Alec Norris | SOF

Alec Norris

“When the clock struck midnight, and 2013 waltzed into my apartment to rudely remind me of all the failed resolutions of the previous year, I decided to make a resolution to end all resolutions. I didn't like my body, so change it; I didn't like my lifestyle and diet, so change that to. . .I told myself at the time. I even wrote down goals to complete and started signing up for races and events blindly, thinking that when the time came I'd be able to do them no sweat. Of course, like any New Year Resolution, what starts as a promising life change slowly turns back into the same routine of yesteryear. I went to the gym, but stopped consistently going. The group of friends that I went to the gym with stopped going to (so, there goes moral support). I started running on my own time, but never took that extra stride to improve and get faster. Wasn't really improving in the sports I played, and it felt like I was doing them so I had an excuse to get out of my apartment rather than actually enjoy playing them. I was becoming worried about these ambitious races that I signed up for. . .thinking if I could actually do them I started Soldiers Of Fitness in April of 2013 (3 x per week), as recommended by a friend on the hockey team I played for. The life-phrase best to describe it is, "To have something you've never had before, you must do something you've never done before". SOF was definitely something I had NEVER done before. I was physically challenged at every class, was more exhausted in 15 minutes then 1 to 2 hours at the gym. But working together as a team/group to overcome the challenges set for us became empowering to me. My workouts had purpose; to not only self-improve, but help-improve others by working together. No one is left behind, and those more advanced help out those who needed it (and I needed help when I first started). The first month was difficult. So was the second. And third. In fact, it's always been difficult. . .but so is life. It's not meant to be easy. As soon as it becomes easy, there were ways to make it harder. I was always pushing to keep up, which made me improve without me really noticing. That summer, I entered my first Spartan Race. . .and I was OVER prepared! Not failing one obstacle. . .able to run up / power walk up Edelweiss. Feeling as though I can push myself further. . .I did the Ottawa Half-Marathon (as scheduled). . .Spartan Super, Spartan Beast, Tough Mudder, Army-Marathon etc. By the end of the year, I had personal best times in 5km and 10km. I was able to keep up in hockey and soccer, and could actually jump high enough in volleyball to block! Having the philosophy that anything achievable if you push through was something that SOF taught me. Almost three years later it's still tough (it's never easy), but finishing each class is an achievement. I feel fulfilled in knowing I finished something that will take me one step closer to obtaining something else I've never had. That next something WAS a marathon (finishing my first in May 2015). . .and now a triathlon! SOF pushed me to be better, and still does. The friends I've made in class have celebrated many triumphs together (in and out of class). I know they have my back if I ever need that extra push, and I do the same for them when they need it. That feeling of group and self accomplishment was that "spark" I needed to complete my resolution. I know whatever physical goals/ resolutions I have for the future, SOF will be one of reasons why I obtain it”