We’d like to thank Sylvia for taking a few minutes out of her busy day to chat with us and answer some questions. She has had a life-changing experience through CrossFit, and we think particularly as a young mother of 3 that her insights could be valuable to others. Enjoy!
Sylvia and her girls
Coach: You’re a mom of 3 young girls. How do you balance a hectic lifestyle and all of those demands with still making time for yourself? What would you say to those who don’t make that time?
Sylvia: My girls ages are 5, 3, and 17 months. To say I’m tired is an understatement. Our life at the moment is crazy, hectic, busy and demanding (but full of love). I’ve come from a background where I played soccer most of my life and always went to a gym. With no exercise in my life, it affects me. I barely worked out during my pregnancies or postpartum and I hated it. To me, I HAVE to make it work, I have to find the balance. If I don’t – I’m just not the same person.
To those who think they’re too busy with young kids – yes, you are busy, but there is always a way. It’s about planning ahead of time, and setting time aside that you will be able to get up early or get ready to go as soon as the husband walks through the door from work, and make it to class! Heck, one day I refused to miss Crossfit and my husband had gone to a 4:30pm class, so I packed up the kids and met him at the gym to do the 5:30pm class (and he took the kids home – sucker!). Because whether it be a morning or evening class, I leave feeling amazing. A feeling I refuse to give up. And a feeling that I promise, will change your life.
Coach: How important is it for you to be a role model for your girls with respect to girls being strong, capable, and going after what they want?
Sylvia: My eldest just turned 5, and finished her first year of JK. The amount of things she has learned in the past year at school, from TV, from youtube and from friends amazes me. Their brains truly are sponges and it’s almost scary how fast they grow up these days. At 5 years old, she already cares about what she wears, how her hair is, and how she looks – which is crazy! It is extremely important for me to be a good role model for my girls, to show them the correct definition of ‘fit’, ‘healthy’ and ”beautiful’.
We talk a lot about foods and what certain foods do for our bodies. My 3 year old tells me every time she eats chicken that ‘the protein makes me strong’ and proceeds to flex (kind of what my three older brothers would do). My husband and I try as best we can to instil in them what makes you a beautiful person inside and out – we’re trying hard to raise three strong willed girls who will persevere and go after what they want in life (so far, they’re killing it).
The girls know exactly where we are when we go to Crossfit, and always ask us about us going to work out (and they just LOVE picking at my hands when they rip from trying to do a new movement on the bar). I always keep them in the loop, explaining what we do, why we do it, and the ultimate goal of being healthy. I brought all 3 of them into the gym one day, while Daddy finished a class, they all sat there in awe (with the exception of the 17month old who ran around like a crazy kid) of the things people were doing in that class – it was amazing to see.
Sylvia, training with older brothers Jason (centre) and Adam (right)
Coach: With all sorts of options out there these days, why do you feel Crossfit Outlaw North is the best use of your time with respect to fitness?
Sylvia: I’ve done it all – bootcamps, outdoor bootcamps, big gyms, spinning classes, etc. While at the time I did those things, I do feel they helped me, Crossfit has changed my life – specifically Outlaw North. I’ve been doing Crossfit with Outlaw North since November 1, 2016 – and have never experienced this much change in the last 15 years I’ve been working out.
One class, which is 60 minutes long, consists of a warm up (a GOOD warm up), a strength component and conditioning. One hour was the time I had given all my other previous workout classes in the past. But after completing my first month of Crossfit and looking back at all the movements and lifts and conditioning I had successfully completed in each class, it shocked me. It is by far the best use of my time in terms of fitness. There is no way I could accomplish what I have, anywhere else. Each class uses every part of your body in ways you could never of thought of. When you see how much it works and your body changes, you want so badly to go back for more and to try harder each time!
Mom can dress it up too!
Coach: What drew you to Crossfit Outlaw North initially? Has your perception of what we do changed? And if so, how?
Sylvia: Well this is a simple answer – my brother Adam. He drew me here. I joined November 1, 2016 and messaged him on New Years Eve, saying I coudn’t thank him enough, that I was (after 3 pregnancies and lots of weight changes) FINALLY getting my body back.
I was doing a weight class at Goodlife around the time Adam joined Crossfit Outlaw North in July 2016. He knew I’d love it, knew I’d do good, and begged me, for months to join. I was extremely hesitant. There was no way I could lift heavy weights (that’s all I thought at the time Crossfit was). I also thought Adam was going a bit crazy the way he talked so highly of a type of ‘gym’.
Finally, after I couldn’t take the badgering any longer, I promised to do one class (which isn’t the greatest idea for those hesitant to join – one class truly does not give you the FULL picture of Crossfit). But in that class, they were doing front squats. So, I let Jay Rhodes teach me how to. I was able to front squat, add some weight, squat again, and thought to myself ‘okay maybe I can do this’. The conditioning of that class included box jumps. Adam and Jay both looked at me, and said it’s easy – just jump. There was no way I was jumping onto a 20″ box and landing on my feet. And well, I was right, I landed on my shins. No idea how, don’t even try to picture it, it was extremely awkward. But then was just the first class. I continued to go, did my intro classes, and promised myself I’d give it all I had.
It was hard at first – hard to find a rhythm. I still wasn’t convinced after week 1 and week 2. Wasn’t sure it was for me. I liked it, but I didn’t love it. But I stuck with it, talked to Adam often, worked with him during classes. By December, I had fallen in love. I love Crossfit. It is SO me. Adam was right (obviously). The classes are amazing, the coaches are amazing, and the people who come truly are motivating. I am shocked at how much I’ve changed and accomplished in 9 months of being at Outlaw North. It’s also shocking how my perception of Crossfit has changed. I find it hilarious, talking to other people about Crossfit – everyone thinks the same thing, all we do is try to lift crazy heavy weights. I mean, part of that is true, but the other 95% of Crossfit isn’t even touched upon in that statement. It will change your life, it sure as hell changed mine!