I wanted to give a shout out to Dark Sky Crossfit and our fantastic bootcamp instructors Kelly Rose and Anjeanette Krip! That first class with Kelly, I walked in thinking: ‘will this be another unexciting, awkward group class, where I’ll most likely get bored in a month and move on to the next thing?’ Well, I’m stoked to say it’s been 40 classes and I’m still LOVING IT! The coaching is positive, informative and fun! I’ve actually learned something every time I go! The classes consist of people from every age and background, but each of us can complete the workout according to our ability. Whether you RX or scale, you’re guaranteed a sweaty high-five when you’re done! And the real bonus: BOOTCAMP WORKS! I feel healthier, happier, with more energy and stamina then I’ve ever had! I give the box 3 hours a week and it gives me the energy I need to live life the rest of the time! Thanks Kelly and Anj for everything! You guys rock!


I started CrossFit at Dark Sky CrossFit in Hinton in 2014, in my middle 40’s. I was a runner for 3 years previously, but found my leg strength and cardio were actually getting weaker as each year passed and my running times were getting slower and slower. A number of friends informed me about CrossFit and the great results that they were getting. I saw some negative articles online and what people who only “heard” about CrossFit were saying; was completely different from what I experienced. A friend and I decided to try CrossFit together. I was quite nervous stepping into the “box” (gym) for the first time. The box was unlike any type of gym that I had seen before. Not the regular type of gym equipment like ellipticasl and treadmills. There were members of all shapes and sizes; female and male.

First of all, members encourage and support each other through out the WOD (workout of the day). Actually, the last person finishing the WOD gets the most encouragement! You are never competing against others, only yourself. The “box” has a great group mentality. Every day there is a different high intensity WOD. First a warm up and then a workout. These workouts consist of cardio (ie wall balls, jump rope, rowing, etc) Olympic weightlifting (ie. cleans, back squats, etc) and other strength and conditioning movements. Each exercise can be scaled or modified to your ability. I have never heard of most of the workout terms before. Your CrossFit coach works with you one on one or in a small group to make sure that you are taught the correct form and techniques before you are allowed to join in a regular WOD, to ensure that you are working out safely. That was great news for me as I am much uncoordinated!

I thought I was in okay shape when I started CrossFit as I was a runner but wow! I will never forget my first workout. I felt so nauseous afterward and my heart was pumping! I found the workout very difficult. I stuck with it and am so glad that I did. I look at that first workout now and cannot believe I have come so far. I laugh when I see how “easy” that first workout actually was.

I have lost about 5 pounds but have gained muscle. I have lost inches everywhere, especially around the waist and hip area. Colleagues at work and friends have stated how great I look. I feel better inside and out. My high blood pressure is now in the normal range and my heart rate has also decreased (my heart is not working so hard now!) I am a better and faster runner and I also have more energy and stamina throughout the day.

CrossFit is the hardest one hour workout that I have ever experienced. I have felt nauseous, out of breath and have shed tears more than a few times. With the support of my fellow work out members and the coaches, it is also the best workout hour I have experienced. After almost a year, the CrossFit coaches are still attentive to my skill level, and even now, they correct my form and technique so that I am able to work out safely. I feel great after the workout and I take pride in each work out accomplishment. Kevin and Diane have changed my life for the better. I encourage everyone I know to try it. It does not matter your age or how out of shape you are. CrossFit will change your life!

You have to experience it to believe it.


How CrossFit changed my life by Allison Hewlett
1 year ago, almost to the day, I stepped my foot inside the Dark Sky CrossFit box, terrified at what I was about to face.  I had heard of CrossFit and even sat and watched the games a couple of years back (with my bag of chips and diet Pepsi in hand).  I knew it was fierce and that I was COMPLETELY out of shape.  But, with some coaching from my fellow co-workers, I gave Coach Kevin a text, outlining how OUT OF SHAPE I was, and that my plan was to start the following week, which quickly turned into a call back stating that I would come the next day.  The first day consisted of the following exercises: FOR TIME-15-12-9 wall balls (6lbs) Kettlebell swings (17lbs) and box step ups.  I finished in 12:59 with 2 trips outside with the feeling of death in tow.  I made a promise that if I had to leave once more, I was going home.  But, I STRUGGLED through.  As the breath started to even out a little, I thought, WOW, this is NUTS!!  Am I really here and is this something I can commit to?? I left, feeling very tired, but, kind of exillarated.  The next day I felt like someone had ran a herd of elephants over my legs.  But, I decided that I would go the next day.  Days turned into a month, and the promise that my beginning workouts would turn into my warm ups turned out to be the truth.  I started seeing strength come back into my very neglected body.  THEN, my friends started  commenting on the physical changes.  By May, a short 5 months after I started, I had dropped 20lbs and went from a size 14 to a size 10.  What is better is that my physical ability was increasing.  AND I WAS EATING GOOD FOOD!!!!!  TONS OF IT!!!  For the first time since I could remember, I was NOT WORRIED ABOUT EVERY SINGLE BITE I TOOK.  THAT was liberating, as I had done EVERYTHING in the past to lose weight.  CrossFit gave me a different outlook on my health, and it has given me a confidence I never thought I would ever possess.  I don’t worry about scales now, just performance.  I am strong, capable and have the DRIVE to go to the box 4-5 days a week instead of the old, lethargic, unable Allison from a year ago.  Dark Sky CrossFit is a place where I feel at home, a part of a community and where I get inspired every day to keep getting stronger and healthier.  We are there for each other, cheering each other on.  I never had one single minute of that at any other gym I have EVER stepped foot into.  It is hard work, but anything worth doing is.  Thanks Dark Sky CrossFit for helping me change my life.
Allison Hewlett
Allison H Before-After

