It all starts here!
Welcome to the official website of Rooted Fitness CrossFit, where health and fitness begins! Rooted Fitness CrossFit was born from the ideal that a holistic approach should be taken to health and fitness. Its founder, Donald Wilkinson, realised over years of personal experience, observation and research that everything is connected or related in some way such that one life factor, no matter how seemingly small can have a significant affect on ones health, fitness level and progress, or overall well-being. By establishing Rooted Fitness CrossFit, Donald sought to “get back to basics” when it came to fitness training and healthy living, promoting the use of natural products and alternatives in health and nutrition and incorporating these with comprehensive methods of fitness programming using CrossFit as the fitness methodology, all for the purposes of forming a strong base in clients from which they can grow and reap their personal rewards.
About Rooted Fitness CrossFit
Our Name
rooted [ru:tid]: A strong base or support; to be well established or have established origins. An essential part or element; the basic core. Pertaining to the earth and all that is natural.
Our Vision
To provide and promote a natural and holistic approach to health, wellness and fitness with CrossFit as a major foundational element.
Our Promise
We are committed to helping prepare you for the demands of life using CrossFit as a tool by which to achieve this and providing you with the knowledge and know-how in which to make more informed decisions on your own well-being.

Coach D’s Story

I always considered myself a healthy individual. I did sports in high-school and at a smaller scale in college but slacked off quite a bit after that when I got a job and entered the workforce. During that time after College I was an on-and-off again Globo Gym goer, but could never stay consistent or motivated as all the Men’s Health recommended muscle building programs that I got from their magazines just never did it for me…I found them boring and lacking substance to say the least.

Don02Then about eight years ago I had enough and decided to do something that would take me out of my comfort zone…I entered my first sprint adventure race. In doing this I got really focused and started reading up on and teaching myself all about health and fitness in hopes of making myself a naturally fit individual ready for competition. I really liked adventure racing because it was varied disciplines (trail running, kayaking and mountains biking with navigation thrown in) at different intensities…I guess this was the beginnings of me liking CrossFit yet I did not know about it at that time.

As the months progressed I found that learning about health and fitness came very naturally to me along with teaching people about it. In June 2008 I became an ACSM certified personal trainer and started training people on the side (I still had a full time job which paid the bills), while at the same time finding out more about optimal training and using myself as the test subject. Concurrently at this stage of my life I also went through some hard life challenges, most of which were caused by unnecessary stress and which on one occasion sent me to the emergency clinic because of a bad reaction to a prescribed medication to relax my tense muscles (did the complete opposite…caused an anxiety attack). It was at this point that I dedicated my time to adopting a holistic approach to health and fitness. I researched programs that viewed fitness from many angles, and encouraged and promoted this type of approach. It was then that I stumbled upon CrossFit.

The year was late 2009. I found out about CrossFit on, where else, the Internet.
CrossFit had everything I needed and was looking for. It was different, not particularly specializing but rather generalizing, and it encouraged and promoted proper nutrition (natural nutrition as I called it then), and the importance of adequate rest and recovery. It was high intensity yet varying in what you did in workouts and the movements in the workouts for the most part were functional…this to me was the holistic approach to health and fitness that I was looking for. I found that “pot of gold” at the end of the rainbow. And best of all it was tried and tested by an online community who were more than willing to share their experiences and provide great feedback.
Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your view point) at the time I was working in Barbados and there was no CrossFit box there. I had to wait a good year and a half till I returned to Canada to do my first supervised CrossFit WOD. In the meantime I read quite a bit about CrossFit and watched lots of CrossFit YouTube videos (yet again the power of the internet comes to my aid).

Fast forward to my very first WOD. It was June 2010, just about under a month after returning to Canada…it was at a CrossFit box here in Calgary and it was not a particularly difficult WOD but it was still very challenging all the same. I remembered how much the CrossFit coach put into ensuring my form and mechanics was good and how helpful and friendly people were in the box, and this was something I had never experienced before in a typical Globo Gym. I was hooked!

Over the months that ensued, I saw my body and wellbeing transform before my very eyes. I was the strongest, fittest and healthiest that I have ever been. I did things that I previously thought I could or would never attempt, even for a relatively fit individual like me (gymnastics movements like the muscle-up and hand stand push-up)…it was amazing!
Less than a year later in May of 2011, I became a certified CrossFit Level 1 trainer and have been coaching people on CrossFit methodology ever since.

At Rooted Fitness CrossFit, I fully utilize the CrossFit methodology of “constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity” and our members love it and the results they see. I not only coach our members on fitness conditioning but also make them more aware of diet and what they eat, impressing upon them that fitness and a healthy body is not just made in the gym but also in the kitchen. And just as important as the gym and the kitchen is the bedroom (get your minds out of the gutter :P). I encourage and promote adequate rest and recovery as this is very important and a crucial part of their fitness regime and not to be overlooked.

I believe that I can help others who are like how I was in the past… late twenties to thirties, working a full-time job and going through the stress of everyday life without having a coping mechanism or the knowledge of how to make them a better and healthier individual. I think from my own experience that high intensity interval training of varying modalities helps you deal with those life challenges head on, making them seem small in comparison to what you just accomplished the other night while in class.

I truly enjoy coaching and helping others attain their fitness and wellness goals and I am just as committed…there is nothing more satisfying to me than seeing one of our members at Rooted Fitness CrossFit reach a personal record (PR) or do that movement or WOD that they thought they could never do. It’s one of the many benefits of doing what I do 🙂

Donald Wilkinson (aka “Coach D”), Head Coach/Owner
ACSM Certified Personal Trainer (cPT)
CrossFit Level 1 & Level 2
CrossFit Gymnastics
CrossFit Olympic Lifting
CrossFit Mobility
Certified Spartan Group X (SGX) Coach
Coach Shawn’s Story

ShawnThe early years
I have always been physically active and played multiple sports while growing up. Around 2008, I realised my exercise routine had died down and I was consuming a less than clean diet. Not happy with the direction my health was heading, I signed up at a globo gym. Most people who sign up at a globo gym do not experience the changes I did. I credit this pivoting point in my life to a man by the name of Funbobby Kwasny. Funbobby introduced me to a new lifestyle that was to become the basis for a lifelong routine. It was the early days of CrossFit when I got started doing Funbobby’s programmed WODs in a globo gym. Crowded amongst machines and gasping for air, I was doing functional movements at a high intensity. The early days were not easy. They were the toughest workouts I had ever done; a whole new territory for my body and my mind. For this work to be worth the while, Funbobby introduced me to the Paleo diet, and I have not looked back.

In August 2012, I obtained CrossFit Level 1 Certification but also wanted to further my knowledge in Olympic Weightlifting. While learning the snatch and the clean and jerk from Henrik Grigoryan (Master of Sport, USSR, Repeat Champion and Record holder for Armenia, Team Leader for Armenia at the Atlanta-96 Olympic Games), I obtained my NCCP Level 1 Certification in Olympic Weightlifting. and continue to compete and train 6 days a week. Right now I am training 6 days a week and focusing on becoming a national level weightlifter.

My coaching goal is to help athletes (yes, that is you) obtain a quality of being, as awesome as the one Funbobby helped me with. I hope to continue to draw people to this peculiar but rewarding sport of weightlifting, and coach many more to competitions at a provincial level. Right now I am focusing my training on becoming a national level weightlifter.

Shawn Meldrum, Coach
NCCP Level 1 (Olympic Lifting)
CrossFit Level 1
Coach Clary’s Story

Clary, born and raised in Calgary has always been a very active person growing up. Basketball and Volleyball were the sports of choice during high school and competitive leagues (men’s league and co-ed leagues) after. Now, he is married and a father of two beautiful little girls. Clary also works full time for a Oil and Gas company and can relate very well to what it takes to stay healthy and fit with a busy schedule.

Clary has trained recreationally in the gym for 15+ years and in this time his passion for fitness and personal well being has grown considerably. His desire for knowledge and personal health combined with the satisfaction of helping others is what led him to becoming a CrossFit Trainer.
“The best part of being a CrossFit trainer is helping others achieve their goals while doing something you love.” ~ Clary

Clary Keizer, Coach
CAN-FIT-PRO Certified Personal Trainer
Advanced Exercise Nutrition
CrossFit Level 1
Olympic Lifting Certificate – Coach Don McCauley
Gymnastics Seminar – Coach Carl Paoli Naka Athletics
Coach Darren’s Story

DarrenThe early years
I’ve been in the working fitness industry for over a decade now, but have been into fitness for over 20 years. Over my career I have had the privilege of working with all ages, different types of people of all levels of fitness. For the past 8 years, I have been training and coaching CrossFit, and I love it.

