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Like many, Karianne Matty struggled to motivate herself to exercise during the height of the global pandemic, when her Deka CrossFit gym in Blainville, Quebec was closed for the better part of two years.
What kept Matty continuing to work on her fitness was her training partner: her now 4-year-old daughter, Ivy Matty.
“During the pandemic, she was the only reason I kept moving. She would ask me to do a Zoom class with people at the gym… We have dumbbells at home and I would do it for her because it was so hard for me. I didn’t want to work out,” said Carian, who purchased Deka CrossFit from five-time CrossFit Games athlete Michele Letendre.
“She was the motivation … and she made me stronger,” Carian said of her daughter’s pressure.
Beyond the pandemic
Today, Ivy, who is competing in the Open for the second year in a row, continues to inspire her busy gym owner mom to prioritize her own fitness, something Carian isn’t sure would be the case without her daughter’s push .
“Sometimes she’ll ask, ‘What time are you going to practice?’ And I’m like, “Oh my God, I don’t have time to practice today. I don’t think I’ll work out, Ivy. And she says, “No, no. What class will you be in? “Okay, I’ll do the 3 o’clock class,” Carian said with a laugh.
Most recently, Ivy’s drive led the two to go to the CrossFit Open workouts together during their busy Friday Night Lights event, something that both mother and daughter cherish as quality time together.
“She loves him. For her, it’s our mommy-daughter time,” Karian explained of the bonding time it gives them.
During 23.2, Ivy asked her mom when they were going to take their shirts off to show off their muscles.
“When we get hot, we’ll take off our shirts and show off our muscles,” Karian replied.
“Okay, we have to do it at the same time,” Ivy replied.
Not only has Ivy helped make training more enjoyable for her mom, but Carian said training has become more fun again, especially when it comes to the CrossFit Kids program.
“I like coaching the kids even more … It’s just so much fun,” Carian said. Having Ivy there “makes my job so much better.”
Ivy’s CrossFit Journey
Although only 4 years old, Ivy is already a veteran and feels right at home at Deka CrossFit.
“She knows everyone’s name in the gym. I have 300 members (and) she welcomes everyone … She’s seen people doing this for four years, so it’s normal for her,” said Karian, who bought the gym when she was six months pregnant with Ivy.
It’s also normal for Ivy to exercise every day, sometimes multiple times a day, which often causes Carian to try to hold Ivy down.
Yet all the training Ivy has logged now means she’s an accomplished weightlifter and can do pull-ups, toes to the bar, handstand walks and handstand push-ups, barbell muscle-ups and pull-ups. rope, though Carian watches how high she lets Ivy climb.
But Carian insists that drive and competitive nature come from Ivy.
“When the 23.1 workout came out and she saw that she had ring muscles, she was very angry. She didn’t want to do the workout because she can’t put on muscle… She’s a very competitive kid and I’m not a competitive person, so I try to balance her (competitiveness),” Carian said.
In the end, though, Ivy trains as much as she does not because of pressure from her parents to be good at CrossFit, but because she loves it.
“She’s good because she loves to do it,” Carian said.
And as her mother, Karian couldn’t be happier watching her daughter’s drive and work ethic grow, and most importantly, watching her create lifelong healthy habits.
“I love watching her grow in the sport … and I love seeing her love it and being a part of the community,” she said.
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