Crossfit: Where everybody knows your name

cheers logo “Sometimes you want to go
Where everybody knows your name,
and they’re always glad you came.
You wanna be where you can see,
our troubles are all the same
You wanna be where everybody knows
Your name.” 

(Where Everybody Knows Your Name by Gary Portnoy and Judy Hart Angelo)


I’m an expat, I’ve lived away from my home country (Go Canada!!) for over 7 years now, and there are days when it feels like I am a long way from home.  I could write a whole blog post (or a novel) about the positives and the negatives of being an expat but this is mainly a Crossfit Blog so I won’t go on about the joys of being able to hop a train to Paris or the sorrow of not being able to do your grocery shopping at 3 a.m.

But one thing I will mention about being an expat is that you tend to not live close to your family. In my case, I don’t know a single family member who lives on the same continent as me.  My family is 6436.35 km away (thanks, – I love the really will tell you anything you want to know).  Being so far away from your family means that you build your own families and communities in your new city. You have friends that become like your brothers and your sisters and you look for places that make you feel at home.

I’ve been really lucky. I met my partner, G (yup, the one who rode the mechanical bull and hurt his wrist) here, my childhood best friend lives here (she’s now moving to India, but we aren’t going to talk about that…Have you seen the ending of Marly and Me..that’s how I feel about that move) and I have some really great friends.  But, I think it’s safe to say that I hadn’t found my community yet.  I’d done some local theatre and joined a softball league, both of which were great experiences, but I still hadn’t found my people.

Then, I walked into the Crossfitgva box one Saturday morning in August 2012. At the time, I didn’t know that these were my people, I just wondered why the big former army man was yelling at me and making me lift heavy things, all while insinuating that his 4-year-old daughter could lift more than I could. (This was all done in a playful spirit, so please don’t worry about my self-esteem).

Like I said, at the time, I didn’t know these were my people, but now, a year later, I can’t imagine – or even remember – what my life without them was like.  I freakin’ love these people. Our box is full of serious awesomeness – some of which you have seen featured here as guest bloggers – Montse and Torben, Mera, Van-the-great, some who have been topics of some posts – Sarah W.- my lifting nemesis, J & Big Mo, my first teammates, Coach Dan and Coach Jon, etc. They are not alone, there are so many other interesting people – all of whom I’m sure will make an appearance on this blog (-insert evil laugh here – I will spare no one!!).

It doesn’t matter what kind of day I’ve had, I always feel better the minute I walk through the door and step over some poor sap who just finished the class before mine. This week, I’ve just come back from visiting my family in Canada. It was amazing seeing them and spending time with them. We laughed, we fished and I taught my 3 year old niece some essential crossfit moves (princess burpees, twinkle squats, step-up “yays!” and dance lunges).  I had a great time and I came back homesick. It was really hard to go back to work, hard to be so far away.  I felt pretty miserable – until I walked through the doors to the box – where everybody knows my name (well not everybody, but you get my point – it’s like walking into your local bar….hmm, I wonder if we could get a Marguerita bar put in for post wod..some boxes have a juice bar…Margueritas are made from alcohol juice so I don’t really see why not…will need to discuss this with Coach Jon, I might be on to something here…but again, I digress).

Like I said, I walked through the door and Guns and Roses was playing as usual, Romanian deadlifts were on the board, my regular Romanian deadlift lifting buddy (Amanda the runner) was there, J was doing some crazy lifting in the corner and B and Van-the-Great were doing pull ups using towels (wtf?). There was chalk and sweat everywhere and a background of heavy breathing and muttered swear words as people finished up the metcon.  And just like that, I felt at home again.



One Response to “ Crossfit: Where everybody knows your name ”

  1. Amanda says:

    I feel so honoured to have made an appearance in your blog and in such a lovely post. Thanks my deadlift-guru! Keep them coming!

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