Hockey Star Emmanuelle Blais Expands Her Athletic Scope with Cross Fit

Mark StaffieriContributor IIApril 23, 2013

Image taken from the Facebook page of Emmanuelle Blais.
Image taken from the Facebook page of Emmanuelle Blais.

As a two-time NCAA Frozen Four champion and two-time Clarkson Cup champion, Emmanuelle Blais is a highly accomplished athlete with remarkable skill. She is continuing her commitment to fitness by engaging in the Cross Fit circuit.

A current member of the Montreal Stars (and collegiate competitor with the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs), Blais is proud of her hockey career. Among her other hockey accomplishments, Blais has also competed with the Canadian National Women’s Hockey team.

Blais was introduced into Cross Fit at the urging of a friend. Having participated in her first competition in February 2013, Blais has enjoyed the experience.

With the breadth of different disciplines involved, it is providing Blais with a unique approach to staying in game shape. Developed by Greg Glassman, Cross Fit is a fitness regimen which measures performance with the goal of optimizing efficiency while bringing participants together.

“I know how effective Cross Fit can be if it is done properly with great coaches and good programming. I experienced massive improvement in my fitness since I started. I got faster, stronger and more powerful on the ice, yet I was playing hockey less than I ever did in my career. Considering that, I would eventually love to start a Cross Fit hockey program.”

Like other teammates on the Montreal Stars (Noemie Marin, softball; Carolyne Prevost, tae kwon do; Dominique Thibault, Red Bull Crashed Ice); Blais is quickly emerging as another two-sport star.

For participants in Cross Fit, a key goal is earning a Level 1 Certification. Naturally, Blais is also aiming for that goal. With the aspiration of completing the certification, Blais explains the criteria required to earn it.

“The Level 1 certification is the length of a weekend, where you follow classes, study and are showed movements and basics of Cross Fit. You then write an exam and if you pass, get your certification.”

As workouts are conducted in a group setting, Blais has had the opportunity to work with participants of various skill levels. Teams are a mix of both men and women. Having qualified for a regional competition as part of a team, Blais understands how the importance of teamwork can bring results off the ice.

“I am so thankful for the support of the staff at the gym that I go to. The owner is so generous and the coaches are all very knowledgeable. Two weeks ago, a Cross Fit game athlete, her twin sister and their coach welcomed me in their training group. I learn from them at every session, sometimes even by just watching them. They help me get better every day.”

One of the unique aspects of Cross Fit is that it brings people from different walks of life together. As a former member of the Canadian National Women’s Ice Hockey Team, Blais is certainly one of the more notable competitors on her team. Just like hockey, the group environment is one based on mutual respect and an atmosphere where new friendships are forged.

 “I am so lucky to be a part of the Cross Fit Plateau team. The athletes in my team are great and make me better each session. My team is composed of three girls and three guys. Pierre-André is our captain. He is a coach at the gym L'abattoir and one of the hardest workers I know. Pierre-Étienne is a police officer and therefore, in amazing shape. Same thing for (the other male in the group) Christopher, who is a firefighter.”

“Valerie is an outstanding athlete who's finishing up a kinesiology doctorate, and brings regionals experience to the team. Then there is Éricka Letendre who is simply great at Cross Fit and constantly improving. I believe we have a great team. We have been training together and the team spirit is improving with each session as we get to know each other better. We are all in this together; we are all so excited for regionals.”

As all athletes look to push themselves and test their limits with the hopes of attaining higher levels of accomplishment, Blais brings a great level of maturity and acumen to her workouts. She understands the importance of self-discipline and is aware that results only come through putting in the effort to attain them.

“Every session will be challenging, or at least should be if you push yourself. Bottom line is with Cross Fit, whatever you do, if you follow a good program and work your hardest, you will get the results you want.”

“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”