Jody Shows His True Colors

This past weekend, four of our Spartan SGX athletes went down to the Central Florida Beast weekend.

Our man Jody Darren Wolford, 56 years young, decided to take on the Spartan Sprint the day after his Beast. And he did incredible!

Not only did he finish 6th out of 34 in his age group, but he did so while stopping to help other athletes get through obstacles along the course.

It’s just so typical of this guy to jump in and lend a helping hand, and we couldn’t be more grateful to have him on our team.

Jody works his butt off in the mornings as an integral part of our Conviction Kettlebell Club, and attends as many of our Spartan SGX workouts as he can. He’s always asking questions and refuses to settle for “good enough”.

Jody dedicated himself to getting healthy this year, and after losing over 50 lbs, competing in several running and obstacle races, 5 Spartan Races, and his heart warming efforts during the Food Bank Beast, he has become an inspiration to us all!

Thanks for being who you are, Jody!

Jacquelynn Crushes Her First Half-Marathon

Our Spartan Race team had a really great weekend across multiple events, but today I wanted to highlight one individual in particular.

Jacquelynn shared some statistics with me after completing her first half-marathon this past Sunday that blew me away.

About one month before she started training with us, Jacquelynn went for what she considered a long run at just under 5km. Her average pace for this run was 7:43 per km. Not bad.

Fast forward nine months to the 2017 Queen City Marathon.

After training with us three times per week since January, back when 5km was a long run, Jacquelynn fearlessly took on the 21.1 km half-marathon and finished with an average pace of 6:32 per km!

Now, taking 71 seconds off her pace for a 5km would have been incredible in just 9 months. But improving her pace that much, and maintaining it for 4x as long is unheard of. Unbelievable.

How did she do this? Through dedication, hard work, and her commitment to a training plan built around improving strength, speed, and endurance.

Jacquelynn focused on becoming a better athlete, and through that, became a better runner.

Proud of you, Jacquelynn! Thank you for trusting us with your training!

40 Pounds in 14 Weeks

Congratulations to our athlete Ryan hit the 40 pounds lost mark today!

Ryan started our Spartan SGX Lite program in January, just 14 weeks ago, and has trained with us twice a week since then.

He’s stronger, faster, lighter, and healthier because of his hard work and dedication.

Ryan is a huge asset to our team. He works hard, pushes himself every workout, and is an inspiration to all of us. This guy just refuses to give up. And it’s awesome.

Keep doing what you’re doing, Ryan. You’re going to crush that Spartan Race in July!

Conviction Athlete of the Month – December 2016

Most people wouldn’t carry a frozen turkey over 20 kilometers through -40 °C windchill. But Divyesh Patel isn’t most people.

December 17th marked Divyesh’s second go at our annual Food Bank Beast. He was an integral part in helping us reach our goal this year. Divyesh raised just shy of 100 pounds, and carried much more than that, during the 12 mile hike.

Maybe he felt pressure to perform big, as he’s the Board Chair for the Regina Food Bank. But more than likely his willingness to step up was just because that’s the type of person he is.

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Divyesh for over seven years now. Never once have I seen him give anything less than his all. It doesn’t matter what the task is, he’s going to give you everything he’s got.

Not only is he the hardest worker in the room, but his ability to make everyone around him better is something I truly admire.

Besides training with us all year long, Divyesh also played soccer, walleyball, and hockey. He completed his first Spartan Super in July and ran a strong 12.5 km lap for our team at the Deadfall 50 Relay this past October.

An all around great guy, Divyesh is one of the most fun, and motivating, people you’ll ever be around. And we couldn’t be happier to have him.

Conviction Athlete of the Month October 2016

cynthia-finish-lineNot too often does an athlete reach the World level in their first year of competition. But that’s exactly what Cynthia Fiori did in 2016.

After running her very first Spartan Race in May, Cynthia represented her country in the Spartan World Championships in Lake Tahoe just five months later.

