Fitness was always my passion. As a kid I was always active – always involved with sports such as gymnastics, track and field, and volleyball. I ended up playing professional volleyball in Greece for four years. When I moved to Canada, I would go to the gym, try some new classes, teach some classes but the motivation was not there anymore. I missed the sense of belonging! I missed competing! Even if that meant competing with myself or competing for fun – this is what drew me to CrossFit.

I started CrossFitting in 2012, after a conversation with a friend. This was my first exposure to CrossFit and looking back now, I had no idea how this conversation would positively impact my life. After trying my first WOD, I was hooked. CrossFit can be, and is, competitive for those who want to compete but that is not the only focus – it is on doing YOUR best! CrossFit surprises me every time and it challenges me to discover what I am made of. How much pain can I handle? How much fear can I handle? How long can I stay at that “uncomfortable” zone? How bad do I want to prove myself to me? This is why I love it!

CrossFit to me is as much about community as it is about fitness. I get much more joy and satisfaction when I see the person next to me try hard and finish the WOD, or when I see somebody crush their PR!

Now my passion in life is to share my knowledge and enthusiasm for CrossFit and promote a healthy and fulfilling life.

CrossFit Certifications:

  • CrossFit Level 1
  • CrossFit Level 2
  • CrossFit Weightlifting
  • CrossFit Gymnastics
  • CrossFit Mobility


I started doing CrossFit before I quite knew what CrossFit was. My friend and I started gathering equipment and working out at his grandparent’s horse farm. We flipped tires, swung hammers and pulled sleds and I found that I was having a lot more fun than if I were training in a normal gym.
The first time I heard the word CrossFit, I was working on an extended job in British Columbia for 6 months. I was putting a lot of emphasis on my physical fitness and spent a lot of time working out because there wasn’t really a whole lot else to do. My girlfriend started doing CrossFit back home and would send me the workouts she had done that day. I would do my best with the equipment I had available to me, but couldn’t always make it work. Finally, I came home for a visit and gave CrossFit Belleville a try; I was immediately hooked. I joined a CrossFit gym as soon as I returned to B.C. and haven’t looked back. Every day is challenging, competitive and rewarding even on the days I don’t do as well as I would like; I record the WOD and try to beat my result the next time. CrossFit encourages people to work harder and try to be better every day.
I am very appreciative to have been given the chance to become a CrossFit coach. I have been asked to coach other sports, but never really felt that it was something I wanted to devote myself to. I have never really been comfortable being the centre of attention and hesitated to put myself in a position of authority. However, CrossFit has allowed me to move past all of that. Not only am I in the best shape of my life, but I have also gained the confidence to put myself in front of a group and share what I know.

CrossFit Certifications:

  • CrossFit Level 1


I have always hated going to the typical gym. Having said that, I have always been an athlete and enjoyed the thrill of competition from a young age. I rode horses competitively all through my childhood, competing in shows across Ontario, and spent every spare minute at the barn. In my teens I became interested in the sport of rugby, which took over my life as soon as I left for university. I always needed to have something to fill my time and keep myself active and my mind engaged. Now, in my late 20’s and proceeding into my early 30’s, Crossfit is my sport, my therapy and my second home.

Since 2005 I have had three knee surgeries on my right knee, two of which were to repair a torn ACL. Rugby, the sport I love, has taken its toll on my body and I quickly started to realize that I was going to have to give it up. Two or three years ago that realization broke my heart and I continued to battle with knee pain, tape, knee braces, and whatever else I could think of to stay in the game. I wasn’t ready to be on the sidelines, but it was becoming more and more obvious that I couldn’t continue the way that I was.

I started Crossfit in January of 2013, just after Crossfit Belleville opened its doors. I knew Luke from high school and had heard about the gym opening through word of mouth. My very first workout (WOD) nearly killed me and I learned very quickly that I was not anywhere near the shape that I should have been at the age of 27. I watched people doing pull ups and box jumps, even muscle ups, and I was so far out of my element that I didn’t think there was any chance that I would be able to do anything of those things. However, it was just that thought and a little healthy competition with my younger sister that forced to me to join and keep going. The feeling I got the first time I ever did a pull up was one of the best I have ever had, even more so when I did so many pull ups in a workout that I actually tore the skin from my hands. I have never been more proud than when I carried those first “war wounds”. When I think about how my strength has grown, and what my body is able to do, I don’t even recognize that person who could barely lift her own body weight or barely squat without pain. Now I proudly squat with well over 200lbs on my back and I don’t see myself quitting there.

As a Crossfit coach, I hope to offer the same experiences and successes that I had and continue to have on a daily basis. I love seeing the looks on people’s faces when they set a PR (personal record) or get their first pull up or handstand push up. Crossfit is all about helping people accomplish things both physically and mentally that they never thought possible and I’m incredibly lucky to have been given the chance to help others see their full potential in that regard. I look forward to working out, and now I look forward to coaching, and I can honestly say that I no longer hate going to the gym.

CrossFit Certifications:

  • CrossFit Level 1


I first heard of CrossFit through my husband Luke. Initially, watching the so-called “WODs” were intimidating and I did not quite understand the methods or approach. When I first tried my first WOD, it consisted of box jumps, dumbbell swings (did not have kettelebells) and double unders. It was probably one of the most difficult workouts I had in awhile and it was just over 20 minutes. Saying that, I was actually hooked. I’ve always been a competitive person and love new challenges. I became bored at the local gym and was sick of the same thing every time in terms of the good old elliptical and group classes that ran the same music, same moves week after week with slow results. I was bored of the isolated workouts and going to the gym just wasn’t fun for me. CrossFit is an outlet for me. I don’t want to use the same cheese ball cliché, but I have to…. CrossFit has changed my life. CrossFit is part of a new lifestyle. Most of all, I love the sense of community it brings. There’s incredible support, motivation and inspiration within that I’ve never felt anywhere else. I never knew my body could do the things it does before CrossFit. I’ve become stronger, more focused, stress free. My biggest reward is to introduce it to someone else and see their results and how it’s changed their life.

CrossFit Certifications:

  • CrossFit Level 1
  • CrossFit Mobility
  • CrossFit Scaling


My name is Leah Ford-Gariepy and I am the Little Spartans coach at Crossfit Belleville! I joined the Crossfit Belleville community in December of 2014 and fell in love with the sport instantly. As a former gymnast and competitive gymnastics coach for 15 years, crossfit has been the perfect fit for me. My love for sport and gymnastics lead me to taking an undergrad program in physical education and am now a junior teacher at Park Dale School and will be beginning my 11th year of teaching in September.  This is another new adventure and am excited to see your Little Spartans grow in strength and confidence!


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