Remember when we used to complain about what a crap year 2016 was?  I’m sure you are eager to put 2020 behind you and I am too but not without first acknowledging that even through the year’s trials and tribulations our community enjoyed some bright spots worth celebrating!

Baby Arthur
The Truth and Hufflepuff welcomed baby Arthur into the world this year and our friends Davin and Alison from Athletics also welcomed baby Callan!  I promise you those two families will have fond memories of 2020.

Mr. F MDL1
Our own Mr. Fantastic became one of the first if not the first CrossFit certified MDL1 Coach in Vancouver (fact check Big Cat?) this year.  Great job Mr. F!  I can no longer even keep track of how many of our Empower members are also certified coaches.  I love your commitment to excellence and continued learning:)  Your contribution makes our whole community better.

OS Pro Certs
Mom, Jet, Shades, HeeHee and I took our basic Original Strength certifications in the summer and then in the fall upgraded to the Pro certification.  We’ve been successfully implementing the Original Strength methodology to treat our own dysfunctions and up our athletic game as well as bringing it to our Empower athletes.  It has also allowed us to restore strength and mobility for new members with challenges like fibromyalgia, epilepsy, and severe injury or limited strength and mobility and other conditions preventing them from easily accessing the standard CrossFit curriculum. 

Pan Am Silver Medal
Our own Bruiser brought home the silver medal for Canada at this year’s virtual Masters Pan Am Games! 

Class of 2015
Crusher, Rowdy, Smash, Dauntless, Auto, Jet, Sass & Hammer all completed their 5th year at Empower to join the growing ranks of our 5+ year veterans!

Community Comes Together
The real test of a community or a team is whether it comes together or splinters in the face of adversity and the Empower community certainly came together!  Members offered support both moral and financial throughout, standing by us when most needed. 

Our landlords offered up support working with us to make sure we could get through tough times.

Our medical professionals were generous with advice on how to implement the best COVID protocols, thanks in particular to BFG, Dr. T, Hard Rock, Hawkeye and Mr. Fantastic who each contributed a lot of time and effort into keeping our community safe!

Super Mario contributed the big screen interface that has been critical in making our Zoom integration so successful.  BFG & Quicksilver contributed $600 worth of new tatame to the gym.  Sandman paid our contractor in the neighbourhood of $1500 to cover our rig reconfiguration.  Make sure you thank each of these members for their selfless contributions to making our space a better place to train!

Members came up with great suggestions like the equipment lending library, the lending lotto, the lotto party, our Zoom cooking club, our Zoom dance party and so many other great ideas to keep us sane and entertained throughout.  Thanks D’Knee, BFG and so many others for the great ideas.

I’ll admit I was not keen on it at first but I am very happy with how well the Zoom integration has worked.  It has allowed us to reconnect with Empower community members from afar such as Megabyte, Still Waters, Special, Jersey, Carrera, McQueen and Gymkata!  It has allowed many members to train with greater frequency than they could before Zoom.  It has resulted in members inviting their families to pursue fitness together.  COVID or no COVID, having discovered it’s ability to deliver fitness beyond our walls, we will continue to Zoom in 2021 and beyond.

Still Open for Business
We are still open.  That is a huge win!  The Public Health Authority has not ordered another closure of gyms so far and we hope this will continue so long as we take all the appropriate safety measures to avoid in-gym transmission.  Many gyms were not as fortunate and did not survive the financial stress of 2020.  We are grateful to our members who have continued to support us through uncertain times.  

20 in 2020
How about one more congratulations to our stalwart 20 in 2020 winners?  Through everything they persevered refusing to give up on their goal.  Shine, Fierce, Shades, Sprite, HHH, Smash & Dauntless faced 2020 like heroes.  Will you step up to their example in 2021?

Goodbye 2020
Perhaps 2020 did not play out as we had hoped or expected but it did offer us the opportunity to come together and test our mettle in the face of adversity.  And we scored some serious bright spots worth celebrating.  As my son reminded us, my grandparents’ generation lived through the depression, 2 world wars and the Spanish Flu. A little COVID is nothing.

Looking Ahead
With a vaccine available and our doors still open 2021 looks promising.  We will continue to follow all COVID protocols including offering the Zoom class option. 

Here’s a few things to look forward to in 2021:

Unstoppable 20 in 2021 Challenge
Can you follow the lead of our 20 in 2020 winners by logging 20 or more workouts each month in the year 2021?  Your attendance (in-gym or Zoom) and WOD results must be logged in Zen Planner to be counted.  You must maintain a minimum of 20 attendances each month.  Modified workouts and make up days count.  It may seem hard at first but soon it will become habit forming.  You’ll get the best results of your life and feel very proud of your accomplishment at year’s end.  You will realize that you truly are unstoppable!

CrossFit Open
Starting March 11th 2021 this years’ CrossFit Open is only 3 weeks long and is designed to be more inclusive.  That means workouts will be more accessible to every fitness level and less equipment will be required.  We are not yet sure if we can host this in the gym this year but one way or another Empower will be participating.  We will keep you posted.

CanWest Games?
We had a lot of Empower athletes qualify and register for the 2020 CanWest Games which had to be postponed.  We are hoping they will be held this year instead.  If they offer new qualifiers maybe more of you can join us there!

Spartan Race
Sunday October 3rd 2021 in Whistler we will be tackling the Age Category 5K Spartan Sprint.  So far the Empower team has over a dozen participants.  When registering online please select Empower as your team and let me know when you have joined so that I add you to our Spartan Team email list.

Okay, so maybe no one is looking forward to this one but there are quite a few members with burpees owing on the board that will double January 1st if not paid off.  You can pay them off in the gym or on Zoom.  Failure to do so will actually supercharge your 2021 fitness as you will start the year with extra burpee fitness so I guess it is a win either way.  Road Warrior is going for 200!


Wednesday Make Up Day

1) Pay off those burpees!

2) Back Squat

3) 7 min AMRAP
5 Box Jumps
3 Cleans

4) 300m Row
20 Push Press
300m Row
15 Push Press
300m Row
10 Push Press
300m Row
5 Push Press

5) Empower Reset #17
1 min Breathing Lying on Back

30/30 sec Head Nods/Rotations

2 min
10 Hollow to Superman Roll
10 Egg Rolls

2 mins
10 Cross Touch Plank Bird Dogs
10 Judo Push Up Rocks

3 Rounds
1 min Hourglass Hands and Knees Crawl
30 sec Hourglass Leopard Crawl

2 mins
Max Headstand hold
10 Sit Throughs

3 Rounds
1 min Hands-Free Get Ups
1 min Goblet Squat

400m Front Rack KB carry