A tough competitor: Taris Rae earns Canada West title in CrossFit Games Open

            Taris Rae of Carlyle, daughter of Tracey Rae, recently competed in the CrossFit Games Open (14-15 female age category) where she placed first in the Canada West category, sixth overall in Canada, and 72nd worldwide.

            The competition is held worldwide via online video taken of the competitors. Each individual completes the Workout of the Day (WOD) and judges determine a standing based on reps and weight used gauging how much power and work someone is doing.

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            These impressive finishes comes within just over a year of CrossFit training at Living Skies CrossFit.

            “I started just over a year ago,” Taris explains. “My mom let me know that Carson [Brady] was doing a teens class, so I started in that and then started going to regular classes more often.”

            Tracey added, “She had been going to Colin [Wilson’s] Fitness Club in the mornings and she was really enjoying it, so I asked Carson what age kids could do CrossFit at and he mentioned the teen program he was planning on starting.”

“Kudos to Carson at the gym. He’s very good with everyone that goes, but especially with teens. He’s a great role model.”

            The holistic aspect of what CrossFit offers is appealing to Taris: “It’s just so much fun. I really like the challenge of it. I like all the aspects of it, in sports you often just focus on one aspect, but with CrossFit you get cardio, weights, and gymnastics. I love all of it.”

            Although competitions aren’t necessary to participate in, Taris explained that choosing to compete in the Open was easy: “I had competed in Saskatoon earlier and really enjoyed it. This competition was something I could do in my home gym, which I really liked, and it is fun competing.”

            “It’s a really fun experience. The gym is a really good community to be involved in and they’re all really supportive.”

            Last year Taris competed in the Open as well, but finished 313th worldwide, so her dedication, determination, and drive has catapulted her forward.

            With the top 200 worldwide Taris is now gearing up for the online qualifier for Regionals to be held in April.

            “What amazes me about Taris is that she plays other sports, it’s important to develop as an athlete, but even on the days she has practices she’ll be in here at 6 a.m. to work out,” Carson Brady, her coach, explained. “She’s always got a positive attitude and is always in a good mood.”

            “You have to be among the best of the world to finish where she did. It is hard to get where she is, especially for just doing it for a year, that’s insane!”

            “She’s actually the first person to advance to the next level after the Open from this gym and I’m pretty proud as a coach for sure. There’s big things in her future if she keeps with it.”

            In addition to her success within the CrossFit community Taris also plays volleyball (both school and club), softball, and competed at the Sask Winter Games in February where she took home a bronze medal in weightlifting.

            “That [the Winter Games] was really fun, it was my first time competing in weightlifting,” Taris explained. Brady was the selected weightlifting coach for the southeast and had encouraged Taris to participate.

            Tracey added, “She’s definitely committed and driven. She’ll be up at 5 a.m. before school to do it. With anything she’s always been – like ball – she’s always been very driven, but this is a passion and she loves doing it.”

            “She’s really loving it and she’s been to gyms in Red Deer, Brandon, Saskatoon, when we go somewhere she always wants to find a gym and do a workout. She loves the community there.”

            “I am very proud of her hard work and determination.”

Taris is appreciative of all of the support and is happy to have found something she loves doing: “Thank you to all of the coaches, to Carson, my mom – my mom puts in a lot of time for me to do everything I do – and to the whole gym for being really supportive and encouraging. They’re really good people.”

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