals is something I take great pride in. Growing up I was always active, and health and fitness was a part of my daily life and routine. I played multiple sports and was introduced to the standard gym life in my early teens, but hockey was my main passion and continued into my later years with friends. I was lucky enough to help coach the Notre Dame high school hockey team where I gained valuable experience and strategies that have directly influenced my coaching style and ability to implement several coaching styles to ensure success across broad learning abilities. Over the past year of coaching I have learned some very valuable lessons, the importance of trust, leadership, encouragement, hard work and dedication. I have been taught just as many lessons as I have given and been reminded to never stop being the student.
Our passion for CrossFit, our drive for fitness and our love for the CFSTC community are just a few things I look forward to developing and nurturing for years to come. I am very excited to join this already successful team of coaches and have the opportunity to join this amazing community.
• CrossFit Level 1 Certified
• CrossFit Spot the Flaw Course
• CrossFit Judges Course (2015/16/17)