Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

Athletics and fitness have been a major part of my entire life.  As a young child, I would gravitate to anything with a ball….baseball, basketball, soccer…you name it. When my parents wanted me to have more “girly” interests like playing with dolls, or arts and crafts, those activities would often get pushed to the wayside. Being from a European family, I wasn’t allowed to sign up for any club teams, thankfully I was able to participate on my school athletic teams.  It was through this participation, I started to develop my passion for athletics.

In Highschool I was voted athlete of the year in all 5 years (we had OAC back then).  Each year I played almost every sport that was offered, with a primary focus on Basketball, Volleyball, Soccer, and Track and Field. Participating and being a part of the team really helped to shape my identity.  It helped to develop my confidence and self-image, and provided me with leadership opportunities.

My coaches and mentors in highschool inspired me to pursue athletics as a career. I enrolled in the Kinesiology and Health Science Program at York University with hopes of becoming a Physical Education teacher.  I wanted to give back to my students in the same way that my teachers and coaches impacted me.  It was in University that I started to develop a true passion for Fitness, and nutrition, and the connection it has to athletic performance.  Within my 1st year of University, I had completed the required certifications to become a personal trainer, and opened my 1st business “Core Training” offering in-home personal training to my clients.

I was introduced to the game of Touch/Flag Football when I was invited to play in the University Intramural league.  Having never played before, I quickly came to love the sport.  During one of my intramural games, a Coach from a Women’s team was looking for new talent, and invited me to try out for his Women’s team.  At that time I didn’t even know that a Women’s league for football even existed!  From that point, Football became my primary sport.  I developed quickly, and within a few years was playing at the top level.  With football, we traveled all around Canada and even the world!  I was proud to represent Canada in Numerous World Championships, US Nationals, and other tournaments in North America.  Playing football has made a huge impact on my life.  I have made life-long relationships, developed problem-solving and leadership skills, and even met my Wife!

I found CrossFit in my early 20’s.  As a personal trainer, I had always tried to keep up with growing fitness trends around the globe.  I had been hearing about this new training methodology that would push you to the limits. As a personal trainer, Phys. Ed. Teacher, and

football player, I felt that I had a good level of physical fitness. As I laid in a pool of sweat after my first workout, I quickly realized that there was a whole other dimension of fitness that I had never realized existed! After only a couple weeks of CrossFit, I started to notice significant changes in my body, athleticism, and mental performance.  I was getting faster, leaner and stronger doing less traditional weight training and spending less time in the gym! I was hooked and I wanted to help spread the word to the masses! When the opportunity presented itself, I opened CrossFit Canuck almost 10 years ago with my partner Sue Ann.  It has been an absolute joy sharing the gift of fitness with the community.  Whether you are a Top-Level Hockey Player or a housewife, everyone’s an athlete in their own right. Training like an athlete will set you up for a lifetime of Health, Happiness, and Performance.

How do you create inclusive spaces for your athletes?

As a member of the LBGTQ2S+ community, inclusivity and creating a welcoming environment is of utmost importance. When I am coaching, I often begin the season with sharing my own personal story, and invite my player to share their experience as well.  Careful attention and detail is placed on the finer details whether it is the wording in forms ie. “Guardians” vs. Parents and/or “Mom & Dad”, to nonbinary washroom and change facilities.  As a team, or facility, we often participate in activities that help to raise awareness regarding various social issues or challenges within the community. My goal is to create a space where all participants feel safe and represented.

What advice do you have for parents, coaches, or sport administrators to improve inclusion in sport?

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Making an effort is much better than being scared to start. Try to research and reach out to various representative groups to learn how you can improve your space.  Talk to your athletes and listen to their experiences.  Try to brainstorm some ideas together. Be an advocate for those who do not feel comfortable enough to advocate themselves.

What is a passion you have outside of sport? How do you share it with others? 

I love to cook!  When I do have some downtime, I love to watch cooking shows on the Food Network, and try out “recipes” on my family and friends.  I use “ ” because I am known for never following instructions, this is my creative outlet, and I work off of taste, smell, and feel. I love the process of going to the market to select the fresh produce, and cuts of meat, then bringing it home to create something tasty (most of the time). Inviting my friends and family over to enjoy a big meal together warms my heart!

5 words that best describe me are: