The perfect fit

Aiden Poole was torn between two loves: accounting and fitness. He found a way to have both.

Aiden Poole, 31, has always loved fitness and numbers. In fact, he was signed up with two academic faculties when he was in university: physical education and business. He decided to focus on the latter, while taking as many elective nutrition and coaching courses as possible.

After graduating with a commerce degree from Memorial University, the Paradise, NL, native moved to Edmonton to pursue his accounting designation at MNP LLP. It was there that Poole met Jason Roncesvalles, a friend and colleague who would introduce him to CrossFit, a training regimen that combines elements of sports, weight training and gymnastics to strengthen and condition the body. Roncesvalles would also help him sort out just what his true passion was. “I love accounting and I love numbers, but I love helping people get healthy and be healthy a little bit more,” he explains with a chuckle. Roncesvalles not only introduced Poole to CrossFit, he also helped him integrate his two interests into a successful business. “The day I graduated, Jason phoned and asked me to open up a CrossFit box with him,” says Poole (CrossFit boxes are named for the shape of the warehouses they are often located in). “It was just the right time and right situation, so we did.”

Poole got his designation in February 2011 and he and Roncesvalles opened their box, CrossFit Armoury, the following September. After leaving MNP in 2012 he continued to work as an accountant until January 2014 when he left to devote himself full time to the box, which he and Roncesvalles co-own with friends Catherine Fortuna and Kyle Samson. CrossFit is becoming wildly popular and so is CrossFit Armoury, which moved into a 6,000-sq.-ft. facility earlier this year, doubling the size of the original box.

Poole has hardly left the world of numbers behind. He handles all the financial matters for the business, along with working as a trainer, and for the past year and a half he has also managed his own accounting firm, Aiden Poole Professional Corp. Much of his client base comes from the CrossFit scene.

He credits the accounting program with giving him the skills and confidence needed to run a business. “I’m an entrepreneur at heart; I just didn’t realize that at first,” says Poole, who is committed to staying his own boss. “Every day I wake up and I know the harder I work at my job, the more benefit I’m going to see from it,” he says. “Whereas when I was an employee I was just one step in the ladder.”