Couples of LoLo: Katrina Waldron and Conner Leverett [Victoria BC CrossFit]
Happy week three of LoLo Love Month! For this week’s Couples of LoLo feature, we sat down with Katrina and Conner. It was a pleasure getting to know this sweet pair as they reflected on cherished friends and family, and shared excitement for new possibilities to come.
Tell us about your fitness journey!
Katrina: “I played field hockey for UBC, however, it got overwhelming so I stopped playing sports for a while. There was also a brief period when I went to a gym in Duncan. It was actually Conner who introduced me to CrossFit. He told me about the movements being taught at LoLo, like Olympic lifting, and I thought, “I used to love those movements,’ so I joined!”
Conner: “I played soccer growing up. While I disliked the sport itself, I loved the community and competitiveness. In university I did other activities, like surfing and home workouts, but I missed the competitive nature of sport. I walked by LoLo, popped in to check it out, and have loved it ever since!”
K: “[LoLo] is a community – similar a team but without anyone relying on you. We get to compete against ourselves.”
What was the happiest moment of your life?
C: “Probably when I finished my last university exam. I put my heart and soul into school for 7 years. Though I recognized that I needed to live my life outside of school, I focused on my grades so that I could become a professor. The feeling when I finished that last exam was pure bliss. Kat and my best friend Ben were waiting outside of the exam room with a beer that I shotgunned.”
K: “Yeah, I don’t think you stopped smiling for hours!”
C: “It was the first moment since I was like 6-years-old that I felt I had no real responsibilities.”
K: “The happiest thing that comes to my mind is a trip I took with friends to southeast Asia after I finished my degree. One day in Cambodia we were snorkelling and swimming in bioluminescence. I felt weightless, calm, and a sense of freedom. It set the tone for the next chapter of my life.”
What was the saddest moment of your life?
C: “It was the year my best friend died. His name was Andy (or, his name is Andy depending on how you look at it). We were spending New Years overnight at a friend’s house, but in the morning Andy was missing. It came to light that he went swimming on his own. It was the first time I had lost anyone and the reality of life set in. Andy was my roommate at the time, so I was tasked with moving his stuff out. Since I was closest with Andy, everyone confided in me and it felt like I had the responsibility to be a support which left little space for my own grieving. I remember a specific time when I broke down in tears. It was so real then.”
K: “When I was 17, I lost a close friend of mine. He fell asleep at the wheel. The pinnacle of my grief was when I visited his family’s house and his mom broke down in my arms, asking me to please never forget him. Dealing with my own grief as well as being there for a grieving mother was difficult and heartbreaking. It was too much for me to deal with at the time.”
C: “That’s how it was with Andy’s mom, too.”
Who is the most influential person in your life?
C: “My dad! (Emily Corey would make fun of me because I frequently reference my Dad in my answers to the “Question of the Day” at LoLo). He was a paramedic for 30 years where he would go to work and save people’s lives or see people die. Regardless, he would come home at the end of the day and always be the greatest dad. There was never a time that I thought my dad’s job influenced his ability to be present and happy around us. When I played soccer 5 days s week growing up, my dad would be at every game and practice even though I was on the bench 9 times out of 10. His humour and ability to shift gears between his roles is really inspirational to me. He’s very funny, too!”
K: “My Nona. I started to appreciate her more after she passed away. I learned more about her story, especially through the letters that my Nona and Nono wrote to each other. Extending out of her comfort zone and emigrating [to Canada], that’s inspiring to me. She made their house a home and dealt with a lot of hardships with grace. She had the warmest hug and was so pleasant to be around.”
What are you most excited for right now?
C: “The end of December was really busy with the holidays and the usual trying to make time for friends and family. We also moved around that time, so I am looking forward to getting settled into our new home. Last night we hung up the final pictures and now we just need a lounge chair and a mount for the TV.”
K: “One small thing… I am getting new CrossFit shoes tomorrow. The Nano 9! I ordered them online in black and I’m really excited. Also, I’m looking forward to summertime. Our new place is across the bridge so it will be exciting to explore the surrounding neighbourhoods.”
What are you most afraid of?
K: “Sharks?” (both laugh)
C: “My biggest irrational fear is earthquakes (laughs). My grade 7 teacher, Mr. Hickman, described the “Big One” and how it would decimate Victoria and the West Coast. Ever since then I’ve been terrified of earthquakes. Of course, the thought of ever losing Katrina is difficult to think of.”
K: “There are a lot of decisions for me to make right now. For instance, deciding if I’m going back to school and what to do with my current job. We would also like to buy a house. They are all exciting prospects, but I know I’ll have to change things that I’m comfortable with. I want to make sure that I’m making the right decision.”
Acknowledge yourself! What are you most proud of?
C: “I feel like my life has been on easy mode. Although I did not have many adversities growing up, my work ethic is something that I am proud of. I grew up with support and resources unavailable to some, so my work ethic is a way for me to earn each milestone. Also, as a partner, I’m a pretty good communicator.”
K: “I just applied for a promotion at work and I would like to acknowledge myself for having confidence in my qualifications and my commitments. I feel like I am final recognizing my power. It also translates into being at the gym. I know that I can do things if I stay true to my commitment.”