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The Open is coming!


I have decided to dedicate the next handful of blogs to something I am very excited about: the Crossfit Open of 2015. Whether you are participating in the Open or not, I think it’s survival to all crossfitters to constantly be reminding ourselves why we started in the first place.  On those inevitable days where doubt creeps in, we must always remember the initial reason for stepping into CFAA and committing ourselves to crossfit. We’re all driven by a different purpose- fitness goals, post rehab, family, vanity; the list could go on and on. For myself, beginning crossfit was about finding a passion, showing myself I could commit and grow with the intention of being good at something. One thing I’ve been forced to uncover through all this training and blogging is the deep and underlying purpose why I chose to do crossfit.

As a child, growing up my mother was always so impressed with everything I did, “Oh my god, you drew a heart! That is THE best heart I’ve ever seen!” Where as my father’s reaction would be more along the lines of “Ya, it’s a fuckin’ heart.” In my mother’s eyes everything I did was impressive, therefore I had to strive harder to impress my father or to make him proud- maybe this was some sort of parenting tactic they were trying, who knows. One thing that has recently become undeniable is that my father is proud of me and for what I have accomplished through crossfit

In life I’m assuming there are always people we look to for further recognition, to hear them say the words “I’m proud of you”. We all have those people who create opportunity for us. Those people who plant the seeds in our heads and watch them bloom into hopes and dreams. The people who tell you to reach for the stars and to never ever give up. These are the people who will indirectly push us to always be better. I would like to share with you a story of the person who makes me want to be become better at crossfit, the person who undoubtedly engulfs me with motivation and deep down is the person who pushes me to continue with crossfit.

My father might be one of the toughest people I’ve ever known. As a retired sports journalist the man can recite any fact about any sport from any year. His love for sports and writing went hand in hand as he pursued his career in journalism. We all have those people in our life who are the voice in our heads, pushing us to do better, those who we look to for recognition or for a job well done. My father is my motivator and is someone I try and always make proud. However, even as someone I look up to, he’s completely out of his mind (in the best way possible).

An avid beer-league hockey player in his younger days, papa Smiley loved to fight. He loved to get in people’s faces and defend his teammates- any opportunities to toss the gloves, he did. Gord loved fighting so much that when it came to his 31st birthday my mother asked him what he would like as a birthday gift. He looked at her and said, “I would love to get into a bar-room brawl.” My mother’s reply was, “Gord, you have a child. You’re really starting to lose it.” Needless to say I’m sure he got his paws dirty a few times, even with his wife and daughter (me) at home.  Participating in any sports, like hockey, football, baseball- nicknames are always used. In my father’s case, as a beer league hockey all-star (barely) his nickname was “Smiles” because of our last name, Smiley. Profanity encircles all competitive sporting events, and my father, growing up on the mean streets of Selkirk, Manitoba had no problem tossing around the ol’ f-bombs; actually I’m sure he welcomed it.

One of my favourite stories from my father, which I probably will never forget and have used on a number of occasions, is one from his old veteran hockey days. Mr. Smiley, being the large human he is, would always defend his teammates and be a relentless force on the ice. The story in a nutshell goes a little something like this:

A dirty hit was made on my father’s buddy, Sully, so Mr. Smiley backtracked around and crosschecked the guy who made the bad hit and the conversation went something like this:

“Fuck you Smiles!”

“Fuck me? No pal, fuck you.”

For some reason unbeknownst to me, I love hearing the story over and over again. Given a gift with words and voice mirroring that of Morgan Freeman, the man can weave a tail and will, without a doubt, leave you spellbound no matter how vulgar or ridiculous the story is.

The point in all this is as we enter the 2015 Open we have to be ready and relentless. Attack each workout with great force and determination to defend our characters so the workouts don’t completely trample over us. My father knows nothing about crossfit but at the end of the day will still tell you if life, a person or workout pushes against you, you must always dig in and push back!




I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle, victorious. – Vince Lombardi


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