Written by Ashley Dier | Academy of Lions Media Team | Toronto

Over the next few weeks we'll explore the concept of "sweat together, stay together" through the relationships of Academy members. In 2 Can Do It, I discussed the advantages of working out with a partner - forces you to work harder, provides social support, helps you celebrate your success, with these concepts in mind I spoke with Cam Gillmoure and Rachel Palen - partners in the gym and life. 

A healthy relationship - in my opinion - is one that is constantly evolving, one where both partners are being challenged, one with growth.

Cam and Rachel are both members at the Academy, Cam does CrossFit and Rachel the MetCon classes. Cam has been naturally active for most of his life and had been wanting to try the Academy for some time while attending other gyms in the city. After walking by for months, Cam decided to give it a try, and he's been hooked ever since..that was a year ago. For Rachel, things went a little differently. Rachel never considered herself a "sporty person", but would use going to the gym as a way to "destress and focus her mind". After a bit of gentle persuasion and a friendly challenge, Rachel did something she never thought she'd ever do, she joined a CrossFit gym.

Rachel - Cam basically challenged me in October. He's like 'just come for one month'.  I was like I don't know, I don't think i'm gonna like it, I'm not a CrossFit person.

Cam- The common stereotypes of crossfitters get over useds a bit, and Rach was joking about it one day, I said just come and try it for one month.

Rachel - And I haven't stopped coming ever since.

When Cam was coming to the Academy on his own Rachel couldn't help but feel a bit of resentment, but that quickly faded when Rachel came with Cam. Quite quickly, the two noticed that going to the gym with your partner, meant having someone there to push you to come, even early in the morning when you’d rather be sleeping.

Rachel -It's very much part of who Cam is, he needs to go to the gym a certain amount of times a week to feel balanced.

Cam-it de-stresses me and relaxes me in a weird way. It stresses my body but it relaxes my mind, without it my week crumbles. I’m much more productive. I think Rachel would agree on this, but even if you don’t feel like coming one of us will be like 'oh we should go today' and get the other one going. And no matter what that day is like you always feel better coming out.

Rachel - You never leave and wish that you didn't go.

Cam- It's the reverse, if you don’t go you wish you did.

Rachel - I think that we're really good at motivating each other, but then sometimes we enable each other to sleep in. There are a lot of times when one person will turn the light on and the other person is like ok, I guess we’re going.

Cam and Rachel met four years ago while they were both travelling separately in Europe, their relationship has been one exciting adventure ever since. Whether it's camping, hiking or working out together, Cam and Rachel are always active, a couple who crave adventure. The adventures tone of their relationship continues at the Academy where they constantly push each other out of their comfort zones, (the place we all know is where the magic really happens). Cam hopes to try a few entry level triathlons this summer and Rachel admitted (much to Cam's pleasure) that she would like to try a competition at the Academy.

For Rachel her attendance at the gym has helped more than just her relationship with Cam. “I feel like i’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in, which is a great feeling. It makes me feel more athletic and stronger,” she said. Despite the countless physical benefits, for Cam the Academy is all about the community. “I love the friendships and the community I’ve formed. I feel like I didn’t branch out a lot in University, we were seven guys and we were our tight knit group. Looking back I wish I did a bit more of the community stuff, and here it’s the perfect opportunity for me. I love coming in and high-fiving everybody,” he said.  

The Academy is more than a gym, Cam and Rachel were very adamant on that fact. As we chatted I couldn't help but see all the glaring similarities between the gym and their own relationship. When I asked Rachel how she would describe her relationship with Cam her answer was sweet and comforting, and also perfectly described the Academy.

"Our relationship is always evolving. One thing for us is that we're both always trying to better ourselves...mentally, physically, emotionally, in all ways, we're both pretty into that and inspired by that. It's a work in progress, but we try."