RedLeaf Fitness, after careful consideration, has decided to embrace the CrossFit brand again, believing the changes promised by the new management team mean we can resume the journey with all its original promise.

As we all know, insensitive comments by top leadership at CrossFit Home Office earlier this year cratered an already difficult relationship with boxes around the world, including at RedLeaf.

But it was a tough decision to leave. Toronto’s RedLeaf Fitness had long believed that CrossFit is the most potent fitness vehicle in the world. No other methodology can deliver results that are as broad, lasting, and dynamic. And we know we were not alone in this belief. 

The Back Story

Coach Sean and I have been CrossFit certificate holders for over 10 years. Over that period, we have aided multiple openings of CrossFit affiliate boxes. We hosted The Open year after year. We laughed, cried, cheered, and grew with the global community. 

We felt we were part of a shared journey.

Then, about two years ago, CrossFit began to feel and sound like something that we didn’t recognize anymore. We felt the organization wasn’t aware of us.

In the summer of 2020, when the community needed leadership the most––it got worse. Abhorrent statements were uttered from the very top, misrepresenting us and thousands of others

It wasn’t acceptable. We knew we needed to write our own story about who we were. So we de-affiliated. 

Finally, Some Good News 

Then we got the word CrossFit was being bought out by Eric Roza, a well-known player in the industry, in a deal backed by a large Boston-based private equity fund.  

At RedLeaf we discussed whether it was possible to revitalize the CrossFit brand. We decided to give it a year to see where it was all heading. 

CrossFit named Paul Tremblay as the affiliate Rep in Canada, installing the Affiliates First mandate. It moved the CrossFit Open back to March. And most of all? The organization committed itself to DEI––Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.  

And then CrossFit reached out and asked us to tell them why we left, how we felt, and what they could do to get us back.

After about a month of weekly talks with Danielle from CrossFit Home Office, Sean and I discussed re-affiliation with our team and slowly, we were all won over to rejoin the CrossFit journey.   

On Sunday December 27th we executed our Affiliate agreement and officially rejoined the family of some 15,000 affiliates worldwide.     

Affiliates and the Challenges

We fell in love with CrossFit over a decade ago because we experienced firsthand how the program can change your life. We believed in its ability to bring people together, to share in a common goal, and to inspire each other to be better.  

CrossFit has helped us through rough times. It has been the tool that shapes the lives of the people we work with. And it is the common thread that brings us together. 

We are excited to become an affiliate again because of the changes that CrossFit has committed to making. We believe in Roza, and we believe that he understands the challenges facing the affiliates. 

What We Like Now

CrossFit teaches us to push our limits, to see our weaknesses, and commit to working on them. We demand the same from the organization. We don’t expect perfection, but progress from the top down.

The journey won’t be easy. But with the new leadership we believe we can walk in the same direction to tackle the hills and the valleys that we will inevitably face.

So CrossFit we’re all in.  


-Coach Michelle and Coach Sean

Learn More About the Author
Michelle Dukowski
Coach & Co-Founder
Having spent most of her life as a competitive soccer player, finding her way into the professional fitness industry seemed a natural fit for Michelle.
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