Monthly Mover

#2 | September 2018 | Volume 2

Sarah Conway

Tell us about your athletic journey.

When I was much younger I actually started my athletic journey in dance and equestrian horseback riding, when I was in grade 6, I made a pretty huge jump over to hockey. After about 2 years, I began to make travel and more competitive teams. This motivated me to continue to strive for a competitive edge, which led me to start committing myself to fitness and training off of the ice. Many of my first fitness regimes were regimented and routine, I continued this until university where I played women’s varsity hockey for York University. I continued to dedicate myself to fitness (my former sense of the word) on and off of the ice, and in my last 3 years was honoured to be asked to be part of the leadership group and an assistant captain.  

After retiring from competitive hockey (I still play “competitive lite”), I was looking to find something that inspired me, similar to how I felt in goal setting for hockey. After I finished my Masters program in Hamilton, my fiancée and I moved to Etobicoke, where I soon stumbled (just kidding I did a ton of research on the gym facilities in the area) CrossFit Colosseum. Up until this point, I had never even thought about crossfit and heard some not so positive things, but I decided it was something I should experience for myself. After the first session, I knew I was hooked. Paul took me through a workout, destroyed me and I was back the next day for more. I then competed in the Annual Colosseum Games within a week of starting crossfit. Needless to say, I was so sore, exhausted, but SO EXCITED TO COME BACK and refocus on fitness in a way that I had never done before.  

I have been crossfitting for over a year now and the strongest, fastest, and fittest I have ever been. I am so excited to see where I’m at this time next year!

What is something that nobody knows about you?

I have no ACLs, I completely tore both ACLs in my first and second year of varsity hockey at university. I never got surgery because I’ve always had pretty strong legs, but once I started Crossfit, my knees have never felt better (even pre-tears). Batman is my favourite superhero and I watch Batman cartoons Sunday mornings whilst drinking my morning coffee. I’ve watched every Game of Thrones episode at least 4 times through, in fact I am currently doing a marathon before the last season is released in April. My nickname is Rah Rah, curtesy of my little brother. I love singing, but hate karaoke.

What Goals/Milestones are you currently Reaching for?

My goals are to have a 200Ib clean, 135Ib snatch, 265Ib squat, 350Ib deadlift, 175Ib jerk and a sub-26min 5km, 10 consecutive butterfly chest-to-bar and pull-ups, 10 consecutive handstand push ups, and of course get my first ring and bar muscle ups before my 2-year anniversary of starting crossfit!

What does recovery look like for you?

Recovery is a little bit of everything, I focus on hitting my macros and making sure my body has what it needs to fuel recovery. I work with Ashley, going into my fourth month of my Based on Balance nutrition lifestyle. Ashley has been working with me to continually develop habits to sustain and further increase my fitness training

The Reforge team has helped me stay healthy, I try to be proactive, getting into the clinic for athletic therapy and massage therapy to prevent injury. I am very lucky to have a holistic team and fitness family that supports me in my endeavours to better myself

Most importantly, I try to listen to what my body is telling me Also, recovery is a cold beer after a devastating hero workout!

What does Your average week look like?

I still love doing the classes, I aim for 5-6 days of at least a 60min class. I have been able to sustain doing an extra endurance work out on top of the programmed class 2-4 times a week.

With hockey starting up again, I am on the ice playing 2-3 times a week in addition to crossfit. I have also started coaching at CrossFit Colosseum and I coach young aspiring hockey players that are working to take their game to the next level.

How are you able to maintain your training routine?

My mentality, nutrition and recovery are big parts of sustaining my commitment to training and fitness. I love coming into the gym and seeing my fitness family and those who are there working to be better versions of themselves, seeing people drive towards their goals fuels and motivates me as well.

How are you going to celebrate when you reach your goal?

Treat myself to a beer! Set new goals, and get back to work!

What keeps your motivated?

I love coming into the gym and being surrounded by people who have set goals for themselves, they get me fired up to chase my own goals. The amazing CFC coaches that run the class always push me, and hold me accountable to myself, I often hit PR’s on days where I least expect. Hitting those new PRs fuels the fire too, there’s no better feeling than hitting a goal you set for yourself. Measuring success overtime plays a big part in sustaining the level of motivation to stay committed. Most importantly, my wonderful fiancée plays a big part, she has been my fitness partner for 3 years, I love working out beside her and competing with her on a daily basis.

What advice would you give someone who is trying to reach a goal?

Be patient with yourself. Progress comes slowly, with continuous effort and commitment to whatever you’re doing. You will hit your goal today, tomorrow, next year. Be patient, and give it your maximum effort.  

What about someone who has yet to set a goal?

Goal setting it the best way to continue to develop habits and build a lifestyle. Achieving those goals are pivotal to keeping yourself accountable, and celebrating yourself and your efforts when you achieve them. Start with small goals, something achievable for you, whatever it is, and keep building on that base. 

Being an avid CrossFitter as well as becoming a Coach (congratulations by the way) at CFC what is the most common thing you see that is holding people back from performing better?

I find that it’s you vs. you. When I coach athletes, some don’t believe they can actually do whatever has been set in front of them. Building confidence in yourself is part of the fitness journey, whether you’re coming back from an injury, doing a movement for the first time, or trying to hit that new PR. Your mentality is key

What is the most common thing you see that is holding people back from recovering better? (If different that the above question)

I think two very important parts of recovery are nutrition and pro-active recovery. Making sure your body is being fueled to recover and rebuild after a hard workout, and being pro-active in going to get regular “tune ups” for your body. You don’t need to have an injury to go in for massage or athletic therapy. Your body will thank you if you pay attention to it.

Sarah’s Shout-outs

Ashley Nardella

Amazing help with nutrition (and always kicking my butt on Monday nights)

JD Middleton

One-on-one technical work on Olympic lifting!

Katie Weisgerber

Pro-active recovery and getting me into the clinic!

Jon "Lulu" Oliver

For getting me on the podium for the first time ever and being an integral part of fiancees elaborate surprise engagement plan.