Tell us about yourself and what got you into Alchemy?
I’m Andrew – I come from a sports background and really enjoy the fitness / physical side of things. I lived and went to school in BC where I learned French and Mandarin before moving back to Ontario and starting my own business with my mom (greeting cards). After a brief 3 year stint as a flight attendant (where I met my partner, Meighan) I started independent marketing in the Hammer. I have been over the place but have some cool stories from it all.
Working for an airline I had limited time and wanted more bang for my buck. Trying out CrossFit for the first time the Olympic lifting had me at hello – and the mental peace and silence after a WOD sealed it. Plus I’m competitive.
What do you like about Alchemy?
The coaching is terrific and accommodates for everyone’s body and fitness. Everyone can access a hard workout together with their own mods and come out smiling because we are all succeeding at our own pace. It’s the best way to do it! The programming is fun but the people are what make it great. From awesome coaches to competitive, helpful members pushing you to be your best, it makes all the difference and makes me look forward to every single workout (even if there are burpees!)
What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in yourself since training this way?
The mental game, honestly. Knowing that your dedication and small steps add up to huge changes in your life changes how you approach the world at large. You can overcome things you never thought you would and have FUN doing it. It makes life feel like a game, like a WOD, and it all depends how you approach it.
What has been your proudest moment at Alchemy and do you have any future goals?
Two proud moments! This month! a 300lbs back squat and a 200lbs squat clean – it’s the strongest I’ve ever been! Ooo…or stopping the 1,000 step-ups at 500 because I was hurting. Big ego hit but important!
I have all kinds of goals – a 400lbs squat, 300lbs squat clean, 500lbs deadlift – but the best one? To be able to do 20 strict pull-ups unbroken. I’d love to work into a place where I could do a competition. Masters division, of course 😉
If you could design the perfect workout, what would it include?
Oooo…Rowing, heavy squat cleans, and burpees as an AMRAP. A bunch of technical moves with a whole bunch of “who wants to work harder to win” — we’ll call it the Gripper-Special (Griepsma = Gripper nickname)
When you’re not at the gym, what’s your favourite thing to do?
Reading, hiking, video games, business planning, or a tasty pint at a local pub.
What’s your favourite local Hamilton spot?
MM… I like Durand Coffee. And Victoria’s Restaurant.