July 2019

Stephanie Haley

What inspired you to start your journey into CrossFit?


I was first told about CrossFit from a co-worker and she invited me to come check out the new gym she was opening, Crossfit Bytown. I had no idea what I was getting into, but had always liked to be active and figured I would give it a try. I can’t remember what my first workout was, but I do remember not being able to walk for a few days, yet still wanting to go back. I used to go to Goodlife and would try to navigate my way around the weight room, but really had no idea what I was doing. CrossFit was the first time I was really introduced to lifting heavy barbells and I loved the fact that having “thick thighs” was a positive! I cancelled my Goodlife membership shortly after that and have been a member of Bytown ever since.


Why did you decide that CrossFit Bytown was the right fit for you?


At the time, Bytown was the only CrossFit gym in the downtown area, so it was convenient, but if I didn’t feel as welcome as I did by the coaches and other members when I started, I likely wouldn’t have continued with CrossFit. CrossFit wasn’t nearly as popular back when I started as it is now and almost all of the members had a lot to learn. The coaching was very encouraging and I enjoyed the fact that we were all learning together and were constantly pushing each other to get better. These days, the skills and level of fitness of the members in any given class can vary significantly, but that encouragement and support from the coaching team hasn’t changed.

I’ve made some great friends through Bytown and they are a big part of why I keep coming. There are days where I think about staying in bed an extra hour instead of going to workout, and then I remember that a friend told me they were going to the class, and I get up and make my way there!


Do you have any current goals, whether it be inside the gym or outside the gym that you’re trying to achieve?


My goals these days are quite a bit different than when I started! I’m currently at the beginning of my third trimester with my first baby and my focus now is staying healthy and maintaining some activity in my life. I’ve been fortunate to have a healthy pregnancy so far and have been able to come to CrossFit 3-4 times a week throughout my entire pregnancy. My workouts look very different and I don’t push myself nearly as hard, or ever go for PRs, but it feels good to be able to move. I’m hoping to continue with CrossFit, in some form, as long as I can before I give birth, and am already looking forward to the time when I am recovered enough to get back to the gym.


If you could give any advice to a new member or someone who is interested in CrossFit, what would you tell them?


Focus on the mechanics of the movements and don’t get caught up with what others are doing or comparing yourself! CrossFit is very safe in my opinion, but not if you don’t respect it.  Take time to learn and master the movements and it will benefit you much more in the long run than pushing past your limits. 


Dan Shrum