THE Crossfit Bytown STORY
Everett Sloan - OWNER
At CrossFit Bytown, the value we hold in the highest regard is that of self-improvement. Not just our physical selves, but also our mental and emotional selves. We strive to continually learn every day and we always look to find a win. We don’t necessarily believe in progress, but evolution; as people, as coaches, and as a gym. We do our best to reflect these beliefs towards everyone that walks through our doors. We follow one simple motto: Look, Feel, Perform Better.
Taylor is the Head Coaches at CrossFit Bytown. He has been rooted in a CrossFit gym for the last decade and has spent close to half of his life exercising and training. Taylor acquired his CrossFit Level-1 certification in 2011 and has held it to the highest standard ever since. Taylor's approach to coaching and training is much different than others. He believes that every human should be taught based on their individuality, and not using a "one size fits all" ideology.
Although Taylor is considered a Coach and a teacher, he remains a student at heart. He believes that learning is a fundamental process that should be encompassed by all. Taylor is constantly looking for new ways of training the body and brain, as well as new training philosophies. Whether it be during a group class or a one on one session, we can guarantee that you will have a great experience with Taylor.
Andrew recently ended a career in the Navy where he spent 12 rewarding years in service to Canada, seeing the world from a very unique perspective balancing work responsibilities with running a personal and group physical training program for the ship's company... which somehow managed to always include burpees on the flight deck.
Andrew began CrossFit in 2015 while living in Halifax as a means to recover from a running injury and build more strength to withstand long distances on trails. The community he found at the gym as well as the results from the programming quickly took over a his primary training method. An accomplished ultra-marathoner and avid adventurer. He has run the rocky cliffs of the maritimes, hiked all 250 miles of the John Muir Trail and over 1000 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail, explored the mountains of Europe, deserts of North Africa and the jungles of Sri Lanka with many stops in between. Always seeking adventure and looking for ways to explore the human experience and share it with others.
Andrew graduated from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition 2017 where he obtained a diploma in Holistic Nutrition and is a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer.
Natalie is a certified hatha/yin/SUP yoga teacher, pole fitness instructor, group fitness instructor and CrossFit Level 1 Trainer. In 2003 she graduated from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition where she obtained a diploma in Natural Nutrition with the accompanying professional title Registered Holistic Nutritionist™. The program was so life-altering that she bought the school! For the past 14 years she has been the Branch Manager/Owner of the Ottawa location of the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition.
Victoria started her CrossFit journey in 2017 at CrossFit Bytown. After gaining her freshman 15 during her first year of Uni, her dad took her to a partner wod at Bytown. "Every inch of my body was sore and muscles I didn't even know existed were screaming, but I LOVED it." From then on Victoria has trained regularly the past 4 years and especially loves long, grindy wods where you finish feeling accomplished and with a smile on your face!
Unbroken Recovery Coach
My name is Louise Goodman I have been sober of drugs and alcohol since Feb 14, 2000. I took my first drink at 3, had my favourite drink by the time i was 10 and was doing cocaine and LSD regularly by 14. I dropped out of school and left my family at 15 and was using daily by the time I was 16.
I had my first overdose at 16 and woke up in the children’s psych ward and I called my cocaine dealer to pick me up three days into my stay against doctor recommendations. I became a street involved teenager and frequently squatted, hitch hiked across Canada, and lived a very chaotic unstable life. Throughout this time, I was also addicted to self harm by cutting. I was arrested as an adult and this began my first stint at sobriety at 19. I court ordered into treatment and to recovery meetings. This lasted approximately 2 years, and in that time I managed to find stable housing and get into college as a mature student (I still only have 9 credits from high school). Finally, I began to have some success in my life. I completed my first year of college and then relapsed. Within three weeks of my relapse, I was pregnant and living with my brand new alcoholic boyfriend. I managed to stay sober throughout my pregnancy and gave birth at 23. I marveled at my precious daughter Siobhan, which means God’s Grace in Gaelic. I was not done using yet, but I was using a harm reduction approach for the following years. This seemed to be “good enough” until I realized that my addiction was going to cost me the most important thing, my daughter. … Throughout my life I have always been active, even as a street involved youth, and the even in the height of my addictions I would run and lift weights. I would often use exercise as form of punishment to detox from my benders or to calm my extreme anxiety. I found out later in recovery that I have PTSD, and the exercise that I was doing helped me build resiliency and most likely saved my life. When my emotions were overwhelming, exercise kept my desire to die at bay. In my recovery I have accomplished some amazing things; I completed treatment for my PTSD, graduated with my Masters degree, raised an amazingly strong and confident daughter who lives life to the fullest without needing to escape through drugs, and I married my soulmate. Exercise was my meditation throughout my recovery and I desperately wanted a sober fitness community. I played competitive roller derby, boxed, trained for multiple marathons and taught running. None of these things provided me the the sense of community until I joined Crossfit. I felt stronger emotionally and physically. My daughter joined up and our box never offered me anything but unconditional support and encouragement. I felt a sense of belonging for the first time in a long time. I know that lifting has saved my mental health and recovery at a time where I was really beginning to question my recovery and the through of using entered my mind. I was inspired by Krissy Mae Cagney in the USA and her Reps4Recovery program. Creating a strong sober community while normalizing recovery is so important. People need to know that they are not their addictions. This is why I am helping develop this program to give back what has been given to me. We want to build a community that supports each other’s recovery and fitness journeys. I truly believe fitness and recovery go hand in hand; strong bodies create strong minds and community helps all of us get through this tough thing called life.
"I first starting Crossfit around 2014 where I sucked at every form of fitness especially weightlifting. But as time went on, I got fitter and more skilled, and found that I liked lifting weights. Fast forward to today, I now compete in the Snatch and Clean and Jerk as a weightlifter on the provincial and national level."
Forward's first experience with CrossFit was as a software engineer, not coach, working for CrossFit Head Quarters (HQ) remotely from Ottawa. Prior to CrossFit, strength training was limited to carrying children on shoulders. It took a year at HQ before joining a gym, and then another year before completing his L1. Andrew recently completed the CrossFit Kids specialty seminar and hopes to introduce some kid classes here at Bytown in the near future.
Andrew loves doing gym math, and will often help (or bother?) others with their gym math too, as he feels it is way more important to scale to the spirit of the workout versus trying to achieve the Rx (prescribed) numbers. And a small warning, do not watch his overhead position, as there are two things stacked against him (pun intended). First and unsurprisingly is poor shoulder flexibility, and second is that his arm do not lock out and they never have. You can catch Andrew working out during the day-time Strongman and CrossFit classes, and you might catch him during a weekend class filling in as a coach.