An acting career can be just as constantly varied as a Crossfit lifestyle. Which is why the transition from sedentary to increasingly active was a no brainer for our fellow lion Josh.

1. How did you discover the world of Crossfit and Academy of Lions? 

I found Crossfit years ago when I found Kelly Starrett’s Daily MWOD uploads in my efforts to relieve chronic back pain from really crappy alignment and too much sitting. I didn't really think much about Crossfit beyond that!

Then two years ago we moved down the street from the Academy while I was on a tour of an unbelievably physical play. I came back, went back to a sedentary lifestyle, and sunk into a depression. So I thought I’d try Crossfit as a way to get out of that funk! Now it’s key part of maintaining my mental health! 

2. What sort of physical background did you come from? 

Nothing interesting. I was always less than average in athletics. I did alright with longer distance running and stuff. But I think it had more to do with grit than ability! 

3. You participated and won the Catch Us If You Can competition we started last summer. How was your overall experience and will you do it again this summer? 

It was TEAM HORSE MALARKEY that won it, which includes the unstoppable Robyn McNamara and adorable Brad Demone. It was a blast. Very creative and fun. It was also great to have such a unique experience with so many members of the gym. It really contributed to making me feel more a part of the gym than ever. Looking forward to it this year. 

4. How was it experiencing your first Crossfit open this year? 

10/10. So many great aspects of the open. First, by following the open announcements I learned a lot more about who’s who in the sport and how it all works. Learning to overcome the anxiety of competition was a fun challenge. It also forced me learn new skills and showed me the limits of my abilities, which has contributed to a major intensity boost in my training since! Finally, I was working in Saskatoon for most of it on a contract I wasn’t too thrilled about. The Open connected me to the Crossfit community there and gave me something to look forward to every week! 

5. You’ve done a bit of travelling with your acting career. How do you maintain your fitness while being away? 

My most recent six months in and out of town was the first time I really kept up with training while on the road — and it was mostly because I knew I wanted to do the open. When I’ve toured I try to stop by local affiliates. Most don't mind a free drop in if you throw a nice review on their facebook! I’ve also done many 7 minute AMRAP of burpies in hotel rooms.

For longer contracts I’ve transplanted myself into other Crossfit families. Subzero in Thunder Bay and Brio in Saskatoon have both been temporary home away from homes. I can always count on feeling welcome in a Crossfit gym. 

6.What are some of you biggest achievements / milestones that you accomplished at the Academy of Lions? 

Generally any time I see I PR on Wodify I’m excited. If you don’t record your work in Wodify yet I highly recommend it. So worth it after you get some data in place. When I joined two years ago I could barely do one pull up!

I could be wrong but it seems to me that the only thing you have to worry about is how much intensity you are putting into your workout. The harder you go, the more you will progress. The programming and coaches take care of the rest. 

7.You're currently working as a bike messenger for a food delivery service and bike around 50-75 km a day. What kind of impact has this job had on your training?

Actually it went the other way around. Because of Crossfit I knew I wanted an active job when I decided to hang around Toronto for the summer. The only thing that’s changed is I’m now eating 6 full meals a day! 

8.Do you have an prospective upcoming goals that you’d like hit before 2017? 

Generally I’m trying to gain weight and get stronger. It’s where I fell short in the Open and definitely outside my comfort zone. I just try to eat an unreasonable amount of food and lift with people who are way bigger than me! :D

9.Can you tell us something that we don’t already know about you? 

I held out until 2013 with a flip phone. Then someone gave me their old iPhone and I’ve since become completely app integrated. Like I end up talking about apps more than I mean to. I just counted 12 apps that I use daily all in line with self-improvement — mindfulness, cooking, learning guitar, the list goes on. Four other apps I use for sources of income. And one of my two major projects right now is raising $50 000 to build an app that I expect to do nothing short of restoring society’s faith in Theatre!

If I could recommend one app it would be Habitica. It’s a ridiculous 8- bit style gamify-your-life thing where making and breaking real life habits lands you sweet gold, equipment, and pets. Do I really do ten wall squats every day? Yes, but that’s mostly because I’m trying to find enough strawberries to grow my red flying pig into a mount. If you want to join and get yourself up to level 20 you can join my party, The Fellowship of Oz, and you can help us defeat bosses as you lose weight, learn French, do the dishes, or whatever. :D

10.What advice would you give to someone just starting Crossfit? 

1. Getting into the habit of coming is the most important at the beginning so try to come no matter what. Even if you have to do a light work out, conquering the excuses for staying home early on will pay off in the long run! 
2. Try to introduce yourself to a new person every class. No one expects you to remember everyone’s name but becoming part of the community can really help build the habit of going to the gym. 
3. Try to talk to, lift with, and learn from those who can do what you can’t yet. They’ve probably been where you are and it really helps push you intensity-wise! 
4. Consider this: if our ancestors took a rest day, would they not have starved to death? Eh?! 
5. Don’t listen to #4. I’m not a coach and rest days are probably extremely important.

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