3 Week Health Authority Circuit Breaker
If only they’d announced it 2 days later we all could have laughed it off as a clever joke by Bonnie Henry but alas, it is not so.  We coaches really love coaching so we’re a bit bummed that for the next few weeks we are demoted to glorified gym monitors, our coaching services reserved only for zoom attendees, but we are pleased that our doors can remain open and that you can continue to access the gym equipment to maintain your fitness.  It will require a bit more self-guidance on your part and we will all have to be a bit more mindful of proper COVID protocols.  I know the new restrictions have frightened some of you but the increase in COVID cases was unrelated to activities at gyms and was largely due to Spring Break gatherings including skiing and children’s Spring Break camps.  Our protocols have already proven three times over to be effective at preventing transmission so while increased COVID cases province-wide means that statistically you do stand a higher risk of being exposed to the virus, your in-gym risk of exposure has changed little.  Continue maintaining appropriate social distancing, wear your masks and refrain from congregating inside or outside the gym and at our current limited occupancy with windows wide open, your transmission risk is described by Mr. Fantastic as “slim to none”. 

Coach Schedule Changes
In the midst of all this we will be shifting in April to a new coaching schedule.  Open Gym times will remain unchanged but you may find different coaches in different time zones.  We are hoping to improve our service to you by: 1) giving new coaches some solid coaching blocks so they can get quality coaching practice to improve their skills at an accelerated rate and therefore provide you better service and, 2) to end the gruelling 15-17 hour coaching days some coaches are working so that your coaches are no longer perpetually burnt out and fatigued and can therefore bring a better level of energy to your open gym times.

None of this is carved in stone and as ever, our schedule will change and adapt to serve you as best we can.  We will test this new schedule and adjust as needed based on the outcomes. 

Specialty Coaches
There has already been significant interest in the Boxing personal training offered by my friend Marino.  Under COVID restrictions and class size limitations personal training remains one of the only viable ways for a business like ours to remain profitable but of course, coaches’ hours are limited and Leon and I find ourselves perpetually overbooked.  We are on the search for qualified specialists who could offer personal training to members in special skill areas like Olympic Lifting, Gymnastics, Rowing, Running, Skipping and Powerlifting.  And we are always on the lookout for a qualified CrossFit coach who could offer both personal training and some group class coverage.  In all cases we are looking for someone who would fit with the Empower community.  If you know someone, please send them our way.

Open Results
Congratulations to all Empower members who participated in this year’s CrossFit Open.  For several it was their first time competing: congratulations on seeing it through and wasn’t it fun?  Some overcome serious obstacles in order to participate: job well done!  There was no BBQ or Potluck table but I must admit I still had fun.  Participants managed to keep the energy high even without the huge gathering we are accustomed to.  And athletes still delivered big performance breakthroughs each week even without the big audience cheering them on.  The worldwide leader boards are not yet finalized so we don’t yet know where each athlete ranked but we can share with you their scores for each of the 4 events.  Everyone gave it their all so please congratulate them when you see them!

Athlete 21.1 21.2 21.3 21.4
Men 60-64
Mr. Fantastic 117 198 120 166
Women 50-54
Motor 49 18:36s 92 96
Shades 223s 18:41s 127s 75
Hawkeye 297s 155s 81s 75
HeeHee 115 125 78 91
Shine 47 120 83 82
Men 50-54
Venom 59 167 87 135
Iron Man 47 111 80 127
Dr. T 166 135 175
Smash 213 190 120 146
Women 45-49
Pepper 112 99 90s 86
Jedi 210EF 19:00EF 75s 95
Silk 216 169 137 120
DT 391s 223s 75s 110
Dauntless 217s 154s 75s 97
Hard Rock 320 18:35 135 137
Men 45-49
Sandman 374 19:56 200
WOD Father 322 204 146 217
Women 35-39
Fierce 297 210 135 87
Men 35-39
Menace 212 178 135 137
Lightning 375s 155 135s 137
Women Open
Shorty 383s 17:36s 75s 135
Gymkata 376EF 14:26EF 233EF 77EF
Sprite 223s 155 23 70
Men Open
Rocket 177 185s 110 140
Sydney 117EF 223EF 75s 95
Boys 14-15
Multi Sport 201EF —-

Spirit Award

Thank you for those who have submitted nominations for the Spirit of the Open award.  It means a lot not just to the winner but to the nominees, especially when you share why they made a difference for you.  We will be accepting nominations right up until Good Friday so please email me your nomination ASAP.  Here’s a few of our early contenders:

Nominee Reason
Shades She judged more total workouts and more different athletes than anyone, offering tons of encouragement along the way.
Motor Doing skills one legged is the epitome of dedication and persistence.  That is truly epic!
Hard Rock She inspires without even trying.  She’s selfless when it comes to sharing her knowledge, tips and tricks to help us better ourselves. She motivates and encourages us all and  celebrates all our little victories with such enthusiasm. 

And she has just the right amount of vulnerability to succumb to peer pressure. Thank goodness she signed up for The Open or my experience would have been much less enjoyable and stimulating. 

Gymkata Completing the Open equipment free via Zoom was epic in itself but freestanding handstand shoulder taps like a boss, that is next level stuff!
Shine The Open is all about challenging oneself and overcoming limitations.  Overcoming the scars and fears of injuries past to tackle the wall walks in 21.1 was inspirational but so was RXing weeks 2 and 3.  Three weeks of competition.  Three big wins.  All achieved quietly with little fanfare or attention. 


Thank you for all the feedback on this subject.  With limited class sizes it has been a real pain point.  Please understand that when you reserved a class but fail to attend, someone else is prevented from attending.  And in cases where you were the only person registered but did not show up, Empower must still pay $25 to the duty coach.  Not a bad deal for the coach but not great for a small business struggling to survive COVID restrictions.  After much discussion on the subject we have decided to discontinue the burpee penalty effective April and will not be implementing fines.  Instead we have made public all our registrations so members know who is registered for class and who showed up or did not.  We hope that you will be conscientious in your registration habits and that you only reserve spots in classes you will actually attend.  If you cannot attend we request that you cancel your reservation in consideration for other members who hope to get into the class.  The cancellation window is 8 hours for morning, weekend and holiday classes and 2 hours for afternoon and evening classes.  

If you or anyone in your household has any COVID-like symptoms we ask you to disregard the cancellation window and let the duty coach know right away.  In this case staying away is the conscientious thing to do and we ask that you refrain from attending in person for 14 days or until you have received a negative COVID test. 

Out of fairness to other members who wish to access the limited in-gym spots, members who are not compliant with reservation protocols will lose their reservation privileges. 

Wednesday 5K Run
Well here is a workout largely unaffected by yesterday’s sweeping province-wide restrictions.  Get outside and run!  No mask required.

Don’t all start at the same time.  Bring your own timer.  Injured?  No problem.  Come to the gym on your own time and program an airbike, ski erg or rower for a 5K equivalent and have at it.  If 5K is too long for you try running out 15 minutes and then return.  Or if you are determined to cover the whole distance, give yourself more time and alternate running and walking.  Hopefully the sunshine continues and doses you with a healthy helping of vitamin D to accompany the cardiovascular benefits of long slow distance!

Do warm up with at least 5 minutes of skipping, airbike, marching or running ABC’s before you take yourself to the starting line.

Waitlisted?  No problem.  If you are doing the run outside you are welcome to come even if the class is full.  Please do your running ABC’s warm up outside the gym.