Toddlers hit the gym for CrossFit fun

FORT KENT, Maine — If it is never too early to learn good exercise habits, the children in Shane Durost’s CrossFit Kids classes are right on schedule. Children as young as 2 years old are taking part in the exercise classes at Too Far North Fitness in Fort Kent.


Durost, 39, of Wallagrass is a Border Patrol agent and certified CrossFit Kids coach. 

He has been teaching the classes to children of all ages for more than two years.

Youngsters (from left), Paisley Devoe, Demi Soucy and Scarlett Freston practice balance and agility during a CrossFit Kids lesson in Fort Kent on Thursday, Jan. 30. (Jessica Potila | SJVT)

“We do a lot of body weight movements like running, squats and push-ups/situps. We work on balance and agility using a variety of gym equipment. We also introduce some basic CrossFit moves,” Durost said. 

He added that there are plenty of benefits to be had by children who begin exercising at a young age.

“Other than the obvious of getting more fit, I think they learn discipline, how much they can push themselves and also having the confidence to do anything that they set their minds to,” Durost said. 

Morgan Wilson, mother of 3-year-old CrossFit Kids student Paisley Devoe of Eagle Lake, said that despite her young age, Paisley has already experienced benefits from taking CrossFit classes with Durost.

“We attend weekly classes. She looks forward to them and spending time with friends. I feel Paisley has gained confidence. She asks to go daily. She says she likes to exercise and she said she likes the games they play,” Wilson said. 

“It’s great to have an activity created for her, as she is the youngest of two other siblings and is often [dragged along to] their events,” Wilson said. “I also like that she has an instructor that isn’t me. As a stay-home mom she only ever had to listen to me. She is learning independence and developing coping skills.”

Greyson Pelletier demonstrates his strength at a CrossFit Kids class at Too Far North Fitness in Fort Kent on Thursday, Jan. 30. Also working out in the photo are from left, Paisley Devoe, Madelyn Daigle and Henry Daigle. (Jessica Potila | SJVT)

Demi Soucy, 3, is also a student in Durost’s CrossFit Kids class. Her sister Darcy, 5, also participates in CrossFit Kids.

The girls’ parents, Bud and Sarah Soucy, are members at Too Far North Fitness where Sarah coaches adult CrossFit classes.

“Our kids love to watch us work out and are usually at the gym with us. They were so excited to get the chance to participate in their own CrossFit class,” Sarah Soucy said. “They really look forward to it and often practice the moves at home. It seems to give them a great sense of confidence and provides them with a fun half hour of physical activity.

“Coach Shane is so great with the kids and keeps them focused and excited about what they are learning and doing. We are lucky to have such a great opportunity right here in Fort Kent to introduce our kids to physical fitness in a fun and positive way,”  she said.

Durost’s two daughters are also students in his CrossFit Kids classes. He enjoys teaching them and welcomes other youngsters who are interested in joining the classes.

“I have always loved exercising and sports. I used to work at a childcare center and I’ve coached rec basketball for years,” he said. “I love working with kids. This gave me a chance to combine this with my love for exercise — the best of both worlds.”

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