Member Spotlight: Stacey Sarris

When and Why did you first start CrossFit?

I had the pleasure of working with our very own Kristine Hadfield at The Weather Network was extremely impressed with her athletic physique and general “Badass” demeanor. To my surprise (but not shocked) Kristine owned this place called Full Metal CrossFit (formerly -Square One CrossFit) and unknowingly to me, many employees that I worked with each day were also members of SQCF. Like any CrossFit junkie, they talked about it non-stop and once I started inquiring, these loyal members did their duty and talked up CrossFit till I was ready to give it a try.  In October 2013 I walked through the doors at 1331 Crestlawn and never looked back – I knew I was home.

Why doing you keep doing it, what keeps you coming back?

It’s really a combination of the three “P’s” that continue to feed my love for CrossFit

1. The People. FMCF you are my extended family. It’s impossible for non-CrossFitters to understand the incredible relationships we form with each other.  There is a bond we develop with those around us that’s hard to explain.  It’s a mash up of trust, competitiveness, laughs, time, encouragement, sarcasm, wit and non-judgement that build these explainable bonds. We are an eclectic group of people with one common love – CrossFit – and somehow it just all works. I look forward to spending time with the “Nooners” every day and genuinely miss them when classes are missed.

2. The Programming. Having been a gym rat my entire life, it’s hard to continually keep motivated and progress when you have to do it alone. I spend my waking hours, outside of the box, making decisions and plans for every aspect of my life both work and personal.  It’s refreshing to come in for my hour per day and do what someone else programmed – whether I like it or not.  I will admit – I have a tendency to complain, but it’s all in good fun.  I secretly love to be told what to do for a change.

3. The Progress. Everyone reading this knows exactly what I mean.  If you put your heart into CrossFit, you will make progress.  The biggest change for me was coming back to the box after taking 5 months off while pregnant with my twins.  After having them my doctor told me it was unlikely I would be able to return to CrossFit for a few years as I had suffered a Diastasis Recti – otherwise known as a separation of the abdominal muscles.  Because of stress of carrying twins my abs now had a 4 in separation (yes, it’s very gross!). Of course, my doctor was a non-CrossFitter and I certainly wasn’t going to take her advice.  So, I returned to CrossFit, just 3 weeks after having my girls.  The coaching team was amazing at modifying my workouts to ensure I didn’t do any further damage.  6 weeks after returning the CrossFit I had a follow up appointment with my doctor.  To her surprise my abdominal gap had closed – completely. Goes to show you the Doc’s don’t always know everything. Now it was time for me to get down to business.  Having lost a TON of muscle mass I had to tuck my tail and start to build my strength back up.  Knowing I was dramatically weaker than my pre-prego days I decided I was still going to work off my old 1RM numbers for all strength movements and workouts.  Man did this suck. But did it ever pay off. Less than 5 months after returning to CrossFit I PR’d every one of my lifts by at least 20lbs.  I shaved minutes off many of the benchmark workouts and felt better than ever.

What advice do you have for those new to CrossFit?

Walking in to the gym for the first time can be very intimidating, but remember, we have all been there.  We all had to start from the beginning, at some point, but it doesn’t take long to fit right in and find your place.

CrossFit will become what you make of it and you will get back from it what you put into it. You will be surrounded by great, encouraging, genuinely amazing PEOPLE.  You will experience PROGRAMMING that will challenge you and maybe make you want to quit – but trust me, you won’t. And in time, you will see PROGRESS.

Embrace it all my future family.

Top 3 favourite movements:  Power Cleans, Pistols, Handstand Push Ups

Top 3 least favourite movement: Running, Squats and Wall Balls