Jon and Karen Evans are a kick-butt radiating duo so it made sense to feature them here as a package deal. They have been members since LoLo opened it’s doors and actually even commented that the old furniture warehouse that was newly for lease would actually make a great Crossfit gym! So basically, they manifested LoLo as much as we did and isn’t that how this all works anyway! Originally from Ontario, then living in Dubai for the better part of a decade, we are so fortunate that this adventure-seeking couple found their way into our community. They were both so amazing volunteering during the 2019 CrossFit Open at LoLo and in fact, Jon was nominated and won the “Spirit of the Open Award” at the LoLo Open Awards. Here’s what he had to say about that as well as a snippet of how things have been for Team Evans this past year:
Jon: “Yes I was surprised to receive this award! I didn’t expect it but it meant a lot to me. I feel honoured to have had an impact in this community and it’s nice that people appreciated me cheering them on and pushing them out of their comfort zones and It felt good when people requested me to judge their workout. I feel at home and comfortable at LoLo which allows me to be encouraging. No matter how many opens you’ve done, it’s always a challenge and it’s always a little anxiety-inducing. It was nice to be able to calm people down. It flows both ways and I feel like I got it back in spades. The whole event is an organized chaos, and you do become part of something bigger. There was a little emptiness when it was over.”
Karen: “It was almost sad when it was over, but not quite (laughs). I’m proud of Jon for receiving the award, I think he deserves it, I voted for him”.
What would you like to acknowledge yourselves for?
Jon: “That’s hard! It’s hard to acknowledge yourself – Karen help me out here”
Karen: “Hey, this is your question”.
Jon: “I guess I would like to acknowledge myself for consistently coming to the gym and working hard. I always try to be my best. This is the first open that I’ve really researched my workout strategy, which gave me a chance to finish the rounds. My favourite part of the open this year was during the 19.2 workout with the clean ladder – I like clean ladders because as the weight gets heavier, it’s a mental game and you’re not sure if you can actually do it. I literally finished with one second to spare to qualify for the next round and I believe this was due in part to Adam yelling at me – This is your tie breaker Jon! Do it! That workout ended up being my highest score in the open”.
Karen: “Not going to lie, some days I had to be dragged in here, but I surprised myself and learned something new in every workout. I would like to acknowledge myself for doing the open even though I was a little afraid. I’ve always decided that fear wasn’t allowed to hold me back – I was only not going to do something if I chose not to do it, not because fear chose for me. For me, I strip down to what’s really important in my life – Fitness, health, travel and home. Now I’m competing in my first CrossFit competition at the Festivus Games next weekend!”.
I know you and Jon are competing next weekend as a team, your relationship is inspiring! What’s your secret?
Karen: “The best thing about us is that we are supportive and communicative with each other. It’s just a solid relationship”.
Jon: “Only 1-3 fights in 15 years of marriage. Most of them are my fault”.
Karen: “Of course they are”.
Jon: “Well, maybe 1 in 3 fights is Karen (laughs). Within the past year, we moved to Victoria and we had no jobs – just two cats and boxes. We found a place to live, I slowly found work and Karen is experimenting with freelance work. It’s hard to believe we’ve accomplished everything we have in the past year. I think the next phase for me is to figure out which direction I would like to take my career – it’s been bugging me for a couple of years now. I haven’t quite known how to cross that threshold yet. I can see myself more involved in fitness as a career, maybe coaching but I feel I need to build my confidence in this field first.”
Karen: “We chose Victoria very specifically and intentionally. Victoria has a life. It’s a creative place, people are multi-talented and often have several different jobs and hobbies. There’s more of a work/life balance and no one looks down on you for trying something new. I’ve heard that about Iceland as well and maybe that’s why people are really happy there. Since we’re not in our 30’s anymore, and everyone our age has growing families, it can be hard to meet people in a new city without having that ‘in’. We’ve found a community here [at LoLo]. We’ve started condo shopping and one of the first things we look at is if it’s close enough to our gym!”
Jon: “Everyone is like-minded and comes in with the same goals. Everyone supports each other, no one cares about your background or what you do for a living. We are all here to help each other be our best, do our best and even be better than we thought we could be”.