Dark Sky CrossFit has changed my life, plain and simple.

To be honest, it was never my intention to join CrossFit. A friend signed me up and said “let’s try it for one month”. That was 1 1/2 years ago and I have never looked back. I am 45 and in the best shape of my life. I love feeling strong.

Dark Sky CrossFit provides a community, unlike any other. Everyone is welcome, everyone is supported. The loudest cheers are usually for the last one struggling to finish. I can’t count the number of times I have seen athletes who have finished their own workout jump in and do the last bit again just to support those struggling to finish.

CrossFit has challenged me both mentally and physically, but honestly it has been the most rewarding adventure. The Dark Sky coaches have supported me both in the gym and nutritionally to help me meet all my goals.

You owe it to yourself to give it a try, drink the kool-aid, you won’t regret it!!

Shannon Marciszyn



CrossFit testimonial

Almost 2 years ago, I had a friend tell me about this “new” workout called CrossFit. When I asked about it she told me that it was so very hard, that she couldn’t walk for 5 days after! Immediately I dismissed the idea of even looking into it, something like that was nothing I could have ever done. She continued to go, despite the aforementioned pain! The next thing I knew, a few of my clients began talking about it too… Clearly these people are crazy, or there must be more to it. The more I heard about it, the more curious I became.

So, what made me finally decide to try this crazy, hard intense workout? Despite not really having done anything fitness wise since high school, and having two children. I was terribly out of shape. I had just turned 30 and my kids were running circles around me, I was at my heaviest post pregnancy weight at nearly 200lbs. I lacked confidence, and motivation. It was just time.

Something seemed different about CrossFit. I would hear all the “horror stories” of these ridiculous workouts, but they were always told with excitement and anticipation to go back for more. I agreed to go with a couple of girlfriends.

Kevin the instructor asked me what I was hoping to achieve by going to CrossFit, what were my goals. All I could think of was: I didn’t want to be squishy anymore. He knew CrossFit could certainly help with that! At that time, I had no idea the impact it would have on my whole life.

My first little workout consisted of, I believe, 15-12-9 reps of wall balls, kettle bell swings and box jumps. I did that workout, with a 6lb wallball, a 15lb dumbbell in place of a kettle bell, and 2 45lb plates to jump on. This workout took me nearly 10 minutes to complete, and it was the longest, hardest 10 minutes of my life. I was exhausted, nauseous, red in the face and completely winded.
But despite my struggling throughout the workout, all of the other people attending that class, cheered me on, encouraged me… Slow, out of shape me!! That was the ticket!! That’s why everyone kept going back despite the “hell” they were going through!

It wasn’t easy to go back after my initial workout. I walked like a newborn giraffe for about 5 days after. The friends that I had gone with the first time continued to ask if I was going back… I honestly didn’t want to. I hated the pain, and the exhaustion, but with their persistent asking, I decided I should at least give it an honest try. I committed to the first month, at 8:00am the following week. I didn’t know anyone that went at this time, but it was the only time I could make work. I felt nauseous everyday on the way up to the box, sometimes requiring a ride so that I would actually go. I had so much anxiety over going, over looking like a fool, over not being able to complete something. But I went, three times a week, and everyday it got the tiniest bit easier to walk through those doors. Never once did any of the members or staff make me feel like my fears were justified. It was nothing but positive encouragement. I’ve had many struggles in the box but in those struggles, I have never felt alone. Someone has always been there to lend a hand, or words of encouragement, or a hug.

