Crossfit Leviathan is a small, grungy, box gym in the Annex that has the stark feel of a garage. And that's where you'll find me at 6:30 in the morning. The walls are all white, with black rubber floor mats. There are no fancy change rooms, no showers and no cardio machines.
The gym, owned by Julian and Richard Bell, has been open for about a year and a half. The location made sense to the owners, since there are no other boxes currently operating in the area. Plans are even in the works to launch a CrossFit Kids program later in the summer to cater to families in the community.
On this particular day, it's just me and three other guys learning the foundations of CrossFit with our coach, Andrew. He starts us off with what is known as the "king of all exercises," the clean. It's a way of lifting a heavy bar from the ground to your shoulders, thrusting your hips and extending the bar over your head, all while maintaining proper form.
Andrew is encouraging and all about teaching us very minute details. He has a passion for CrossFit - you can tell. He's coaching CrossFit because he was bored of his routine at the gym. It didn't excite him anymore. CrossFit did.
We then move onto demonstrating our cleans to our peers and politely critique each other's form. It's too early for show and tell, but I appreciate the community fostering.
The final part of the hour-long exercise is the Workout of the Day. A WoD consists of a series of different workouts in a set amount of time with as many reps as possible. Our WoD is eight pushups, 10 sit-ups and 12 ball drops in 10 minutes. It goes by fast, and then we're done, breathing heavily and congratulating each other.
CrossFit is definitely a challenge, but by the end of the workout you're pumped, energized and certainly won't regret learning how much you're capable of doing.
"There's a very primal side to going as hard as you can and leaving it all on the floor," says Bell. "Especially with others around you doing the same thing." This plays a large part in the community aspect of CrossFit, because everyone knows what the other person is going through.
CrossFit Leviathan offers unlimited monthly memberships for $175 and $150 for students. Leviathan offers deals for couples, police, fire, military and paramedics. Your first class is free - and you get to hang out with really friendly and fit staff.
Photos by Jesse Milns.