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Finding My Strength in Pain

[/caption] I’ve written a lot of blogs over the past year for CrossFit 204. Most of them are about my training, my nutrition, and my philosophies regarding competition and CrossFit. I’ve never talked about where it all started, why I love to compete and whom I really have to thank for all that I have accomplished. My Dad. He taught me how to compete. He taught me how to win with humility and lose with grace. He taught me how be unreasonable, to strive for the best and not set boundaries for myself.  He taught me how to be fierce. I started running track and field when I was 12. My Dad was almost more passionate about it than I was. His support was unyielding. He bought me my first pair of spikes and drove me to the Max Bell Centre at U of M for every event. He woke up at 4 a.m. on event day and cooked me pasta to “carb up.” He added honey to my water, which I drank from his old camping canteen, and he played Eye of the Tiger to get me focused and pumped up. He loved watching me run, high jump and long jump. He loved watching me win and was proud of me when I didn’t. Some of my fondest memories are of my dad and me training together at Grant Park track in the heat of the summer. He could push me just by being there. I knew if he was standing there with the stopwatch, I just couldn’t slow down, and I couldn’t stop. He expected the best from me, and I learned to demand the best from myself. My Dad also taught me the value of hard work. You work for the things you want in life. There are no excuses. There isn’t an easy way out. You’ll always get what you put in. Period. He taught me how to love someone the way you should truly love someone. His passion, his absolute devotion to my Mom and our family was unparalleled. Our family had so much love even when we didn’t have much of anything else. My Dad passed away on Jan. 27, 2012. I made the decision to compete in FrostFit the next day because I knew that he would have wanted me to. He had a picture of me getting my muscle-up at the 2011 Canada West Regional on his coffee table in his living room. He was unbelievably proud of me. Dad, I wish I had a little more fire in the tank and I could have gotten on the podium for you. It’s what I wanted to do. I know you’re proud of me. I can hear you saying it.  Thank you for all of your wonderful gifts. With all my heart, I love you always, forever and a day.

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