Darksky CrossFit is like nothing I have ever experienced before. It is a community, full of people from every walk of life, every fitness level, all looking for the same thing: to better themselves. I have gained so much knowledge, strength, and most of all, confidence since joining that I can’t imagine not having Darksky CrossFit as part of my life. My physical, mental and emotional health have all improved ten fold. My physical appearance has changed as well. I get excited about my muscle definition, and new personal records for weights, faster times during workout. It’s less about being ‘skinny’ now, and more about being strong, in every aspect of my life! I watch my daughter at home trying the things we do at Darksky CrossFit, emulating me! I see my son flexing his muscles and getting excited about the “bump” on his arms! I see their pride in me, and I love the effect it’s having on them!

So basically, Darksky CrossFit has changed my life in ways I had never imagined!



   About 4 years ago I was talking with a friend about what kind of stuff I did at the Gym. I told him that I would do short circuits of 2 weight lifting movements and a short burst of cardio. He mentioned that I should do this thing called CrossFit. I had never heard of it before so when I got home I Googled it to see what it was. The stuff looked crazy and I didn’t’ think I would be able to do it or even know where to begin.

   Well we moved to Hinton and I was going to the local gym again and still doing my little circuits. I had always thought I was in good shape, and what I was doing was helping me. Until I seen this guy (Kevin) and his wife (Diane) doing these incredibly insane workouts. They would even bring their own (wall) balls to the gym. They would skip and row and run and do these really weird pull ups. I had never seen anything like it. I just thought they were die-hards and then someone mentioned to me that it was CrossFit. A short while later they stopped coming to the gym. Then I started hearing a CrosFit gym opened in town. My wife had started coming to the gym with me but she didn’t really like it so I mentioned that she should try out CrossFit. She loved it. Not a month into her first month I came to try out “CrossFit” I was in good shape. How hard could it be?  I can’t really remember what was all involved except double unders (Skipping rope) and hand stand push ups. But I thought I was going to die. Never have I been so exhausted. I could hardly breath, I was sweating, it tasted like I drank a cup of blood. I hated it!!! But I came back, and I hated it again. But I couldn’t stop coming!!! The people and the atmosphere were exactly what I had been looking for the whole time that I had been going the gym. Well I decided to stop going to the gym and try out CrossFit for good. It was the best decision of my life (don’t tell my wife I said that). I can now say I am in the best shape of my life.
   I started coming to Dark Sky a year ago just to try something different and get back into some sort of shape. What I didn’t expect was that I would meet such down to earth and happy friends along the way. My body feels healthier than it ever has now – I am stronger, more mobile, and more flexible. I no longer have lower back pain and my shoulder flexibility is better. The best part is that I don’t feel like I’m wasting hours of my day. Every class offers some new challenge to look forward to it’s in and out the door in an hour. I recommend CrossFit to everyone. You can’t help but feel good when you go! Thank you big time to Kevin and Dianne for being so accommodating to Denise and I and for being so dedicated to helping us have fun!
I didn’t initially want to go and try CrossFit, thinking it was just a new fad thing and also not knowing what to expect if I went was intimidating. Then a friend, who went a couple times told me she thought I would really like it. I was occasionally going to the gym, but needed more motivation. So I decided I would listen to my friend and give CrossFit a try. I remember parts of my first class- ball slams, ropes, sit-ups, push-ups, wall balls in a circuit- then I was told it was only the warm up. I realized that this was going to be a real exciting and challenging new way of getting in shape.
Right from the first class, I knew I was hooked.
Since I joined in June 2014 I have been amazed with how everyday at The Box brings a new challenge for myself. The WOD  is always  different, and brings hard work everyday. After exhausting myself I am so glad that I made it. It’s so awesome to have a great group of people in any of the classes and how everyone motivates each other and helps you to finish the WOD. The atmosphere is so positive!
I have really appreciated the help of all the trainers, they are all great! Thanks especially to Kevin, as he patiently trains and helps me understand the movements. The encouragement I’ve received has helped me push myself beyond my comfort zone and do things I never thought possible. It’s really motivating when I feel like I cant do something and Kevin says “you got this”, those words help me in finishing the WOD and to try new things.
Before starting CrossFit, I used the F word so much. Now instead of saying Fat, I try to focus on being strong. I’ve tried many different diets, thinking I just wanted to be skinny. After having some bad side affects, I knew I couldn’t keep doing that. Going to CrossFit is slowly helping me to not just think about being skinny, but to be proud of my strengths and being healthy and fit for life.  CrossFit is just pure awesome, bruises and blisters included!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s