Cynthia started training with us this summer after having qualified for the World Championships on her own. As a former NCAA soccer player, she knew the value in training alongside a team of dedicated individuals and wanted to be ready for Tahoe.

She ran hills. Dragged cinder blocks. Walked along slack lines. Carried salt bags. Wrestled with sand bags. And trained like an animal.

After months of hard work and dedication, not only did Cynthia finish what was one of the most difficult courses in Spartan history (an estimated 20% did not finish the World Championship race), but she finished an outstanding 30th in her age group!

Qualifying for the Spartan Race World Championships is a huge accomplishment. Finishing 30th in her age group is incredible. But throw in the fact that Cynthia battles Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis and her story becomes nothing short of inspirational.

CTV News shared Cynthia’s story last month during one of their Athlete of the Week segments. I’d highly recommend checking it out.

Cynthia has quickly become a huge asset to our team. She pushes everyone in training and genuinely cares about the success and happiness of her teammates.

Thanks for choosing to #TrainWithConviction, Cynthia!

Conviction Athlete of the Month September 2016

Cody Wilkes running the Spartan Race Red Deer Super.
Cody Wilkes running the Spartan Race Red Deer Super.

Our team has accomplished a lot so far this year.

Desk jockeys became athletes.

Individuals tried new things and discovered a new passion.

And others accomplished more than they ever thought possible.

But on September 17, one athlete achieved something none of us had even attempted before – completing a 50 km Ultra Trail Marathon.

Just a couple of years ago Cody Wilkes wasn’t in great shape and wanted to make a change. He started running and eating better, and started to see some results.

He quickly fell in love with running and signed up for a few events. In 2015 he ran some local trail races and a couple of Spartan Races, in addition to playing ultimate frisbee two night a week for six straight months.

If you would have told Cody in 2014 that in less than two years he would not only complete an Ultra Marathon, but that he would finish 11th overall, he might have laughed at you. But that’s exactly what he did.

Cody wanted to make a change and dedicated himself to the process. He found something he loved and chased it.

And the best part is, Cody is nowhere near his potential. With consistent training and dedication, there’s no telling where the sport of Trail Running will take him.

Congratulations, Cody. Our first Ultra Marathon Man!

Conviction Athlete of the Month August 2016

Michelle Handstand
Michelle won of our August challenge – Get Creative!

Our August Athlete of the Month may be soft spoken, but she’s a huge inspiration to her three kids, and everyone on our team.

Michelle shows up, works hard, and let’s her actions do the talking for her.

I’ve seen Michelle warm up with her youngest on her back and stop mid-workout to help another child out of a tree, all as though it was part of the plan.

While most parents, unfortunately, use their children as an excuse as to why they have “no time to workout”, Michelle is dedicated to improving herself, and makes it happen. She works out with her kids and shows them what it means to be a strong, healthy person.

Even with three children (four when you include her husband), Michelle consistently trains with us two to three times per week. She’s got every excuse in the world to skip training, but she never does.

Michelle started training with us in March in preparation for her first Spartan Race – the 2016 Montana Sprint. After having a blast in the mountains she quickly signed up for the next one. Michelle went on to run in Edmonton in June, Manitoba in July, and is heading to Red Deer this weekend for her first Super/Sprint weekend!

Michelle was also a member of our Casino Regina Charity Championship team this month. We were able to win the Charity Championship – and $10,000 for Ignite Adult Learning Corporation, in large part because of her efforts that day. Michelle ran second for our team in the four person relay and had every race basically won by the time she finished her leg. Ignite owes her a big thank-you 😉

Michelle is a very generous, hard working, selfless individual and we’re extremely lucky to have her.


Conviction Client of the Month – July 2016

Whoo Whooooo! Our July client of the month is one of a kind!

Matt Yarnton may just be the most supportive and encouraging person you’ll ever meet. When times get tough, we all count on Matt to brighten the mood and help get us through.

