At Saint City North and South, we welcome everybody who walks through our door. All members regardless of age or athletic ability are invited to be a part of our fit fam. We will encourage you, push you and help you reach your individual goals!
MEET PAUL GRANDBOIS
When I was 27, I started to compete in MMA. I was always a fan of the sport, and at the time it was starting to become more and more popular. More gyms were popping up, and you could find an event to compete in if you knew where to find one. At this time, I wasn’t a mixed martial artist, but I could box so I figured that was a start. I always wanted to be a boxer since I was young, but for some reason I never chased it. Now I was ready to put in the time. After a few years of training, I finally had found a club and a team I really felt at home with. I went on to compete on and off for the next 5 years. At this time, I had started a family with my then-girlfriend, now-wife. We moved away from where my team was but I still competed in different events. It started getting harder and harder to balance family life, work, and still make time for training. I was getting older and at the level I was getting up to, if you weren’t training every day it was harder to keep up to the young talent that was on the rise. I had to make the decision to walk away from a sport that I loved. I would still get phone calls from different promoters asking if I could take a fight. It took everything in me to turn them down because I love to compete, but in my heart I knew that walking away was the best choice for me and my family.
For the next year and a half, I went to my local gym and lifted weights when I could. I’d follow different programs from time to time but it all seemed like it was the same. I’d go to the gym, go over my program, and put my ear buds in and workout. It started to get pretty boring because it didn’t feel like I was working toward something. I missed being part of a team and competing in something. I started to think about going back to MMA. By this time, I had been off for 2 years and was now 36. To try and make a comeback at this point probably wouldn’t have been the best choice, but I felt the need to compete again.
One night I was scrolling through Netflix and saw the documentary “Fittest on Earth” about the 2015 CrossFit Games. I’ve heard about crossfit before but really didn’t know what it was about, so I figured since I’m into fitness, I’d give it a watch. Let me tell you, I was completely blown away by these athletes and what they could do! Mind you they were the elite of the elite, but if I could be half as good as they were, I would be happy. I’ve never done any Olympic lifting before, or gymnastics, but I knew I was willing to learn. I was excited and told my wife that I found this new sport and I wanted to start training again. She knew I missed competing in something and was right on board. Plus she knew I wouldn’t be coming home with any black eyes, so she was excited. I started looking for a crossfit box right away.
I found one that looked great in Saint City CrossFit. I saw that they offered program design and I knew that if I wanted to compete one day that this was the way to go.
I set up an appointment to meet up with Coach Brian that Monday to go over what I wanted out of my program, and I was offered to come in and check the place out that Sunday. I went in on the Sunday to participate in the WOD. There was just a few people in being it was early Sunday morning but everyone came up to me and made me feel welcome. Coach Skyla took me through the WOD. I considered myself to be in pretty good shape but by the end of the workout I felt like I was working out for the first time in my life. I was WIPED!! When I left (as I crawled to my car) I thought to myself this is what I’ve been looking for! I came back the next day to meet with Coach Brian and the gym was alive. There were people of all ages and skill levels working out and cheering each other on. It was a great sight to see! Just like the day before, everyone came over to introduce themselves to me and again and had made me feel welcome. I talked to Coach Brain about what I wanted and listened to his input. I knew right away this man knew what he was talking about, and he could get me to the place I wanted to be. As the weeks and months went by, I noticed myself getting stronger and feeling great. I loved watching everyone interact with each other, having fun, cheering on peoples PR’s or just lifting up some ones spirits if they were having a rough workout day. I had plenty. I remember when I strung together my first set of double unders , how excited I was. Even though I was a fighter I really didn’t do much skipping, which I could have used the practice now. My next accomplishment was the bar muscle up. I had tried for what felt like months and then the day came where I said to myself “today is the day”. With every ounce of strength in my body I jump and grabbed that bar and pulled myself to the top. I was so happy and excited I don’t even think I swung back down I just jumped from the top of the bar screaming in joy to a bunch of high fives and cheering teammates. At that moment, I felt so much accomplishment and I was beaming for days.
That’s what crossfit does for you, it makes you accomplish things you thought you never would be able to. I talked my wife’s ear off about crossfit everyday, so she joined as well.
I had my first competition this summer. I signed up for the men’s open teams for Fight of the Fittest with my teammate Zach. Before each event I was nervous as hell. Even more nervous than before a fight, but as the events started, the nerves faded away and just the joy of competing kicked in. We ended up coming in 2nd in our division which just ignited an even bigger love for crossfit in me.
Crossfit to me is more than just a sport. It is a way of life. It’s a place to meet great people, it’s a place to set goals and push yourself past barriers that life has set for you. It’s a place where young or old, beginner or elite, athletes can come together and encourage each other to meet their goals.
I am 37 years old now and I feel younger and stronger than ever. I was asked a question by Brian one time and it sticks in my head all the time. He asked me if I thought if crossfit would have helped me with my MMA, and the answer would be “definitely!” But as I thought about the question I honestly thought to myself that if I would have found crossfit first, would I had even had started fighting in the first place? My competition days of MMA was over by time I was 34 years old. Now, I am 37 and I feel the the fittest I’ve ever felt in my entire life. I feel like my crossfit journey has just begun.