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Last weekend marked our fifth years organizing and hosting the FrostFit Games. It was a humble start, at our first location on Des Meurons in St. Boniface. We’ve grown tremendously, from the 50 athletes to over 170 this year. When I started CrossFit, there was no Open, no Regionals, anyone could go to California for the CrossFit Games.  I went to the Games in 2009, the year we opened CrossFit Winnipeg, with a team of four from CrossFit Winnipeg and we placed in the middle of the pack.  That year, the Games were at “The Ranch” in Aromas, not in a stadium. It was dusty and hot and there was no special area for athletes, everyone mingled with everyone else, and we had the pleasure of meeting people like CrossFit founder Greg Glassman, and now famous athletes like Chris Spealer, Miko Salo and Games Champion Annie Thorisdottir.  We had a great time, and wanted to share the experience with our members. A year later, we decide to host our own competition, so that our members could experience a taste of what we had experienced at the ranch and FrostFit was born.

A lot has changed since then. Our FrostFit Champion from 2011, 2012, and 2013, Tyson Takasaki eventually became a CrossFit Games competitor. As the pool of athletes in our sport grows, the competition bar is raised. Every year and it becomes tougher and tougher to make it to the Games. Today, most of us, including those of us who went to the Games 6 years ago, can only dream of making it to Regionals, let alone the Games. As cool as it is to see our sport grow, I’m a bit nostalgic and I miss the old days, when this was every man’s sport. And so we’ve made it our business to make sure that at some level, our sport is still accessible to everyone.  To use a hockey analogy, just because you know you’ll never make the NHL, doesn’t mean you can’t play hockey. FrostFit has now filled that competition gap, providing a platform for everyday fitness enthusiasts at a local community level. My hope is that our athletes and athletes all over Manitoba will draw inspiration and motivation from FrostFit.

There are so many people to thank.  An event like FrostFit doesn’t just happen.  It is planned out meticulously for months, and requires the coordination and cooperation of at least 50 people.  Thank you to all our volunteers, this includes judges, equipment crews, gophers, volunteers who rounded up the athletes, volunteers who ran our canteen, and registration and prepared the athlete prizes and swag bags.  We even had volunteers doing parking, cleaning bathrooms, and organizing shoes and boots!  We could not have done it without you. Special thanks to my mom Annette, who kept score and handled all the scoring and judging discussions and entered all the data, in addition to coordinating volunteers.  Thanks to my husband Steve, who spent the week getting the gym ready and moving equipment, and the entire weekend out in the freezing cold managing parking, along with my dad Claude.  It’s a shitty job, but someone’s got to do it. And of course, thanks to our manager Marc, who did all of the planning and organizing, and effortlessly handled every challenge as it came over the weekend, including filling in as MC.

Last but not least, I would like talk about all our athletes who had the courage to put themselves out there and compete. We set out to make this competition a community fun event and were very clear in our registration that the Rx category was not a regional level competition and that the scaled division was for novices. I’m sure it was not easy for our athletes to get out in front of a crowd and to compete in the Rx division knowing that some gyms would bring their top athletes, including their regional contenders.  It is a brave thing to compete and to give it your all, even when you know that your best might not be enough to win, and to do it anyway to the best of your ability. Our athletes showed a quality of movement and a level of sportsmanship that is beyond anything I’ve seen.  This says a lot for our athletes in a sport like CrossFit, already known for its community. I can say that as your coach I am proud of each and every one of you for showing up and doing your best.  Full effort is full victory.

In the Women’s Novice category, we had six teams.  This was a first competition for Sylvie and Caitlin, of Just for Fun and I was so proud of them both.  We also had a few teams who had competed once before either at FrosFit or at Prairie CrossFit’s Novice competition, including AMRAP Rappers, a team made up of Yvonne and Meghan, as well as Stefanie and Janelle of Get Fit or Die Trying, and Josee and Jessica of Bar-Belles. You all moved so well and looked fantastic. Also in this category was Margeaux and Chantel’s team, 2 Brunettes go up to the Bar, also looking fantastic, and definitely in the running for best team name. Congrats to Stephanie and Laura of Violence and Hate, who took the gold in this division by humbly and consistently doing well in every single event of the competition. Congratulations ladies, we hope to get some Violence & Hate shirts made up for barbell club, after all, there’s no other way to squat.

In the Men’s Novice category, we had three teams.  Geoff and Rameez managed to get some PRs over the weekend and looked great out there, barbell club pays off!  Trevor of Hollow Rockers was looking for a partner at the last minute and Kimbi stepped in and saved the day just two days before FrostFit, showing everyone that you don’t have to fuss and feed the nerves to enjoy a competition.  We also had a 204/CFW team up with Daryl and his partner Goyo from 204.  It’s nice to see this kind of team-up, great job guys.

In the Women’s Rx category, we had a lone CFW team, made up of coaches Meghan and Anna.  Both moved amazingly well out there, with Coach Anna earning the Quality of Movement award for here textbook technique and smiles.

In the Men’s Rx category, we had seven teams.  This division was especially fun to watch, we had such great characters and a lot of competitors we couldn’t help but cheer for because of how far they’ve come. This was a first Rx competition for Jay and Justin of Thruster? I barely know her…, as well as for Steve and Darryl, and Kent and Dominic of Swolemates. It’s pretty awesome to think that some of these guys were in On Ramp or recovering from major injuries just a year ago and to see them competing in some cases for the first time. Congrats on making the switch to Rx! In this division we also had longstanding member Scott, with his partner Taylor as part of Pull Up or Pull Out, with a solid performance, and possibly another contender for best team name.  Also in this division were Jeremy and SK, who were super fun to watch.  It’s hard not to root for such kind but strong guys, plus we’ve been trying to convince SK to compete since he started CrossFit back in 2008! Another team that was fun to watch was Red River Rebellion, made up of Coach Ren and his partner RMT extraordinaire, Gary, who also get points for matching functional costumes. We had another cross affiliate team up in this division, made up of CFW’s Jamie and his partner Darren, of Top Notch CrossFit.  Congrats on a great weekend guys!

I’m sure I have forgotten someone, and my apologies to anyone I have forgotten to mention or for any information that I might have gotten wrong! On the the next adventure…