1. How did you get involved in Crossfit and the Academy of Lions?
In 2007 I was going through a pretty crazy divorce (long story short, I married a man but divorced a woman!) To help cope with the stress of my life unraveling the way it was, my sister-in-law recommended I see her trainer while i was visiting Calgary over Christmas; she was convinced I'd love his fitness regime - this new thing called 'crossfit.' His name was James FitzGerald, and it turned out he was the inaugural Crossfit Games male champion. Initially I was just following the programming on my own in a Goodlife, with him updating my programming every 6 weeks, but after a while I heard there was a crossfit gym near me, so I joined the AoL when it was over on Gladstone. I remember when Freya started!
2. What sort of physical background did you come from?
When I was a kid (starting at 3 or 4) my dad used to take us to a place called The Winter Club, where, 4 nights a week we swam, skated, played badminton, squash and bowled for like 4 hours. When it came time to play sports, we were pretty coordinated and interested, so I played basketball, volleyball, badminton and then did all sorts of track and field (1500m, shot put, discus), etc. And because we grew up in Calgary, we of course skied. My new (still male! ;-)) husband is also a skier so a lot of our family trips are to Revelstoke, Steamboat, Taos, Le Massif, etc.
3. Do you feel that Crossfit provides an outlet for you to handle any stress in your life?
Most definitely! It was immensely helpful through my divorce, and because I work from home, I use it to break up my day and to socialize. You know how people always say they go to yoga because they don't think about anything other than yoga while they're there? For me its the opposite; in yoga my mind will race...doing crossfit I don't think about anything else, so its meditative that way for me.
4. With all the travelling that you do around the world, have you been to other Crossfit boxes? What other sorts of activities do you engage in while you are away?
I have been to a few other boxes - Vancouver, Ottawa and Halifax and that's always fun, but really our Academy classes are always way more fun - especially the 10am and noon classes where we have a pretty core group of regulars. I'm active when I travel. Last year I learned how to scuba-dive in Cuba. When I was in China last year I spent 4 days walking around these crazy Karst forests, remote parts of the Great Wall. I did NOT try to get to a crossfit there tho ;-)
5. Over the course of your 9 year journey in the Crossfit world, how have your nutritional habits evolved?
At the very beginning I was far more strict with the paleo stuff; now I'd say I'm 80-20. Discounting booze :-)
6. What kind of impact has your physical culture and mindful living had on your children’s upbringing. Do you encourage them to be physically active and eat healthy?
We have a pretty big blended Brady family - a 20 year old, 16 year old and a 13 year old. All boys (so far!) including the dogs, and each of them is active in their own way. My son, whom a lot of people know at the gym because I used to bring him to classes, plays hockey and is a really incredible skier because he gets to go on like 3 separate trips to his grandparents' place in Revelstoke. My experience with children is that they're not super keen on paleo. Because we eat two to three veggies plus a protein every dinner, they eat pretty well when we're in charge, but they're pretty set on cereal, granola bars, cheese, crackers and pizzas when they're in charge.
7. You’ve competed and judged a bunch of Crossfit related competitions and opens. What is it like to be in a competitive, high intensity environment where you get to put your training to the test?
I love the challenge of it - especially Lion's League. When I am injured and can't compete, I try to judge. The Open is hard for me to partake in because it always occurs when I'm away on an analyst conference in Colorado skiing. Lion's League is a community-creating experience; everyone should try it because the coaches have structured it so that all skill levels can participate.
8. What are some things you are most proud of achieving while at the Academy?
I think I still hold the women's Double Unders record - 113 consecutive! Even though my schedule varies for work, this is the longest I've stuck with any one type of fitness, and I would guess that's because crossfit isn't just one thing, so its never boring. I love chippers. I'm 47 and I can still hold my own with alot of the WODs, although my knees are mutinying as we speak.
9. Could you tell us something that we don’t know about you?
I'm a 'walking spinal' - I broke my back skiing in Fernie about 14 years ago - fell on a mogul run, and the fall-line of the run launched me over a cliff, I fell about 20 feet, landed on a tree. My friends were all "stretch it out, take some deep breaths" but we had no idea what damage I'd done, so I walked up and out of the cliff, but when I put my skis back on I couldn't lift my feet to turn....for a while i couldn't even hold my own house keys without my back killing me.
10. Any words of wisdom that you would like to pass on to any newcomers starting out?
Stay away from me! Clearly I'm like a beacon for bad luck! ;-) No, have fun, do what you can every day, chip away and track things and you'll find yourself improving all the time. People are competitive at the gym, but mainly with themselves.