"This is obviously a good start to a CrossFit career."
In the latest of what has been a steady flow of progression since she first became hooked on the world-wide fitness phenomenom, local teenager Ambroise Stevens-Paquette just found out that she has finished first in the CrossFit World Teen Fitness Challenge - 2019.
The "just found out" reference comes part and parcel of being involved in a competition that spans the globe, whereby entrants must do supervised and measured workouts at their own regional CrossFit centre.
Though she was battling it out against young women from Sweden, Australia, the United States and Canada, the only interaction that Stevens-Paquette would have with her adversaries came via the tracking of on-line results, as athletes forge their way through a series of highly demanding workouts.
A tenet of the CrossFit model for those who wish to compete, challenges are run on regular intervals, generally a fun-filled way to test yourself against counterparts in a variety of other cities.
The "Olympic Games" of the CrossFit experience, in the words of Stevens-Paquette, is the staged pathway that leads to the actual CrossFit World Games, held annually. Just a few months back, the grade 10 student at Ecole secondaire l'Horizon advanced through the second phase of that process, improving her finish from 196th in the world (in 2018) to 83rd in 2019, all within the 14-15 age bracket.
While the field was much, much smaller for the World Teen Fitness Challenge, the results remained extremely encouraging. "We just kind of did this competition for fun, just to see where we would stand," said Stevens-Paquette, who trains several times a week under the direction of her coach, Mandie Duguay.
"I was crushing my workouts, I felt so confident." Still, given the nature of the event and the fact that competitors are allocated a certain time period (typically 4-5 days) to complete each stage of the workouts, there is an element of wait and see when it comes to knowing exactly where you rank.
"After the last workout, I was kind of nervous, even though I had a big point margin," she said. "Technically, the deadline is today at 5:00 p.m., but everyone had submitted their scores, so it was clear that nobody could catch me."
In terms of identifying a TSN turning point, if such an animal exists within the sub-culture that is CrossFit training, Stevens-Paquette suggested her second workout, one focused on drills involving a rowing machine, drove home the point that victory was possible.
"It was a tough, hard workout, you just had to chip away at it, but once I put in my score and saw that I had finished first in both sessions, I was like, Oh My God! After that workout, I felt like poop," she added with a laugh.
No rest for the weary, however.
Stevens-Paquette noted that she has two more qualifying events on the horizon, looking to advance to the final phase of either CrossFit Wodapalooza in Miami (February 2020) or the CrossFit Atlas Games in Montreal (January 2020).