Growing up on a ranch south west of Calgary exposed me to a wild landscape and an equally wild upbringing. From white-water rafting down the Highwood River on pool floaties (in run-off season, I’ll add) to near-death experiences with farming equipment, there was never a dull moment at the Abbott ranch. I learned then, however, that when the going gets tough the tough get going, a maxim incessantly repeated by my father Marty. I was made to lift rocks, oil pipes, and dirt before I could hang out with friends or watch television, which lay the foundation for a strong body and an equally strong mind.
During my time at the ranch I actively pursued all sports, but ultimately chose basketball for my post-secondary experience. I played at the University of Windsor where I won two National Championships back-to-back. During this time I learned so much about mental toughness, accountability, and pursuing a dream–no matter how ridiculous it appeared. My coach, a spirited French-Canadian woman named Chantal Vallee, would constantly put us in tough situations. After a poor performance in one game in Hamilton, Ontario against McMaster, Coach Vallee made us don our sweaty uniforms upon returning to our home gym (a 4-hour long bus ride). We practiced from midnight to 5 in the morning. I loved it–I loved the feeling that she couldn’t break me and my team. It gave me the feeling that I could do anything. Pushing through that adversity was empowering.
After University I began traveling. I went to Europe (how cliché) as well as New Zealand and Bali. The entire time I was constantly in “training” mode. Although I was drinking and eating to my heart’s content, I was always itching to express myself athletically. One distinct memory of this attitude is when I woke up 6am at a shared Airbnb room in the 17th Arrondisement in Paris to get in a Sean T Insanity workout, of course before a full day of site seeing. Yes, you read correctly–Insanity! It was then I realized I needed to get into some kind of training regimem or sport, as I simply was not finished.
On return to North America I was introduced to CrossFit, as I was holding onto a few extra pounds from my Euro-trip. Needless to say I was hooked. The ranch lifestyle made me naturally strong and all the conditioning from my basketball days provided a great base. I loved pushing myself and never knowing what the daily workout was going to be!
After a trip to Bali where I contracted Dengue fever (from a mosquito bite) I returned home to Calgary weighing 20lbs less and began seriously training for CrossFit, with the hope of making it to the Games in 2014–and I accomplished just that. Since then, I have been swept up in this wild world of competitive CrossFit and I am having so much damn fun. Like my father always told me, “Whatever stick life hands you, shake it hard.”
This will be my fourth competitive year in CrossFit. What I love about this sport is that I am constantly evolving in and out of the gym. I love to compete, to travel, to meet new friends and to continually develop in all ways- mentally, physically, and emotionally. I train hard but I also fully embrace the importance of getting outside of the gym to go play a sport, hike, hang with friends or explore the world. That’s the beauty of maintaining excellent physicality–so we can go kick ass out in the world. Which is why I started Abbott the Red Adventures.
My mission for Abbott the Red Adventures is to open the door for others into the delights of fitness, food and travel while immersing oneself in unique cultural experiences.
The mission is to get outside of your comfort zone while still indulging in your dream vacation activities (like napping on the beach with a margarita). Too often we get swept up in comfort zones of commercial tourism because we are fearful of the unknown. On the other side of that fear is exactly what you want out of life!