Radix- The Origin Story

Its so amazing to see so many new faces in classes and I wish I had more time to get to know each and every one of you better!

Every time I get work with one of you personally through a challenge or a PT or as part of my personal programming team I’m always blessed with a friendship and love being a part of your health journey.

I always think it’s important for newer members to know what Radix is and where it came from so you can understand what you are a part of and its so so much bigger than just a gym or training style, its a community and lifestyle!

So Today Im going to tell you how Radix came to be, the hardships and struggles, the good times and monumental moments over the past decade that has led us here, sit back, relax and enjoy, this story has a lot of ups and downs.

I found my love of coaching in the fight world after competing for over 10 years and falling in love with the process training, eating clean and competing I knew I wanted to spend all my hours in the gym. After getting multiple strength and conditioning certifications and nutrition certification I started training all the amateur fighters at Kombat Arts in Mississauga, I then became the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach there training some of the best fighters in Ontario both Pro and Amateur.

in 2012 after a bad concussion I hung up my gloves and started training a client base out of my home gym in my basement, then garage while working at Kombat Arts. My business was officially opened as Core Performance and then I got a email from a guy in the States with the same name threatening to sue me so I changed my name and found this latin term I really liked and what would become the ethos of everything Ive done and re-done over the years. Radix is the life flow and energy that comes from within that gives energy to all movement. So Radix Performance was born.

Personally I didn’t know what to do with my own training as that concussion rocked my world. 6 month of bad symptoms and being out of shape for the first time since I was 15. My friend sent me a video of guys working out but competing doing it and I was intrigued. Im not gonna lie with my strength and conditioning background and having already worked with the best Oly Coach in the Province I was a bit of a CrossFit hater at first. I had been in the ring in amazing shape in combat sports what could these guys show me?

BUT I was intrigued and my curiosity had me search out my local CrossFit gym, I emailed the owner, arranged a meeting, he was a big strong powerlifter and I thought ok this guys can teach me a thing or two, I made it clear it my first email who I was, and my intention to open a gym in the coming year and he was cool with that, I signed up for a 10 pack of PTs to learn CrossFit.

I showed up to my first session and to my surprise a little in shape lady about 125 pounds said “Hi, Im Rachael, Im going to teach you CrossFit” I almost asked for my money back cause I didn’t sign up for this, remember I fought for fun, what could she teach me. Little did I know that Rach was one of the best female CrossFitters in country and one day we would have 3 boys together…

That hour she murdered me, I was out of breath, I was sore, I didn’t know what had happened but what I did know is I would be back and I would get better. I was addicted and I didn’t even know it.

Over the next 2 years I trained clients, signed a lease on my first building, and did crossfit 6 days a week with Rach and we started dating at the end of that period.

As I was renovating my newly leased building for the grand opening of my first facility I got a email from the town of Oakville saying that building I was reno’ing had changed zoning and I had to apply for a building development permit… I said ok, they handed me paperwork and a bill of $140,000! That day I cried. I felt led on by the landlord, the real estate agent and ripped off by the town. I had $50,000 in this renovation and I couldn’t find a way out of this fee. The landlord said I was on my own and then threatened to sue me when I didn’t pay my rent.

After 3 months of lawyers and trying to get the fee reversed and grandfathered in and being rejected over and over, I shut down the gym and went back to training people out of my garage. I lost my life savings, my dreams and my mojo.

There was a period of a week where I had a hard time getting out bed and knowing what to do.

So I decided to keep crossfitting, keep coaching and find a new location, no feeling sorry for myself, just a different path. When you get knocked down, you get back up and you adjust and come back stronger.

Rach went to CrossFit Regionals in 2014 and I coached her, she killed it that weekend beating a lot of the best CrossFitters in Eastern Canada. That weekend we started dating and she started working out out of my garage gym. I asked her if she would want to open a gym with me on my second try and she said yes.

in 2015 we signed the lease here at 427 Speers Rd Unit 21 and had our grand opening. The OG Radix members who where working out with me in my garage and still workout with me today helped me set everything up for the Grand Opening. Jacob P., Nick K., Nigie Bear, my bro Nate and Sis in Law Danielle. Ill never forget those times.

Nick took my to his diamond guy and I bought and engagement ring and on the grand opening day I asked Rach to marry me.

For the next 2.5 years we coached 90% of the classes and lived in Radix building this gym, community and lifestyle, 14 hour days were normal and we always worked out.

Rach got pregnant with Malachi and we met Tyler, the timing was a God send as I couldn’t do everything on my own. Ty started as a member and quickly became one of my favourite members, he’d come in from a long day of landscaping, load the bar up with 225 and start back squatting, no warm up. He asked me if I had an coaching opportunities and I quickly said yes.

It didn’t take long before he was our main Coach and the members favourite person, I was ok with that, I prefer people fear me than like me hahahaha. I was so happy to have Ty here and part of our team and family.

The gym grew and we were profitable fairly quickly was was a blessing, Ill never forget this one day in early 2020, I was with a PT client and Tyler was coaching class and in the middle of class a former member who will remain unanimous was looking at his phone and the started screaming at me “where’s your hand sanitizer, where’s your hand sanitizer…” Full blown panic attack. I almost dragged him out of the gym but calmly brought him sanitizer as he kept screaming at me that “it” was spreading. That day marked the beginning of what would be 2 of the hardest years of my life. 

For the next 2 years the government deemed us unessential to your lives, open and closed us as they saw fit and pretty much destroyed a thriving and profitable business that paid taxes and helped keep people healthy and off of health care support, as it turns out not only are we essential but we are one of the main preventers of people getting deathly sick from this virus.

I pivoted as much as I could, I look back and wish I had done better, done more, been more outspoken but having three young children, a mortgage, a lease on a building, a business, I just felt the need to survive and take care of those I needed to. So I rented out all the equipment at Radix, made sure Coach Ty still had a job coaching all the online classes and got paid and had a place to live, made sure the business didn’t go bankrupt and I worked long landscape hours for my brother to pay my bills.

2 years and I lost a bit of myself inside, didn’t know what was important to me anymore or who I was or what I was meant to do. I had lost everything before but this time was different, I had spent 5 years building this location and I had a family now that counted on me to provide.

During the first year of Covid Rach had a miscarriage and a former Coach of ours lost his mind and started a full blown internet attack on me after I didn’t post a black square on my instagram after the George Floyd murder… what a time that all was.

Coming out of Covid and back to the gym full time was one of the greatest feelings, as I watched every other CrossFit gym in Oakville and surrounding areas close their doors, we kept moving forward and not because of me but because the heart of this community never gave up, they never stopped believing, you kept paying membership fees, dropping off dinners to my house, blessing my family in all kinds of ways. I see God’s hand in everything that happened along the way and Im forever grateful for every person that supported this gym along the way. My Twin Boys Ezekiel and Malachi were born during this time and the blessings just kept coming.

 Radix is a lifestyle, a community, a family and everyone who gets involved a little deeper than just showing up for class becomes part of something so amazing.

For that Im grateful, for you Im grateful

Coach Dan