Ian & Tracy Watts | Members of the Month

"Right from the get-go Ian and Tracy have been eager CrossFit beavers and it's safe to say they haven't slowed down since! I could tell when I was doing their On Ramp sessions with them that they were going to be committed 100%. Everything from nutrition to movement variations of the lifts they were learning were already on their radar. Fast forward 6 months of dedicated attendance and hard work, and I know they must be thrilled with the progress they have made. You can often find them getting extra practice in during Open Gym, never shying away from working on their weaknesses and instead wanting to take them head on. They are friendly, helpful and always welcoming to new faces. I don't have the pleasure of coaching them as much for class these days as 6 am seems to have permanently snagged them, but Tracy fills me in during our weekly one-on-one personal training sessions. She is driven and determined about reaching her goals and I can't help but feel grateful being able to play a role in helping her get there. I also personally love that it quickly turned into a family affair for them, having one, and sometimes both sons, regularly in youth class! The improvement that I've seen with the mini Watts is equally as incredible. All of them walk around the gym stronger, fitter and more confident than when they started. Keep on the path, you guys!!!"

- Coach Marianne

What brought you to CrossFit?
Tracy and I have been on a real fitness journey for the last 8 years. This started with both of us joining a gym and losing in total 163 lbs. We had always been active people until we had our kids, and life just took over. After this big weight loss which happened over a full year we where both experiencing some overuse injuries (sore knees, both my shoulders, etc) So we backed off some. We then had a life changing experience of having my parents move down to Toronto and live with us. This was amazing for us to have the support of family around, but it did make us more “busy” and we started to miss more and more gym days. Soon Tracy and I were not happy with our fitness again, and I did not want to go back through that crazy process of losing that much weight ever again. Enter CrossFit. I had seen it on T.V., had some friends talk about it and it had me very curious. I had been doing weight training since I was 14 years old, but using the more restricted movements of body building, so doing some Olympic lifting had me really excited. Tracy was a little nervous, but after I did my intro meeting with Marianne, I came home and spent the next 2 hours telling her how much she would like it.  I finally convinced Tracy and we did onramp together. Tracy adds, "it was like nothing I had ever done before", but she was looking forward to the challenge.

What was your first impression? 
Ian: Well for me it was like being back in my high school wrestling gym. Rubber floors, sweating, grunting, load weights, loud music.. Marianne t might have thought I was crazy with my goofy “I am back” smile on my face.  With that, I had some feelings of, Oh crap, I hope I can handle this! I was also looking around and seeing a bunch of really fit people looking like the workout just killed them. That was a bit of a wake-up call that this would not be “easy”, which excited me. I was very eager to jump in and see what I could do, forgetting I was not in the same shape I had been in. I wanted to talk to everyone to see how long they had been doing this, and what they had learned.  

Tracy: My first impression of CrossFit was one of intimidation, what fresh hell have I signed up for? and can I really do this?

How has it changed? 
Ian: I am not as worried about “Can I do it” thanks to the great coaches who helped me “stash my ego” and "scale my workouts" to my abilities.  I am slowly getting to know more and more of the members. This part has really made Crux my “escape valve” for stress. I go to the gym, get a great workout and chat with people who have the same fitness mission. It’s nice to have a tribe.  :-)

Tracy: I am not intimidated anymore, I still wonder what fresh hell I have gotten myself into some days and but I know I can do it! I have a love-hate relationship with CrossFit. I hate a lot of the movements, but love the way I feel after I have completed or accomplished a new weight I couldn’t do before.

What is your proudest moment at Crux?
Ian: Honestly I have had a more than a few moments where I was feeling super excited seeing my performance increases, often the feeling lasts the whole day. Notable times where PR’s on Cleans and Deadlifts in the last few months (cuz I love lifting weights) and my first few RX workouts. I am looking forward some time in the future for my first CRX workout. But the proudest moment really for me was watching Tracy compete in the Open. I love to watch Tracy try and succeed, and while she does not always feel like she did well, I can’t help but always feel proud when she gets a new PR or some new lift. You might even notice me hiding out in the hall when my son Logan is there as well....Same feelings :-)

Tracy: I have a couple of proud moments…first was completing my first Murph, I had heard other members talk about the Murph and I can say it scared me. I went in thinking I was only going to do half, but at 30 minutes in and almost done with the pull ups, push ups, and squats I knew I could finish. The second proudest moment was deadlifting my bodyweight 77 times to finally accomplish an RX workout with the recommended weight. I can tell you I’m not light, lol. I thank Ian for always being my biggest supporter, as I know he is always crushing it! He has come far in only a few short months.

What are you working on now?
Ian: The question is what am I not working on! I am working on the Double Unders.  They are in so many workouts, and without them being smooth it really holds me back. Spending lots of time tripping and starting again. I have also been working getting my form correct on some of the Olympic lifts as well as working on my pull exercises (pull up, C2B, and t2b) 

Tracy: I’m working on many things, but mainly getting that first pull up and increasing strength and proper lifting technique. I have to give a shout out to Brandon and now Marianne for pushing me in my personal training time.

What's your favourite thing or memory at Crux?
Ian: Honestly it is watching my son do his first chin up. The second was the Open, which I really liked the team aspect of that.  It’s great fun the cheer on your fellow members and then all have a laugh about it later. 

Tracy: hmmm... favourite crux memory.. I really enjoyed the open, so much excitement and adrenaline. It was such an awesome atmosphere to work out in and to be a part in cheering your fellow cruxes on. I have to thank Allen Lemieux and the 6 a.m. crew for peer pressuring me into it. I really had no intentions of doing the open, but happy that I did.

What motivates you?
Ian: Ok, so this is going to sound really egotistical, but it’s the results. I have been really fit a few times in my life, but often to get there has been a long long road, and required me to lose lots of strength, then work hard to gain it all back. For me, (I am sure not everyone see this), this time I am getting in great shape and maintaining/increasing my strength. I love the feeling of being strong, knowing I can do things that the average person would scoff at. There is also the knowledge that this is something I could maintain and keep myself feeling this way.

Tracy: My motivation is seeing other people around me crushing their goal and I want to be able to do the same. I’m working on being the best me I can be. I’m not there yet, but one day I will be.

Advice to someone getting started?
Ian: The pain you feel now will lessen and it will become simpler if you keep coming.  The results will happen, given your diet is in check.  Don’t be afraid to talk to people.  It may seem like some are walking around not noticing you, most are “in the zone” and barely hear the instructor due to the blood pumping through their ears/brain.  Everyone feels a little nervous the first few weeks, ask questions of the instructors, get assistance finding the right scaling and soon you will feel right at home. 

Tracy: Ian basically summed it all up for me, but I just wanted to add that even when you don’t feel like going just get in your car and go to the gym. No matter how you feel get up, dress up, show up and never give up.