Here’s what I love about CrossFit: on the surface, CrossFit is about becoming ridiculously fit and to that end, it is more effective than any training program that I have ever encountered but, to me that is actually just the ancillary benefit of CrossFit.  By presenting you daily with tough challenges, by regularly testing you and exposing you to the risk of failure, by putting you through discomfort, CrossFit trains you to face head on and overcome adversity with a hero’s mindset.  

Victims avoid and shrink in the face of challenges.  They adopt a poor me mindset and wait helplessly for someone to save them.  Or they complain about the world’s injustices.  Victims do not take action in the face of adversity.  They let obstacles block their path.  They let life defeat them.  Victims are powerless.  Because victims refuse to rise to the challenges that confront them, they can never overcome, they can never change, they are stuck!  Victims cannot be saved.  Even if the hero swoops in to rescue them, the victim will succumb to the very next challenge life lays in their path.  And life always has another challenge ready for delivery.  We have all played the victim at some time in some area of our lives.

Heroes on the other hand rise to the challenges laid before them.  Make no mistake, heroes are rarely sword swinging adventurers like Disney’s Hercules on a mission to seek out and destroy every challenge.  Most of you are reluctant heroes who better resemble Frodo Baggins, Harry Potter or Luke Skywalker pushed, against your nature, into the hero’s role by circumstance or need.  You may not come to the gym when Murph is programmed, keen to crush the WOD like a hero.  But you come to the gym.  Afraid, intimidated but with a quiet courage and determination to give it your best – even if that means you might fail.  That is the hero’s journey. 

Heroes don’t win every battle.  In fact, in most stories the hero goes from one defeat to another until the final battle.  Because the answer to victory was learned from all those successive defeats.  Because the hero refuses to give up, she triumphs in the end.  Unlike the victim, the hero does not give up his quest simply because he has suffered a crushing setback.

If I see the world through rose coloured glasses – and I know I do – it is because each and everyday I am surrounded by heroes.  CrossFit breeds a hero’s mindset and that mindset carries over outside the gym to everything you do in your life.  You become a person who takes on the challenges life hands you.  You may not seek out hardship but you don’t shrink from it either!  You’ve overcome hardship before and you will face it again everytime and everywhere that it rears its ugly, unwelcome head!  A hero understands that just because it is not your fault does not mean it is not your responsibility.  And accordingly, you rise to the occasion.

Very recently with the COVID pandemic we got to witness this firsthand.  Instead of falling apart, our Empower community rose together to face the unexpected challenges presented to us.  You may have been shaken to your foundations but you stood your ground, you came together as a community.  You found ways to support one another.  Gifts of food to quarantined members.  Gatherings over Zoom.  Abundant good cheer.  While so many people in the world worried only for themselves a large number of Empower members came forward offering early membership payments and support to keep the gym alive – and as grateful as we are for that touching show of support, we are happy to say we never needed to accept their heroic generosity – because all of you stuck with us throughout the difficult journey!

Things could have gone much differently.  For many families and businesses it did.  But at Empower you had trained for hardship.  You had long supported each other through the overwhelming challenges.  So when the unexpected happened, you knew how to rise to the occasion.  You may have been afraid, you may have wished for different circumstances but you refused to let COVID turn you into a victim. 

I am blessed, inspired and uplifted to be surrounded every day by such an outstanding community of heroes!  I cannot imagine a team I would rather face hardship with.  You are also fit as heck, but that is just a happy side effect of travelling the hero’s path.  Of course, a hero never thinks of themself as a hero, a hero is just a regular person facing up to the circumstances facing them.  “Anyone would do what I did”, you tell yourself never taking credit for how remarkable an individual you really are.  So that’s why I wrote this blog post today, because I want you to know and to always remember that you, my friend, are truly heroic in thought, in word and in deed.  I witness it everyday that I have the honour of coaching you.  And the truth is, I love seeing you battle through the toughest workouts not because I’m sadistic (okay, maybe I am a little) but because it always inspires me to watch you overcome the worst we can throw at you!  You never let me down!

Hats off to you hero, I am proud to see our logo on your chest, you truly personify Empower!


Friday WOD
This was my favourite and most fun of the programmed Games workouts.  It is a short, intense sprint.  We are going to run in heats using airbikes, rowers or ski erg as available.  Choose a snatch weight that you can complete at least 10 reps unbroken.  This is a sprint, not a strength day.  We’ll pair you up so heat #2 can count reps for heat #1 and vice versa.  Your aim should be to finish in under 10 minutes.

Partner Warm Up

Round Partner A Partner B
1 10 cal Row/Ski/Bike Shoulder Pass throughs
2 10 cal Row/Ski/Bike Russian KB Swing
3. 10 cal Row/Ski/Bike American KB Swing
4. 10 cal Row/Ski/Bike PVC Pipe Snatch

Power Snatch

Cal Airbike/Row/Ski
Power Snatch