Thom Szymanski

After years of playing rugby on a highly competitive levels and designing my workouts on a Westside Barbell model I was looking for a new challenge. In 2009 I began working out on my own in a Crossfit style at various globo gyms. It became apparent quite quickly that the tenacity, focus and self-determination demanded by this training were at a level unlike any other I had ever encountered. I was hooked.

With Westside, putting up big numbers become routine, became mundane, become mindless. Yet, in this new approach – and what sets Crossfit apart from everything else – I had to be focused 100% of the time on my form, my strength, myself.

Although at the end of Crossfit workouts I would leave the dumbbells and jump rope at the gym, the self-confidence and perseverance that I developed and honed with each thruster and each double under followed me home.

It was only shortly after delving into the world of Crossfit that I found out serendipitously during a routine medical check-up that I would need open heart surgery to correct a life-threatening aneurysm in my ascending aorta. From the time the aneurysm was found to the time I was finally under the knife (about a month) the aneurysm grew from 4.7cm to 5.5cm. The doctors didn’t have to tell me twice how lucky I was. Throughout recovery, I found myself time and time again invoking lessons learned in my trials and tribulations with Crossfit. Three months later, and just as the first signs of spring were showing, I was back to the thrusters and double unders with a bit less intensity but exponentially more drive. Since then I’ve recorded multiple personal records in various lifts and time trials, and developed an array of new gymnastic skills.

Simply put, Crossfit training helped me bring the focus of fitness back to where it belongs, within the individual human spirit. Through coaching I strive to encourage others to exercise that most powerful, yet often forgotten muscle, the mind.

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