In order to get into the best shape of his life, 56-year-old Blake Parker had to scare himself half to death.
Parker suffered a massive heart attack on Feb. 2, 2012. It’s a day that changed his life forever.
“I knew it was coming at some point. He was a smoker, he didn’t eat properly, he wasn’t exercising,” said Blake’s son Aaron, in Saskatoon.
“He was a ticking time bomb, so it didn’t surprise me, but it was very scary.”
High-intensity workouts like CrossFit spawn injury-treating industry
Fitness trends: Kids’ triathlons are taking off
The Regina Riot show off their “Ladyballs” by tackling Ovarian Cancer
READ MORE: ‘Makin’ It Happen’ triathlon held in memory of passionate volunteer
After his heart attack, Blake realized he had to whip himself into shape. But when his son Aaron urged him to try CrossFit, Blake was hesitant.
“I was pretty nervous. I just had a heart attack so I was in really poor shape,” said Blake. “I knew I had to do something but I just thought maybe [CrossFit] is a little extreme for what I need.”
But Blake decided to give CrossFit a try, and he got hooked after his first workout. Now he’s in the gym five days a week.
“He’s ripped how!” says his son Aaron. “He’s carved out of granite, so he looks good for 56 years old for sure.”
Aaron supported his father throughout his fitness journey, but this weekend it will be Blake’s turn to cheer on his son. Aaron is one of the 20 athletes in western Canada to earn a spot in the CrossFit Games West Regional qualifier.
“It’s amazing because I know how hard it is,” says Blake. “I do a lot of the same as he does, of course not the same weight by any means and he does it twice as fast … I’m very proud of what he’s doing.”
The qualifier kicks off on Friday in Portland, Ore.