If you look up the term “fitness bully” in the dictionary, you might find Sara Dye’s name in the definition. Of course, everyone at RTC knows that fitness bullies aren’t really bullies at all. They’re people who believe in us and support us. Their intentions are not to make us feel like less than ourselves, but instead to motivate us to do what we think we can’t. They encourage us to show up and level up. And that’s Sara Dye in a nutshell. She’s always striving to be her best. She’s always pushing others to do the same. That’s why we love her, and that’s why she deserves to be honored as September’s Member of the Month.
Sara has been a member of RTC since the doors opened in August 2019, but even then, she wasn’t new to CrossFit, as she’s been doing it since as far back as 2009, when CrossFit gyms in this area were few and far between. And CrossFit isn’t the only kind of workout that she’s done, as she’s dabbled in all kinds of fitness over the years. “I literally never worked out until after I graduated college and realized my metabolism wasn’t what it used to be,” says Sara. “I moved back to Canton in 2006 and religiously went to the North Canton YMCA. Did the same weekly routines and added in some yoga. Eventually I became friends with a co-worker who I would always see at the Y. He was really into Crossfit, and he would always try to get a friend and me to join him for a workout. I would try, then quit because it was too hard and too outside of my comfort zone.”
Jump ahead to 2009, when Sara says she decided to give CrossFit “another try,” and “became hooked.” For the next few years, she and her small group of friends did CrossFit at the Y (where absolutely no one was doing it), watched the Games when they were in Aromas, and attended local events. “Over the years, I’ve gone to different gyms and I have learned something and met great people at all of them,” says Sara. (She even met her husband Chris at the gym!) “I would take breaks to run, or just lift,” she continues. “There was a year I did four half-marathons. Funny for someone who cries about running a 200! But I always found myself coming back to Crossfit.” Sara has found much to love about the sport, including the variety of movements and the strength she has gained over the years. But most importantly, she loves how her workouts carry over into daily life. “By doing Crossfit, I am a more capable human,” she says. “I can carry out my own groceries or dog food; I can go on a long hike or help my family and friends move heavy things. It helps me not be limited in everyday life, and to me, that’s what it’s all about.”
It’s no surprise, then, that Sara ended up at RTC, which she says was a place that felt like home after only a couple of visits. “I love everything about RTC,” she says. “The facility is top notch. We have the best of everything: equipment, coaches, programming, therapy, bougie towels! Not all CF gyms have clean, well kept equipment and air conditioning. And at the top of the list are the people. Our members are some of the nicest and fun people out there.” Aside from the facility and the members, Sara also has a lot of love for the coaches. “They are all amazing and motivating in their own ways, not to mention extremely knowledgeable,” she says. “It’s one thing to have someone start a clock; it’s another to have someone who coaches you and gives you cues on how to be more efficient or correct your form or call out when things are good. RTC gave me that push and coaching that I had been missing at other gyms. I’ve been doing CF for over 10 years, and I am still learning new things and getting better. Except on the bike…I hate that thing. But seriously, we have it really good at RTC!”
Sara, who was born and raised in Canton, graduated from Glenoak H.S., and then attended Bowling Green State University, where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, with specializations in Operations and Supply Chain Management. She went on to earn her Masters in Business Administration from Malone University, and has worked in various areas of Supply Chain for over 18 years. She currently works for Smucker as a Sourcing Manager in Packaging. “I source all of the folding cartons and corrugated for the organization, manage the supplier relationships and contracts, and support new products,” says Sara. “If you see an Uncrustables carton, Folgers tray, or Milk-Bone case in a club store, those are a few things that I’m responsible for.”
Sara married her husband Chris on New Year’s Eve in 2018, and gained what she calls a “ready made family” in the process, 3 step-children that include Sydnie, 23, and twins Nick and Luke, 21. Most of her immediate family still resides in the Canton area, and she loves spending time with 2 nephews that she “adores.” In addition, Sara has 2 dogs, Brutus and Leo, as well as her parents’ dog Wiley, who she says is “Leo’s only friend.” She adds, “Many of you know that Leo is a handful and that’s a whole other article!” Sara loves DIY projects (many of them have been featured on her Instagram story), listening to true crime podcasts, keeping her planters alive, and of course, spending time with her family and dogs.
Like many of us, Sara recognizes and appreciates the countless ways that RTC positively impacts the lives of its members. And while gaining strength and learning new skills and maybe hitting that PR can be part of the benefits gained, there are emotional rewards, as well. “I’ve learned a lot about myself,” says Sara, “and who I want to be as a person. RTC has been the best fit for me and a big reason is the atmosphere. I don’t ever feel pressure to do more than my body can take on a certain day. Yet, I’m always challenged and pushed. As long as I’m moving and staying active, that’s what is important to me. And to keep having fun while I do it.”
Maybe instead of calling Sara a “fitness bully,” we should refer to her as one of RTC’s best “fitness cheerleaders.” She’s to be admired not just for the work she puts in on herself every time she’s at the gym, but for the way she uplifts and encourages others to do the same. Congrats to Sara Dye, RTC’s latest Member of the Month!