This was originally intended as a letter for our 2023 CanWest Training Team starting this Saturday August 6th but I realized that everything in it pertains to every one of us, competitive athlete or not.  So, this is for you.  Wherever it says CanWest please insert whatever life goal you have set your sights on.  Wherever it says athlete, insert whatever descriptor you identify with.

Things are going to come up.

You’ve just committed to training for the 2023 CanWest Qualifiers (or a new diet, or the 20 in 2022 Challenge, or to group classes, or to personal training, or to a new job, or to a new relationship, or to a new hobby, habit or discipline).  

Now that you have made your commitment, the universal law applies: obstacles will arise that seek to derail you.  Illness, injury, high priority projects at work, family demands, vacations, busy schedules, unplanned travel.  It is not a maybe, it is a guarantee.  The moment you commit to something, life will throw you a curveball or two (or three) to test your resolve.  This is true in sport, in love, in business and in life.

It is going to feel personal.  As if life is intentionally trying to mess with your plans.  As if fate is telling you it is just not meant to be.  It will feel profoundly unfair.  Here’s a little secret you need to know:  Everyone experiences this.  Every.  Single.  Person.  And 90% of them will allow life’s obstacles to derail them.  No one will blame them.  It was obviously rough going.  People will commiserate and tell you things like “It just wasn’t meant to be.”

But here’s the thing, there are other people who faced with the very same obstacles, setbacks and frustrations, forge ahead anyhow.  These are the people who achieve their athletic goals, their fitness goals, their diet goals, their financial goals, their relationship goals, their academic goals, their business goals, their (insert goal of your choice).  As they say: when the going gets tough, the tough get going.  

Every champion, every person who accomplished their goals had to battle through all those obstacles and setbacks in order to achieve them.  That’s what makes their victory so sweet.  Because while 90% of people are sitting around waiting for the exact perfect circumstances to make their dreams come true, the champions defy circumstances and charge ahead anyhow.  Most people are still waiting for the stars to align.  They never will.

But you who have committed to accomplish a goal, will need to learn how to work around limitations.  How to convert frustration to determination.  How to transform defeat into victory.  This is the alchemy of achievement.  These are the skills that every high performer in every field has had to develop.  No one is born with it.  It is a skill developed with practice.  Fall down and pick yourself up.  Repeat ad infinitum. 

Our 2023 CanWest Training Team gets to play at being athletes and that will include dealing with all the difficulties athletes must overcome in order to perform at the highest level.  I can promise you that it will not be an easy road and that you will want to quit or give up many times before the year is through.  You will also develop a profound appreciation for the mental fortitude professional athletes must possess in order to play through an entire season despite every challenge life delivers.

Don’t wish it were easier.  Wish to become better.  For the greater the challenges the greater your share of honour!  Every one of your competitors will endure similar setbacks this training season.  Which one of you will weather those challenges best? 

Which of you will see this season through and stand with me at the 2023 CanWest Games? 
We few, we happy few, we band of sisters and brothers!

Registered Empower 2023 CanWest Training Team Members:


Returning Athletes: First Timers:
Mr. Fantastic
The Touch
WOD Father
Iron Man


Friday Make Up Day

1) 2021 Games Event 9
Echo Bike (Cals)
Snatches 75/105#

2) 21-18-15-12-9-6-3
Box Jumps 24/30”
Ring Push-ups

3) Grace
30 Clean and Jerks

4) In the Trenches
24 Box Jump Overs @24/30″
12 Burpee Bar MU
20 Strict HSPU
200ft Sled Push
20 Strict HSPU
12 Burpee Bar MU
24 Box Jump Overs @24/30″
10 Sandbag Over the Shoulder Cleans @150/200#

5) Empower Reset #25
3 mins Navy SEAL box breathing (4/4/6/6)

2 mins Starfish

3 mins
20 Cross Touch Dead Bugs
10 Windshield Wipers

2 mins
Back to Front Get Ups

2 mins
Crab Step Throughs

5 Tibetan Rites
5 each:
1. Spin
2. J
3. Table
4. Lean Back
5. Up/Down Dog

1. Rocking Chair
2. Breakfall
3. Kiai
4. Squat to breakfall
5. Stand to break fall
6. Bonus Ninja Manoeuvre: Rolling up to feet

5 mins
10 Romanian Deadlifts
5/5 KB Suitcase Deadlifts
5/5 KB Single Leg Deadlifts