Karen was the first to take the plunge, followed by her husband Doug about a year later, and just last Fall daughter Julia joined the CFW family.  They are a cornerstone of our gym, in a way a poster family for CrossFit. Each of them is passionate about CrossFit, but they also take advantage of all our specialty programs. Doug does powerlifting, Karen gymnastics and Julia weightlifting. We love the positivity, hard work and enthusiasm. Doug recently celebrated a milestone birthday and we are so proud of him for setting his Filthy Fifty goal and persevering. Here is their story.

Karen, Doug & Julia’s Story

We love to travel and we love the outdoors.  We have travelled across Canada with our two daughters (Julia and Tamara) and survived 10 years of back country canoe trips.  We love to hike and camp, mountain bike and cross country ski.  We did more of some of these things when we were younger, but now that our daughters are growing up, we are looking forward to doing more of these things in the years ahead.

We moved into Sage Creek in the fall of 2011 and started to drive by CFW every day.  In January 2012 Doug and Karen joined a local gym in Sage Creek.  That was the first time Doug did a box jump, which at the time Doug thought was quite an unrealistic expectation.  By the fall of 2013 Karen, who had always been active in activities such as aerobics, Pilates, yoga, swimming and ballet, was within 6 months of her 50th birthday and was looking for a new challenge.  She stopped into CFW on her way to work one day and met Annette.  The Crossfit program looked a little intimidating at that time, but Karen was quickly hooked, especially as she was challenged by the variety of activities.  Karen was very impressed with both Annette and Tania, and decided to take the plunge.

Karen had a great first year at CFW, and began to kick Doug’s butt in almost every way.  That summer Doug and Karen were in Calgary and decided to do a workout together.  Karen crushed Doug.  Just over a year after Karen joined CFW, Doug joined CFW in the fall of 2014.

Our first impressions were all good. The coaches really cared about your personal well-being, making sure that all movements were done properly.  We have created many new “workout friends” that make the time at the gym very enjoyable and supportive, despite how tired or stressed you may be that day.

Julia, our oldest daughter, joined CFW in the fall of 2016.  Today she has become a very passionate participant in gymnastics, the regular classes as well as Olympic Weightlifting.

Today CFW is a big part of our daily family life.  Each of us  typically attends 5 days a week, although we can’t seem to quite all be there at the same time.  We support each other at home with meal planning and talking about how each of us did the WOD that day.  It’s great to have this shared passion and connection as a family. We love the variety of classes and the flexible times, and the time before and after class to do some stretching.  This is very helpful to us as a busy family.

We realized that we could actually do things that we didn’t feel were possible.  Who would have thought that we could do a handstand, or a skin the cat, or a pull up, or a clean?  Within the first few months of joining the CFW program, you immediately begin to see changes in your strength, your abilities and your shape.  These changes make it quite addictive.

But the most important realization is that regardless of age, sex or body type, everyone is good at something.  It is really neat to workout alongside people of all ages and skill level, each with their own unique physical ability.

Julia is getting hooked on the Olympic weightlifting while Karen and Doug continue to work on our overall level of health and fitness.  We are older parents of teenage daughters and we wish to remain active and healthy for many years to come.  We are intrigued by how our fitness level may be maintained or even improved throughout our 50’s and 60’s.  We want to continue to do biking, hiking, kayaking and camping adventures in the years to come, and the hard work at CFW allows us to do that.  We have seen significant changes in both flexibility and strength since joining CFW, but the greatest satisfaction comes from completing a long hike, and wanting to do it all over again.

Julia’s favorite memory so far, are her weightlifting bruises.  Julia refers to these as her CFW trophies.  Karen’s favorite memory is holding a 5 minute weighted plank and participating in CF24 with Julia, Sue and Tina.  Doug would say that his greatest accomplishment was surviving the Filthy 50 workout on his 50’th birthday.  Doug had his doubts in the weeks leading up to it, but CFW has taught him a lot about finding that inner strength to see it through.

Well, you know you’re a CrossFit family when: (LOL)

  • When your spouse asks you about your day, you know he / she is really asking about “what was the hardest part of the workout today”?,
  • you start to become more interested in your teen’s lifting weight rather than her report card marks,
  • you do your Christmas and birthday shopping at CFW.
  • you have a weekly family meeting every Sunday night so that everyone can plan their workout times in advance.


Seriously, it is great being a family that is part of the CFW community.  We all love the challenge that the gym provides to each of us.  We all see results continuously over time.  But most important, we appreciate how the coaches get to know us, how we get to know the coaches and how everyone at the gym is so supportive and encouraging.

Thanks Tania and team for being a special and important part of our lives.


–Karen, Julia and Doug Nelson and soon Tamara.