June 25, 2013
A New Ladder: Scott Snarr
By Lisa Zane

"I’m a little surprised. I knew I was in pretty good shape, but at the same time, you really don’t know how you’re going to measure up.”

Photos by Jennifer Kavanagh

Scott Snarr snagged a spot at the 2013 Reebok CrossFit Games after finishing 11th worldwide in the 55-59 Masters Division during the Open.

“It’s an honor,” he says.

“I’m a little surprised. I knew I was in pretty good shape, but at the same time, you really don’t know how you’re going to measure up.”

The 54-year-old Mississauga, Ontario native will turn 55 right before the Games, and will undoubtedly face many challenges once the competition begins in Carson, Calif.

But the retired firefighter is no stranger to overcoming adversity. Three years ago, he lost his wife of 30 years, Jacqueline, in a tragic snowboarding accident. She was 48.

“CrossFit was a big part of what helped me get through that,” he explains. “It opens up a lot of doors for you. Even the way you think about yourself and the way you think about life. I’m sure it’s helped me heal from my loss.”

Snarr heard about CrossFit toward the end of his firefighting career. A conversation with fellow firefighter, Lars Bredahl, now a coach at CrossFit Kitchener, inspired him to give it a try.

Now, just more than five years later, Snarr says CrossFit is a part of his life he never saw coming.

“As you get fit, you start doing things that you never thought you would do in your life,” he says. “You realize, ‘Hey, I can actually do this.’”

In the past year, Snarr has made some changes to his training. Although he mostly programs for himself and doesn’t have a specific coach, he says he gets a lot of guidance from the other athletes at his home box, CrossFit Select.

“At our box, we have a lot of really good athletes. Different guys are able to help you out in different areas.”

One of those athletes is his 23-year-old son, Tommy, who placed fifth at the Canada East Regional last year and has opted to go team this year after qualifying as an individual. 
“Tommy helps me out when I have an area that I need to work on. He will give me suggestions or workouts that will work in that area that I’m looking at trying to get better at or fix,” Snarr says. “It’s so dear to my heart that I can do this with my son and have this experience with him.”
Leading into the Open, his strategy was simple.
“I did the workouts as many times as my body would let me if I knew I could do better,” he says.
He attempted several of them three times each, with fellow CrossFit Select Masters athlete Bruce Young, with whom he has trained for years.
Snarr is trying to cover all of his bases in terms of training, so he can be prepared for whatever might get thrown at him at the Games.
“I’m not sure if they’re going to ask us to swim or ride a bike or run a long distance, but I’ll be doing a little bit of that just to make sure I get the feeling and make sure I got my times down — that kind of thing,” he says. “I’m adding a few things in there to make sure I’m sharper on those skills.”
As the Games approach, Snarr says he is looking forward to the competition.
“It will be very weird competing with a bunch of guys my age,” he says. “I’m probably going to be the youngest one there, and these guys are so fit. Working out with a bunch of guys my age that are that good — I haven’t really had that experience before.”
He is also hoping the Select team can make it to the Games, so he and his son can share the experience.
“I think the excitement is just starting to get to me now,” Snarr says. “I’m definitely looking forward to it.”