There is no denying that the athletes who become committed to the CrossFit Sudbury training regimen represent a complete cross-section of athletic backgrounds. In just one fell swoop, Sudbury lawyer Lea Britt probably covered off a whole slew of those variances, single-handedly.
Born and raised in the area, the 29 year old graduate of both Laurentian University (undergraduate degree) and the School of Law at the University of New Brunswick was good, but not great, as a youth involved in sports, remaining extremely active, though not excelling in any kind of noteworthy fashion.
"We used to live in Wanup, when I was a kid, right on the river, so my parents wanted us all to be able to swim really well," she said. "I have two brothers, and we tended to have the same sports - swimming and softball during the summer, maybe a little soccer, then some hockey and flag football in high school."
Finding outlets to balance off the academic pressures of her studies at UNB, Britt would venture out as a runner, taking at crack at boxing, and subsequently throwing in a little Muay Tai upon her return home, her law degree safely in hand.
It wasn't until the fall of 2015 that the graduate of Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School would even discover CrossFit Sudbury as a viable option. "I had moved back from Law School and was searching for something to do with the little free time that I did have," she said.
"A lot of the friends and connections that I had when I was younger had either moved, or their lives had changed, so I was looking for a new way to make friends." True, there was a social motivator in place, but the attraction to what has now become her passion ran deeper than that.
"It was the variety," said Britt. "Using a gym, I tended to get bored fairly quickly, following the same three day a week program. With CrossFit Sudbury, there is so much more. It's strength and skills practice, and a longer part of the workout, and they will vary the lifts."
"It's a mix of different movements, and you're doing them sometimes at a lighter weight, to do the skill better, or maybe improving your ability to sustain for a longer period of time. It could be gymnastic movements. It's very different than what you would see at a typical gym."
"A big part of what we do is first learning the proper technique or skill, and then building on that," Britt continued. "It takes a lot of practice, a lot of time. Most of us don't walk into the gym capable of doing complex gymnastic movements."
While the notion of the CrossFit Games and its many derivatives certainly plays to that competitive instinct of a good portion of their client base, Britt suggested that involvement in those types of events is far from mandatory.
"I think there is a range of personalities," she said. "Some people are quite happy not to be part of any kind of competitive element, just go to the classes and enjoy the social aspect, before or after the class."
"I'm probably somewhere in the middle, between someone who doesn't want to do any competitions and someone who wants to do tons of them." A participant in "Beyond the Barbell" for the past four years, Britt holds no illusions of grandeur, looking to simply have fun with her team and push herself just a little more than a standard workout.
Interestingly enough, she has also seen an athletic side benefit to the more broad based takeaways from her CrossFit Sudbury sessions. "I've developed more of an interest in running, and my injury levels have decreased," she said.
To boot, she is also far more at ease in any kind of sporting setting, where she holds any previous experience or not. "I find that I am more open to jumping into things that are a little bit more unknown, to me, just because I've gained more confidence in my athletic abilities through CrossFit."
Her first half marathon now in the books, Britt has morphed over slightly, enjoying the scenery of trail runs, all while absorbing a more sturdy endurance component. In the meantime, twice a year reviews with the coach who initially assessed her fundamentals at CrossFit Sudbury ensures that her workouts remain on course.
"That's when I have a little bit of a check-in, with myself, seeing what I want to work on," said Britt. "I consider this as part of my lifestyle now. I don't see any reason why I would stop doing it."