“They wanted a good life for us, and gave up everything.” – Ruth Cheng


“My father was an orphan at a very young age. He had to work so hard to put himself through medical school. He worked his way up the ladder just like my mother did in banking. They wanted a good life for us, so they gave up everything and moved us to Vancouver when I was 5. I couldn’t speak a word of English and I was dropped into school in a new country. My mother had to come to Kindergarten with me and I would just cry and cry. It was scary and overwhelming but eventually I learned English and I made friends. I got settled here in Canada but my father wasn’t allowed to practice medicine, because his foreign education wasn’t accepted by Canadian laws, and we had to return to Taiwan when I was 11. They still wanted my sister and I to have more opportunities so they sent us to an American school in Taiwan, and then I came to Trent University in Canada. This time, it wasn’t as hard to adjust at all. I planned to study at Trent, get a safe job, and work my way up, just like my parents. They are the hardest working people I know, and they sacrificed so much for us, I couldn’t imagine taking any big risks with the life I felt so fortunate to have. I certainly never considered opening my own business. I thought there were so many barriers, I thought it was impossible. It wasn’t.

My partner Dave and I met in a Crossfit gym and we bonded over that shared passion. I knew opening our own gym would be risky but I kept thinking ‘why not do it ourselves?’ and everything kind of fell into place. I was nervous my parents wouldn’t understand but they were so supportive, everyone was. Peterborough is full of people and organizations who support us in so many ways. It’s been tough, there’s been a lot of blood, sweat, and tears, and it’s been a real learning curve, but the gym is doing awesome, people love it! That’s what we want, we want members to love training here and we want coaches to love working here. Just like fitness, owning a business is about reaching your goals and then saying ‘how can we be better?’, and Crossfit PTBO is no exception, it’s just going to keep getting better and better!”

Ruth Cheng
Co-founder Crossfit PTBO