Building community and helping people is the goal for Cross Fitness Trainer, Tafadzwa Mushandu [Taf], as he works with people at Dynasty Gym, Vancouver.
Taf sat with Hogan’s Alley Community Planner Lama Mugabo to talk about his motivations and how his upbringing and life experiences encourage his work ethic.
Taf grew up in Zimbabwe where he learned to play various sports such as tennis, rugby and swimming. He speaks of how different people in his life inspired him to play these sports and compete in local championship games. He cultivated the habit of trying a new sport every year as this w a way to challenge himself.
In addition to having friends and family inspire him to partake in sports, Taf also had an upbringing that encouraged him to eat healthy regularly.
“Growing up in Zimbabwe we always had fresh vegetables available, whether it be at our house, [growing] in the backyard. We had something we call Muriwo which is a staple vegetable in Zimbabwe.”
This, he says, allowed him to eat fresh food at all times.
When he moved to New Jersey, he picked up American Football and played as a linebacker in state level championships. He mentions that his experience with playing American Football has shaped him and has helped him navigate life as an adult.
“Both my coaches at the time were teaching us to be able to stick to the plan when we were down or losing and to always keep our head up, which also applies to life. We don’t get taught to do that at a young age and I felt that it was very valuable because I’ve dealt with the same stuff as an adult.”
Being ever dedicated to challenging himself in new ways, Taf sought out a new athletic endeavour and was encouraged by a Trainer friend to take on CrossFit.
He has stuck with it ever since.
Taf later moved to Vancouver to pursue his MBA and had expected to stop being a trainer. He later found Dynasty Gym which he describes as his home.
When speaking to Lama about his goal as a CrossFit trainer, Taf says,
“I love coaching because I get to help people day in and day out. People come to me for support whether it be fitness, for goals or it could even just be having a friend to talk to. I’m here to support them 100%. Just making sure that we’re building community, that’s my goal as a fitness instructor.”