Meet Cam Toner!

Super consistent! Super hard worker! Keep it up buddy.

“I’ve always been active… Working downtown, I was fortunate when the company I worked for opened an employee Fitness Centre. That enabled me to head to the gym every lunch hour and provided access to the Edmonton River Valley for great runs. That started about 30 years ago, led to many many runs, 5 & 10 KM races, aerobics classes (yes really, and no I didn’t embrace spandex), Step Classes, Boxercise, then more serious events like 36 hour adventure racing, half marathons, marathons, Birkebeiners (ask me about what it is!) and a 50KM trail ultra marathon to celebrate my 50th birthday. My real passion for the past 10 years has been Cross Country Skiing, and I had the good fortune of getting hired on with the Strathcona Wilderness Centre, eventually becoming a level 3 CANSI instructor.

I’ve never been seriously focused on strength training, other than the occasional circuit on the obligatory weight machines at the gym. As the years are passing, I was starting to find that while the cardio may be willing, the body may not. At our 2018 ski season wind up party, I told my friend Tristan that I needed to do some strength training and asked about what he does… he said something like “why not try Crossfit”? “Cross-what?” is likely how I responded, but I signed up for a Crossfit 101 class at CFSP a couple of weeks later.

Crossfit initially was a real challenge. I knew pretty much zero about Olympic Weightlifting, and while I’ve watched my daughters compete in Gymnastics for years, I’ve never done a handstand or even beat swings on a bar. I was used to settling in to a rhythm in a run or ski and chipping away at the miles – not going flat out for a 15 minute WOD. I felt intimidated and frankly embarrassed about how little weight I seemed to be able to lift compared to everyone else. But the words of encouragement from the coaches, Glenn, Shannon, Tristan, and finally the high fives and “good job” from everyone at the gym, kept me coming back.

I’d say the biggest change came during my first Crossfit Open this March. Being part of a team, being cheered on, and cheering on others, made me feel that I no longer was an outsider to Crossfit. I still scale most everything, but occasionally I get close to an Rx! I feel more confident in my technique, and my PR’s continue to improve. My handstands are coming along, and I’ll get consistent in my double-unders or die trying! I thought I was reasonably fit before, but I love the feeling of strength and the confidence in my abilities to take on new challenges that Crossfit has provided me. Thanks everyone, for the high fives and “good jobs’!”