If she isn’t being a loving wife and mother of 2 daughters or managing the taxes of her clients, Monique Ganon enjoys spending her off time “WODing” here with us at Academy of Lions since 2011!
1. How did you get into Crossfit? Were you nervous at first?
A friend was doing Crossfit and told me all about it, and at the time I needed something new to do. I tried the first trial classes and signed up for a year (right away!). I had no idea what I was getting into. None. When I went to my first wod, it was some hero wod, and I deeply regretted my decision. Then I was terrified. Thankfully I stuck with it, but I remember going into every class feeling hopeful, dread, and terrified.
2. Before the Academy, you were doing taekwondo for many years. How did you get into it, what colour of belt were you and why the change to Crossfit?
I always liked the idea of doing Martial Arts and had wanted to try it for a long time. When I did I liked it. It challenged me in a new way, physically, that I had never before faced. I hadn't worked out seriously before that. Eventually, I worked up to my 2nd Black Belt then I decided I really needed a change. Honestly Crossfit was just a happy accident. The gym opened up close to my house after my friend telling me about it.
3. What were some of your personal accomplishments / milestones you achieved while at the Academy of Lions?
There have been so many after so many years. Doing pull ups, double unders, hand stands, were just some, and increasing my lifting weights, in weight, but also in technique. Getting through tough wods (Murph) and not dying. I've never been a Crossfit type so it's all an accomplishment for me - still.
4. As a mother of 2 daughters, you must be very conscious about the food you eat and serve to your girls. How do you find a balance between healthy eating and treating them to foods that kids and parents alike would prefer?
I've given up trying to make them eat healthy. They are definitely not allowed as much junk as they like, but hopefully by seeing how we (my husband and I) eat will inspire them to eat healthier when they're making their own decisions. That said, we don't eat out often and they've never eaten at any of the fast food chains.
5. You must be very encouraging to your girls in doing phyisical activity. What sports do they enjoy doing? Do you think they would try their hand at Crossfit?
They both play a lot of sports at school and do gymnastics. We've tried to keep them active so that they learn how much fun personal achievements can be. I strongly believe in muscle memory as well, and that by being active as kids will lead to them being active as adults, even if they forget about it for some time. I think a part of Crossfit is having to challenge yourself, and enjoy that challenge. I don't think my kids have that yet, but maybe some day.
6. You’ve been one of our amazing judges at many of our Lion’s Leagues and Crossfit Opens. What has your interest in participating at a judging capacity vs competing as an athlete?
Actually, I competed in the first Lion's League and another, butfor the Open the first year I judged, I was not working out due to some injuries I was nursing. I missed the gym, and the people, so Freya recommended I judge. I really liked being a part of it, and helping the community in any way I could. I find it all very inspiring. Everyone works so hard. I think it has scared me from competing a little too though. Every year I say next year I'll compete, so, maybe next year will be the year.
7. You’ve done a Tough Mudder and a Spartan Race. How was your experience with both these events? What would you say to someone who may be interested, but has yet to make the commitment to obstacle racing?
Both were very different experiences. The Tough Mudder I did with Nurit, and it was one of those fluke May days where it was freezing and snowing. It turned out to be less of physical challenge and more of a mental challenge. People all around us were being taken off due to hypothermia. The physical parts were nothing in comparison to the mental. The Spartan Race I did right after hurting my back, so although there was a team (the BCB crew), it was more of a fun social race rather than a serious one, as everyone was sympathetic to my injury (I think).
I would say to someone who wanted to try an Obstacle race to do it, make the experience your own, and challenge yourself, it's always a fun experience.
8. Could you tell us something that we may not know about you?
I got my first black belt a week before delivering my second child. And I'm a good Scrabble player, always up for a challenge.
9. What goals have you set for yourself in the world of Crossfit? Is there any other sort of physical activities you wish to try that you’ve yet to?
Honestly, I've achieved so much doing Crossfit that I thought I'd never accomplish... my first rope climb took me about ten minutes, when I finally got to the top everyone cheered, it was a proud moment. Now I love rope climbs. I feel like there's nothing that I can't accomplish, but yet so much I would still like to do. What I focus on more now is technique, getting faster, stronger, better with good technique and no injuries. That said, I'll always try for a free standing handstand.
10. There can be a lot of people intimidated by Crossfit and it’s high intensity. What kind of advice would you give to an athlete just starting out with us at the Academy?
When I started people were very encouraging and helpful, so I like finding the person struggling through one of their first classes, and try to say hi and welcome them. I remember how scary and lonely it can be. I often tell them that it won't always suck... it'll feel good... really.