Northern Heart + Home was designed to celebrate the people, places and positives that set the North apart. This spotlight series focuses on exactly that: the people who are at the very heart of our Northern communities. Each profile highlights leaders who are pursuing their dreams, creating meaningful lives and truly shining in the North.

Kristin Green is a registered physiotherapist, level 2 CrossFit trainer and co-owner of the Sudbury School of Fitness (Real Life Health and CrossFit Sudbury) with husband, Dr. Adam Ball.

A devoted mother to son Gavin (and dog lucky) and active member of the community, Kristin shares her positive attitude, infectious energy and zest for life with everyone she knows.

With deep roots in the Sudbury community, Kristin and the CrossFit team hold an annual fundraising competition in support of the Janis Foligno Foundation (which raises funds for cancer research and related causes in the North, in memory of her Aunt Janis). The event titled ‘Battle Beyond the Barbell’ has raised over $32,000 over the past seven years. Northern Heart + Home was a sponsor of the most recent event in June 2019, which raised over $17,000 in one day!

Read below to learn how Kristin manages it all, stays healthy and happy, all while pursing her dreams in the North!

The Northern Heart Q+A: Kristin Green – Sudbury School of Fitness

Kristin with husband Adam, son Gavin and dog Lucky.

Tell us about yourself.

I was born and raised in Sudbury, and I have a lot of family history in Sudbury too. My grandparents and my mother were born in the Gatchell area.I moved away to the big city of Toronto for physiotherapy school but always planned to return home. I met my husband and we started our business “Sudbury School of Fitness: Real Life Health and CrossFit Sudbury” eight years ago. It is a multidisciplinary rehabilitation clinic and a CrossFit gym all under the same roof. We have a three-year-old son named Gavin and a dog named Lucky. We have made Sudbury our home and love all this city has to offer.

What made you call the North your home?

First, life is at a slower and calming pace up here and you always see a familiar face everywhere you go. We can meet up with friends and family with less than a 20-minute drive from one end of the city to the other. You also can’t beat having the nature in your backyard! You can hear the rustling of the leaves and the birds chirping – something I definitely took for granted when I lived downtown Toronto. And I can’t forget the beautiful 330+ lakes that surround us. Overall, this lifestyle is perfect for my family and myself.

What is your biggest accomplishment/what’s the key to your success?

My biggest accomplishment is creating the life I have always dreamed and wanted. I have a beautiful family. I am married to a wonderful husband and business partner; we have a beautiful son and the happiest dog around. Juggling life as an entrepreneur and a business owner with my husband has its ups and downs but creating our dreams together is very rewarding. We recently expanded our business (Sudbury School of Fitness: Real Life Health and CrossFit Sudbury) which took a lot of hardwork, time and patience. Building this business while building my family cohesively has been a huge accomplishment. To see the fruits of your labour and everyone is still smiling and laughing is worth every minute. 

The key to success is being passionate and finding the good in all situations. I believe that everything happens for a reason and the paths we choose will lead us to more opportunities – we just have to have open minds to be able to see the opportunities. Doing something because you love it gives you the drive to work even harder.

The Sudbury School of Fitness Team – CrossFit Sudbury and Real Life Health.

What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone starting a career or business in the North?

My best advice for people in the North: be approachable, make connections, build relationships and treat your business like your home. Welcome clients in like its your own house: what would you do if someone came to visit you at home? It creates an atmosphere that people feel comfortable in; they take pride in the community that surrounds them and they respect the service and the product you provide.

Who do you most look up to, and why?

My son, Gavin, teaches me every day how to live life in the moment – he doesn’t worry about things in the past or in the future yet, he gets excited about the little things and he says what he means. He has an infectious smile and it reminds me that smiling makes you feel good. He likes to play, have fun, is not afraid to ask questions, take on new challenges and learn. When I spend time with him I am reminded of all the things I am, of what I used to be and what I strive to be again.

Kristin with husband, Dr. Adam Ball.

What inspires you when you are looking for motivation?

Hang out with our families and friends and chill a little more ?. We work extremely hard so the times we can spend with family and friends are pretty special.

