Member Spotlight: Derek Hoekstra

Tell us about yourself!

I’m Derek, if it wasn’t already known. My wife Marie and I made our way to Hamilton just before Covid hit, looking to build a family (you’ve probably seen Theo trying to show us up regularly) and home for ourselves. We are one of the many who came from Toronto, but with Marie’s roots in Hamilton, it was a no brainer that this is where we needed to be.

What got you into CrossFit?

I had been interested in it for years, but intimidated by everything about it. Thankfully, the first gym I started at provided the perfect classes for me to feel comfortable. From there it has been the culture and community that have pushed me to become stronger and healthier. Add in Theo to the mix, and it’s now become a priority to be the best I can be for our family as he gets older.

What do you like about Alchemy?

Easily the community and relationships I have been able to make in the 3+ years since joining. The Alchemy team who motivate us with an incredible space and programming, and then the members/friends in every class. I feel like an introvert the majority of the time, but everyone has help me break that habit.

What has been your proudest moment at Alchemy?

Easily the Gala last year and winning Athlete of the Year. The noon class is amazing at hyping each other up, and they were at the top of their game that night, but I still did not believe that this would happen. It also showed me that the work I put in is truly appreciated by everyone, especially all the coaches.

What are your CrossFit goals for the future?

A damn muscle up! I know it’s not something I’ll ever need in day to day life, but I’m so impressed with everyone that hits gymnastics milestones, and this is the next one for me.

If you could design the perfect workout, what would it include?

Clean cycling and rowing, maybe even burpees…so the benchmark WOD “The Alchemist”.

What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in yourself since you started CrossFit?

Overall strength, fitness and health. I have always been active in sports, but never took fitness serious enough, and now that I do, I see it transfer to everything in life. I’m also glad that I started this journey well before becoming a dad, as it’s been a huge benefit being almost 40 and able to roll around on the floor with a toddler.

When you’re not at the gym, what’s your favourite thing to do?

I’m way too easy going, and it drives Marie crazy, but I am happy just being around her and Theo, while also bringing friends into our family. Simple as going out for food, or new active adventures in the city.

What’s your favourite local Hamilton food spot?

I love pizza, so maybe Bread Bar, especially when they had the Mexican Street Corn pizza. But any Arby’s, wherever they are, hit the spot every time! I’m happiest with a Beef ‘n Cheddar

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