Ryan Carroll has been training with us for 2 years this September, and in that time, he has demonstrated tremendous growth as an athlete. Through his consistency and humour, Ryan also contributes so much to the mid-morning crew: “It’s more than a class now, you can always catch me with my 9am fam-jam.” Ryan truly exemplifies what it means to be positive and supportive part of our community, lifting others (and himself) up whenever he comes in to train. Read below to learn about life as a radio broadcaster and fitnesser, how Ryan has adjusted his nutrition since beginning CrossFit, and what he is doing to finally master those pesky double unders.
What does an average day-in-the-life look like for you? (food, training, work, recovery, leisure time, etc.)
I would love to say that the life of a broadcaster is that of a Rockstar but no, no it is not. I am usually up at 5am every morning. Waking up early is a very important in my life, I feel waking up early and take time to yourself sets you up for an amazing day. During my morning, I take about 30 mins to read something that educates me, listen to podcasts, and even spending time listening to positive affirmations. I don't usually have a huge breakfast but I will have a smoothie consisting of berries, spinach, cucumber, Greek yogurt, oats and protein powder. As I am eating that I will do some radio prep, AKA see what Taylor Swift is up too and see if Kim Kardashian is still famous...YEP (Shakes my head).
By 7:30am I am on my 30 min bike a riding to work to drop off my 3 meals (I prep my meals every Sunday for the week) before I head to Queen Street. Lately I have been getting to class for 8:30am to work on double unders, I will do 100 before class because well my DU's are just disgusting and we know in this sport you have to consistently practice to get good at something, and really, it's like that in life too. After class is done and I have decided to get out of the ocean of sweat that I am laying in, I will do some extra work with Dawn, Joan and Julia.
After all work is done and I have cried in the Shower for 10 mins because everything is on fire I will head off to work to play music and say some very horrible dad jokes on 1014.3 Fresh Radio till 7pm, and then I will ride back home where I can tell kids to stop playing Video games and finally see Nicole who will than put up with my hyper-ness but will shut me up by running my bath, (It has a battleship in it so it's a boy bath with bath scents and candles), by 9:30pm after we shared our day, maybe watched a show, It's off to bed, to do it all over again... Yep that was a play-by-play.
Have you changed the way you eat since you began CrossFit, If so, how?
Before CrossFit, every food choice was what “I thought” was a good choice, (I mean a Jr Bacon Cheese Burger from Wendy's is still protein!) but I did a food challenge that Posy put together a year and a bit ago (not the one that just ended in April). and it taught me a lot about what you need to fuel your body, with Lean Meat (always chicken breast), rice and my all-time fave, broccoli. For my snacks, I'll eat cucumber and almonds, most my meals consist of that throughout the week, but I am known to still have some beer and burgers on the weekend, especially Saturday night. I also should give a mention (If I don’t she will let you know that she does) Nicole is a big part of my food prep by making the meals most weeks so I can get ready for the week’s radio shows, she is truly amazing with the support of me and my CrossFit life.
How does training/CrossFit fit into your life?
Now this is a huge question, this one will get a little serious. CrossFit is a huge part of my life, being active in general is a big part of my life and mental health. Queen Street is like a home to me, I moved to Kingston from Vancouver not knowing anyone and when my friend Meghan told me about CFQS and I showed up, I was so welcomed and the community was so amazing it quickly became a place of importance to me, then the WODs, learning these moves and trying not to puke in the first 5 classes was not a deterrent but made me realize this was what I needed. As a person whom suffers from depression and can easily get in my head, CrossFit has quickly become one of the most important thing in my life, my amazing GF Nicole will agree, that when the move happened and for 6 weeks CFQS was closed I was not myself, It's the workouts and the family atmosphere that help me each and every day to be the, happy, positive person I love to be and I am so grateful to Queen Street for being there!
What reasons did you have to train when you started CrossFit? Have those reasons changed? If so, how?
There was always something about CrossFit that drew me to it, just watching the Games on TV and seeing the individual competitiveness but still having a team atmosphere with everyone cheering you on, that was something I was missing ever sense I was not allowed to play Football again after a horrific back injury. Going to the normal gym just wasn't doing it for me anymore, I wasn't getting what I needed out of it, and have you seen to Pro CrossFitters, Holy hell, I wanted to look good naked also! The reasons I am still going is still the same, to look good, feel good, to keep peace in my head and because it truly is a family to me.
What improvements have you made in the past 6 months that you are most proud of?
Over the past 6 months with all the extra work put in, I have seen my double unders get better, my snatch movement is getting better, especially thanks to the G.O.A.T days we had on the Thursday during the Open, I am able to now put 4 handstand pushups together and for a dude at 230 LBS I feel is extremely impressive and my dead lift is on its way to the big 500 LBS, but the one thing I am most proud of is the confidence CrossFit has given me, the confidence to talk to someone, when I am not feeling my best, to know that no matter how hard something is that if you work on it you can make it easier both in the gym and out. CrossFit has away to creep into your entire life not just the gym.
Do you currently have a main focus or goal(s) with your training?
All my focus right now is on my freaking DUs, my strength is getting better every day, from practicing bar muscle ups and al lifts, but if there is going to be any way I can beat Adam McCluskey in the Open I need to get the freaking DUs...
What would you consider to be your greatest strength as an athlete?
I will not quit, I don't care how hard or painful something is, I will not stop. Cal said something to the class the first time I did MURPH, "It's a long work out and it's going to suck, don't complain because these heroes didn't when they risked their lives..." Suck it up and do it- it doesn't matter if you are first or last just finish...
What is one thing that you do every day that you feel is essential in contributing to your success in the gym?
Waking up at 5am, even on the day's where you might feel like "the bed is too comfy"- get out of bed! Get up early and start your day with time to yourself, it helps set your mind into the positive and helps you be motivated for the day to come. Waking up early is essential for my training so I am at peak motivation to get the shit kicked out of me at 9am.
If you could give yourself one piece of advice when you started CrossFit, what would it be?
SLOW DOWN... Before this past Open, I had a hard time of slowing down out the gate, I would kill myself in 5mins of a 20min AMRAP. During 19.1 in the open (15min AMRAP) of 19 wall balls and a 19 calorie row, it killed me when I came out so hot, so my main advice is “slow down and pace yourself” … I now make it a main focus every WOD, “You can’t win a word in the first 5mins, but you sure can lose it.”
Do you have a go-to self-pep talk? (i.e. something you tell yourself when things get hard with training or during a workout)
Go hard and I promise I am not going to die... I say that to myself every time Coach Lauren yells out "10 seconds" it's just about getting into that mentality of putting the work in, it sucks but as the sweat is running off every inch of me and there is a pool of it on the ground with chalk flakes everywhere... there is no better feeling of knowing you gave it you all.
Is there anything you would like to add?
I have mentioned about my personal mental health in this and if you suffer from the same issues, keep going to the gym, even on the days where you feel everyone hates you, CFQS is the place that will help you work through that. Queen Street has lifted me up in ways that it could never know, it's a very important part of my life and mental health and I wanted to share that with anyone that might be going through some struggles and may feel that it's better if they don't go to class. GO TO CLASS, chat to people- this place is amazing for all aspects of your life! To all the Queen Street staff thank you for all you have done and helped me with over the 2 years I have been a part of this amazing community!