Meet a Member – Denise McKendry

By Rich Deschamps | In Meet Our Athletes, WOD | on February 7, 2019

If you walk into Undefeated CrossFit and see a mom performing multiple reps and sets of strict pull-ups and strict handstand push-ups, that would be Denise McKendry. Denise has been quite the badass her entire life. Growing up in rural New Brunswick, there was no girls-only hockey league so she became the first girl to join the boys league. She also started lifting weights at a young age to stay fit and active. Before completing her university degree she applied to become a Winnipeg Paramedic, was accepted, and now 30 years later she has recently retired from the force.


Denise was introduced to CrossFit in October 2014 by colleague and fellow member Zoey Moe. Prior to CrossFit Denise was on a leave of absence from work for two years due to lymphedema, a condition characterized by fluid retention and tissue swelling. This occurred after Denise broke her leg and shortly after flew down to Mexico on a trip, where the pressure changes during flying caused the chronic swelling to occur. CrossFit was able to help Denise move past this condition and return to work. Recently, in November 2018 Denise had hip replacement surgery. Doctors advised her to wait two months before returning to CrossFit, but Denise was back in the gym two weeks later and believes CrossFit is to thank for her speedy recovery.


First impressions are important. Everyone’s first experience in a CrossFit gym should be exciting, challenging, but most importantly fun. Denise immediately loved it, as she has always been a person who enjoys pushing herself and working hard. Being a part of a group class atmosphere that encouraged people to go beyond what they thought they are capable of was exactly what she was looking for. There were, and still are a few movements that she doesn’t enjoy or finds quite difficult, but that is just part of the appeal. If we are able to do everything perfectly, we don’t face any diversity and won’t grow as a person. Denise loves that there is always something for her to work and improve on.


Denise has been a member at Undefeated CrossFit for almost five years now and plans on doing CrossFit for the rest of her life. Playing ice hockey and ringette are two of Denise’s favorite activities to do outside of the gym.

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