She was a middle of the road athlete. He was completely at home in a gym.
Together, they found just the right fit at CrossFit Sudbury.
"I always played sports, even if I wasn't necessarily the most gifted in them," noted 33 year old Danielle (Champaigne) Dugas, the eldest of three girls in the family. "We all liked doing things to keep active."
"I played organized sport from the time that I was four or so," chimed in Ryan Dugas, her spouse, also 33, as the couple logged in for a Zoom interview along with their first-born, Emmett, a four-month old.
"I was always a good athlete, but probably not the most dedicated to anything," he added. "I played right through to the end of high-school. Basically, I tried everything but hockey."
When their youth sport careers ended, there remained that desire to keep active and stay fit.
"Once I finished high school, I was into not necessarily body building, but going to the gym with my buddies," said Ryan. "That was kind of my physical activity. But I just kind of got sick of that scene. You spent more time in the sauna than you do working out."
Roughly four years ago, after having come across some video footage, Ryan would give CrossFit Sudbury a shot. The connection was immediate. "I tried it and was hooked," he said. "That first introduction phase, that people usually do in four to six weeks, I did in two weeks, because I just couldn't get enough."
And though the notion had certainly crossed her mind, Danielle would follow a little later on, attending her first class at CrossFit Sudbury some six months later. "We talked about it even before Ryan started going, and I actually wanted to join," she said. "I was going to Goodlife and enjoying that enough."
"But he was doing so many different things and it seemed like much more of a community, which appealed to me." Still, where Ryan might seem to be completely at ease, comfortably in his element, one could understand if Danielle were just a tad more apprehensive. The graduate of College Notre-Dame and respiratory therapist by trade insisted that wasn't the case.
"Generally, everybody has something that they're stronger at," she explained. "For me, I was better at cardio. That part was easier to do, and then you slowly learn to do all of the other parts of it, even if you're not necessarily great. I remember the first time I tried to do a pull-up. I didn't move."
"But everybody is really encouraging, everybody can scale every movement to something they can do. Every puts in an effort, as best they can. And the environment is always really positive."
At 6'2", Ryan excelled the most at baseball and basketball in his youth. Still, he appreciates the diversity of the CrossFit Sudbury regimen, welcoming one and all to partake. "I came in being strong," he said. "Squat, dead lifts, bench press - those movements were my strengths. But a big part of CrossFit is being a well-rounded individual."
"The cardio just crushed me - running, rowing, the things that I despised before. It's still a work in progress. A lot of people believe that they are not in good enough shape to try it, but I'm not sure how exactly you get into good enough shape if you don't just do it."