A few things that will provide me with inspiration: 

a. Nature and sitting quietly by the water (I love going to camp but a secluded beach in Costa Rica also provides a nice backdrop 😉 ;

b. A cup of coffee with my husband (typically these turn into business brainstorming sessions);

c. The inspirational speech by Eric Thomas called Secret to Success (if I need a little reminder of why I work hard when the going gets tough this is my go to).

Name a Northerner past or present whom you look up to.

My great-aunt Tarzie and my great-uncle Flash who lived a long life of 93 and 91 years here in Sudbury (grew up in Gatchell). They told me stories of growing up with the milk trucks, watching the slag drop, taught me how to play cards and cherish your family and friends. They were selfless people that loved family and lived life simply. My aunt always said “ they didn’t need much, if you have family and love, that’s all you need” (insert beetles tunes here).

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far in your career?

This is a hard one because there are so many great lessons you learn when running a business however, I realized after writing the following, that they were things I had learned as a child and have applied them to my business:

a. Risk: “To sail a big ship you must go out in deep waters”. This was a picture my dad had up in his room. You must be willing to take risks along the way. It’s scary sometimes and it involves hard work. But like we all know, if it was easy everyone would be doing it. 

b. Just do it: My mom always tells me “if you stop talking about it and just do it, it will be done already”. Don’t think too hard and long about how and what to do – if you get an awesome idea, go for it and you will discover how to do it and what to do along the way. 

c. Work hard, play hard: this is a reminder from my stepfather, that with all the hard work you put in you have to enjoy and have fun too! Try to achieve a balance – even though at times it’s one-sided reward yourself. It’s good for the mind.

If you were magically given an additional three hours per day, what would you do with them?

If I had three more magical hours in my day I would add two things in my life: outdoor activities (depending on the season) and more time with my family/friends. Also, if would be awesome to do outdoor activities with family and friends! Oh and learn to play the Ukelele. I bought one last summer – just need to make the time.

What is the first thing you do in the morning to start your day off right?

CrossFit, stretch, coffee, breathing practice ( just started the breathing practice and I love it). I am a morning person so I workout at 5 am – if I am not working the 5 am shift. Then I do some stretching, have my coffee and practice breathing. Then I am ready to start my day!

The CrossFit Sudbury gym – where you’ll likely find Kristin at 5 a.m.

What would you like other people to know about living or working in the North? Any misconceptions you would like to change?

We say hello to our neighbours and strangers hold the door for one another. I think living up here brings us all closer together no matter which northern town you are from, if someone tells you they live north of Parry Sound you have an instant connection. I feel that everywhere I go in this world, I meet someone who has a connection to someone from Northern Ontario – we are not as isolated as we may seem. 

We don’t live in igloos haha! It is not that cold – if you dress appropriately and find things to do outside in the winter, then you will appreciate all the winter has to offer. Skating, skiing, hiking – all in our backyard. 

There is a lot to do! I often hear people say that there is nothing to do. But there is so much to do here. There are things I have still not done in Sudbury or in the North that are on the bucket list (ie. Ice fishing, hike the cup and saucer – no judgement please!).

Celebrating Canada and the North on Long Lake in Sudbury, with son Gavin and husband Adam.

Rapid Fire Questions:

1. Favourite northern city/town

Obviously Sudbury! Close second is the French River.

2. Favourite winter pastime?

Skating, snowboarding and hockey.

2. Is it a camp or cottage?


3. Favourite Northern Ontario restaurant, retail store, spot for a night out or outdoor area?

P&M’s Kouzzina, Ramakkos, Respect is Burning, Kivi Park.

4. Tell us where you get your best cup of coffee and chip stand?

Salute has the best coffee and Cara Tarini’s Paul Bunyan Sandwich!

Follow Kristin and the Sudbury School of Fitness:


Facebook: Real Life Health and CrossFit Sudbury

Instagram: Kristin Green and CrossFit Sudbury

Watch the latest Sudbury School of Fitness video here to learn more!

To get your free consultation with CrossFit Sudbury, click here!

Do you know of an amazing Northerner who is pursuing their dreams, creating a meaningful life and truly shining in the North? Let us know!

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