But there is so much more to Matt than just a wonderful smile and encouraging words.

Matt is one hell of an athlete.

Matt joined our Winter Warriors program last October as he wanted to take on a Spartan Race this year. He realized that if he wanted to succeed in reaching his goal he needed to start training right away. Not “sometime in the future” or “when the weather is nice”, but immediately.

Even though his work schedule had him out of town every second week, Matt committed and trained like an animal every chance he got. When he was away from Winter Warriors sessions, Matt was completing the training plan described in Predator.

He wanted to complete a Spartan Race and refused to let any obstacle stand in his way.

Fast forward 10 months….

Matt TrifectaAfter training through everything from freezing temperatures and blizzards to insane heat and thunderstorms, Matt is the definition of Spartan.

Not only has he destroyed his goal of completing a Spartan Race, but Matt is now a member of the coveted Trifecta Tribe – having completed a Spartan Race of each distance – Sprint, Super, and Beast, in one calendar year.

And sure, finishing all these races is a huge accomplishment, but there’s more to the story. Matt isn’t just finishing these races, he’s winning them.

As of right now, Matt Yarnton is the #9 ranked Competitive Spartan Racer in all of Canada…. and First Overall in his age group!

Matt’s hard work, dedication, and perseverance are all starting to pay off.

Matt has become an absolute beast and makes everyone around him better. There is no doubt in my mind that I am a better athlete, and person, from having trained alongside this man.

With a few more races to go this year, we are all very excited to see how far Matt can go.

Thanks for being you, Matt 🙂

Conviction Client of the Month – June 2016

Have you seen that lady cycling around Regina with a HUGE smile on her face?

Ara taking off on her final lap at the Mountain of Hope Half-Marathon.
Ara taking off on her final lap at the Mountain of Hope Half-Marathon.
That’s Ara Steininger.

No matter what we throw at her, she just never stops smiling. And it’s fantastic.

Ara, who started training with us this past January, is one of the most uplifting people you’ll ever meet.

She’s an extremely hard worker and dedicated to the point where she’ll do pull-ups off of scaffolding in downtown Toronto, just so she doesn’t miss out on one of our challenges.

It never ceases to amaze me how Ara rides her bike everywhere. After our workouts, when most of us are stumbling back to our cars to drive home, Ara just hops and her bike and rides the 45 minutes home like it’s a walk in the park.

Impressive stuff.

After competing in the Mountain of Hope Half-Marathon Trail Race a few weeks ago, Ara is set to take on her first Spartan Races this July in Grunthal, Manitoba. She will be running both the Super (8+ miles and 25+ obstacles) and a Sprint (3+ miles and 20+ obstacles) in just two days – a difficult task for anyone.

Ara is up for the challenge, however, as she has been working extremely hard both in and outside of our workouts.

Watch out for this one, everybody. You may just see her on the podium.

Conviction Client of the Month – May 2016

AKMaybe it’s just his sweet new shoes, but Adnan Khandoker has been on fire lately.

Unable to complete a set of monkey bars a few short weeks ago, he is now flying through them with ease. And after a bit of a slow start, his running has improved tremendously. Adnan now crushes the hills every Tuesday.

It’s no surprise to any of us, though, as Adnan has shown he is committed to becoming the best he can be. He regularly shows up to workouts and trains like an animal.

His focus and ability to push himself is nothing short of remarkable.

After seeing his friend Clay bring back medals, t-shirts, and memories from his races, Adnan wanted in on the fun. Even though he’d never run a Spartan Race before, he jumped right in and purchased a season pass. This pass allows him to compete in any of the nine Western Canada races this year.

With his first race right around the corner (Edmonton Spartan Sprint – June 25), we’re very excited to see what he can do!

Adnan started training with us just this past March. He is the perfect example of how much, and how quickly, we can improve when we commit. He is a huge asset to our team and we couldn’t be happier he chose to #TrainWithConviction!