I have worked with many clients (general and corporate) over the year running and instructing bootcamps, making me sort of a bootcamp specialist, but my main passion is CrossFit. I’m very big into proper form and good range of motion over speed. I want to see all my athletes stay healthy and happy, and will do everything I can to get you there safely. I recently received my RIPPED Ride Certification, so I have also added Spin to my arsenal to get you fit faster!!

With my experience and a strong footing in nutrition, I am an excellent choice to help you reach your goals fast, safely, and I’ll leave you with the education to maintain what you have worked so hard for. I look forward to working with you to get you there!!

Darren Travers, Coach
NCCP Level 1 (Olympic Lifting)
CrossFit Level 1
CSIA Level 1
RIPPED Ride Certified
Coach Matt’s Story

Matt_bioThe early years
Fitness for me goes back to being a kid. I was always involved in sport one way or another mostly playing soccer and hockey. Evenings, school breaks and summers were filled top to bottom with doing things. This ultimately turned into playing men’s league hockey once a week and following a basic workout routine at a local gym.

Sometime in 2009, a friend mentioned CrossFit.com and how intense and different the workouts were. Intrigued, I checked it out. The rest as they say is history. Many articles and videos later and through years of steady work on form and slowly building strength have led me to where I am today.

From a working out perspective, I like CrossFit because of how well-rounded and varied the exercises are. But equally important is the sense of family that exists with the members at Rooted. We are there to work hard and have a good time. It’s fun to go to the gym! It is also something that demands your attention. It is next to impossible for me to be thinking about work when I am doing CrossFit – it is a healthy break in my day. I have learned a healthy lifestyle from CrossFit and I am motivated to help others in their fitness journey. Living a healthy life is important today and I feel coaching is my way to help people on their journey.

Since I learned most of the movements on my own, helping people get from the “not knowing what this is” stage to being proficient at it is really cool to see. My first squat, clean and jerk, snatch and handstand push up were all very awkward looking so working with athletes to figure things out to reach for and exceed their goals is very rewarding to me. Looking ahead, I can’t wait to turn 40 (in 4 years) so that I can compete in the Masters category for the CrossFit games.

Matt Vanderkooy, Coach
Coach Ashlynn’s Story

AshlynnThe early years
Born raised in north-east rural Alberta, there was always work to be done and things to do outside. Functional fitness, as we know it in the box, began for me at an early age on the farm; pitching hay, carrying heavy pails, making fences and running after animals on the loose. I figure skated competitively for nine years, competing and coaching CanSkate in exchange for ice time. With great power and speed, I could jump, spin, and do fancy footwork, but lacked the grace and coaching resources go any further in the sport.

After high school, I was determined NOT to gain the freshman 15 so I ran on average 5 km a day but seldom did I do any strength training. It wasn’t until 2008 when my kinesiology-majoring boyfriend suggested I wouldn’t have to run so much and so long if I just did CrossFit. I really enjoyed running but I also wanted a whole list of aesthetics that running was not providing. I typed in CrossFit.com in my web browser and beneath the “Workout of the Day”, I found a video demo of Miranda Oldroyd; full-on beast-mode doing Fran. I thought to myself, “I could do that. Definitely the thrusters, pull-ups? If I’m lucky, I may get one!” With metabolic damage and plantar fasciitis in both feet, I had to re-educate and re-vamp my approach to fitness and nutrition to be sustainable for life. I knew I had a strength base unparalleled to most other women and it bothered me that my athletic potential was left untapped. It was during this time that I figured out that the barbell and my body were the only pieces of equipment I would ever need. I continued with CrossFit training but it was still not enough. I wanted a purpose to walk into the gym every day and a reason to give it my all, deeper than the desire to look good, and something greater than a temporary endorphin rush. I needed to compete.

Gravity and load has a way of giving you the real deal. Not only does weightlifting train the 10 domains of physical fitness, but it has a tendency of tearing you apart and re-building a type of mental fortitude that only comes from learning to believe in yourself. The blessings this sport has brought me is something I hope to share through instruction to the willing and relentless.

I currently train with a team led by the decorated former lifter and coach Henrik Grigoryan, USSR Master of Sport (Repeat Champion and Record holder for Armenia, Team Leader for Armenia at the Atlanta-96 Olympic Games) and compete in the under women’s 75 kg category as a Provincial Class 1 lifter.

I will continue to push myself to compete with the best in the country and achieve the highest international ranks possible. G-O-L-D!

Ashlynn Krochmal, Coach
NCCP Level 1 (Olympic Lifting)
CrossFit Level 1