Growing up I loved watching cartoons; my favorite super hero was and still is, Spiderman. Unlike Batman, who helps the people without walking amongst them, or Superman, who represents the best of humanity without actually being human, Spiderman is one of us. His struggles and achievements are like our own. When I reached out to Paul Tremblay, I had no idea Paul would turn out to be just like my favorite super hero.
If you even remotely follow the sport of CrossFit, Paul needs no introduction. 2014 has been his year. He both made his first individual appearance at the Reebok CrossFit Games, and he was part of team Canada at the CrossFit Invitational. Performances such as his don’t just magically happen. Paul made his first Games appearance in 2012 with his affiliate (L’Usine Gatineau), but had to slow down in 2013 as a result of not one, but two knee surgeries, and recover from a herniated disk.
Unlike all the other athletes in this series whom I had previously talked to, Paul had no idea who I was when I asked him for this interview. Yet he still agreed. I guess the stereotype is true, Canadians are very nice people. If anyone is to represent Canada at any CrossFit event, it’d be best to make sure Paul’s name is on that list. Especially now, after seeing his performance at the Invitational. I had asked Paul before the event, not knowing he would save the day during two WODs AND blow everyone out of the water during the clean and jerk event. You can imagine my excitement when I finally got to sit down with him and discover the story behind the man.
1-What have you learned about yourself since you started doing CrossFit that you wish you could tell your younger self?
P.T. : Spend more time moving better, not faster or harder. Obviously that’s impossibleto tell a young guy who just wants to rip it and do everything in CrossFit. It doesn’t happen overnight but I wish I understood that importance earlier on.
He believes his injuries are partially due to his lack of commitment to proper mouvement. He attributes his latest success to focusing his attention to details and not worrying about lifting more weights.
2- Is there anything you think you could have told your younger self that would have helped you progress faster?
P.T. : I don’t think i could have progressed any faster, that’s a mistake that everyone does. They think there’s a secret formula or program that will make them a games athlete quickly. You need athleticism, work ethic and most of all….LUCK
3- What are you most proud of having accomplished, CrossFit related or not?
P.T. : Building the NCR community and a livelihood through doing that I love. Obviously going to the games is a huge accomplishment and I’m extremely proud, but having my own gym and community here in Ottawa is my biggest pride.
4- What advice would you give someone who wants to become a CrossFitathlete?
P.T. : Have fun! It’s so much fun! Don’t forget that. Do it because you love throwing down with your friends.
“Success is not the key to happiness, happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” This is clearly apparent in Paul’s case. With a strong sense of community, and support from his friends and family he is clearly on his way.
Like many of us Paul had some setbacks, but he has managed to work through his struggles by doing rehab for a year, and learning to move better. Something we can all relate too. He admits himself that he is no exception to the rule that CrossFit builds confidence in everyone. As a coach I can definitely attest to that. Although not everyone has found or been able to follow passion, seeing Paul’s success is a reminder that it is still possible. Like I mentioned, he is one of us, but he also represents the best of what each one of us could be.
Paul’s next major appearance in the CrossFit world will be at the Kill CLiff East Coast Championship in January. Hopefully we will also see him in July with another appearance at the 2015 Reebok CrossFit Games. Let’s hope Reebok prints out his jersey so that all of us crazy canucks can represent!