Grit Farm Fitness evolved from Alli’s love for running and her subsequent success in obstacle course racing… along with John’s passion for the outdoors.
Alli Tai was a competitive triathlete with a 2nd place age group finish at the 2006 Ironman Canada. One week after that race she was rear-ended by a pickup truck on the highway while cycling. She fractured multiple vertebrae, her pelvis and snapped her left humerus in half. Doctors said she was 24.5% disabled and will never run again.
A year later she completed 80 miles in a 100 mile running race. In 2012, she tried out an obstacle race for fun at the request of a runner in her training group. She enjoyed it so much that she later ran a Spartan Sprint at her own pace. She lost first place by 1 second because her husband, as a joke, sent her in the wrong direction on a poorly marked turn. Second place was good enough for a free entry to a Spartan Super however… where she placed 1st in the ladies division and 3rd overall. And she was hooked.
She continued to podium and her husband began building obstacles for her to train on. From there, they travelled the world and shared their passion for the sport with schools and charities by assisting in obstacle rental and race set up. Upon retiring from competition, Alli focused on her children and revisited her love for horses. She rode for nearly a decade before her horse passed away, and even worked at Spruce Meadows, before moving on to a diploma in social work and her athletic pursuits.
John Tai developed a passion for the outdoors and athletics as a teenager. His interest in training shifted to rehabilitation and wellness after stumbling upon massage therapy: which helped him manage a long list of athletic, work and motor vehicle injuries. Having exploring temples in Thailand, ashrams in India and health spas in Switzerland, a multifaceted oasis was in his dreams. Grit Farm is that dream come true.
Keepers of the land.
Lemon is an akbash, a gentle giant who is always on a lookout at the farm and on hikes/rides with the horses. She may wander on patrols when bored, but in general works diligently to protect the farm and all its occupants.
Canicross Athlete in Training
Reckless is our unassuming little vizsla. As demure as he is, he always aims to please and has a huge heart. He’s still learning the ropes so to speak but hopes to grow into a canicross champion… as soon as he stops tripping over his own feet,
Equine Teaching Assistants
The equine team are not employed by Grit Farm. They are the other stream of the Alli and John Tai network aiming to enhance wellness.
is the herd leader: calm, composed and a little shy. She is drawn to the purity, innocence, and joy of children. You need to work a little harder to make friends with her if you’re grown up.
Diva is the dominant of the herd. She is a fiery red thoroughbred but has a very gentle heart. Hard shell, soft insides. Weaned at an early age, she struggles to feel safe one she’s left her herd. Show her compassion and strong leadership though and she will follow you anywhere.
Rebel is aptly named. She is a troublesome dun quarter horse who has no problem entertaining herself: which usually involves scaring her herd mates or carefully removing fencing. If you are not firm and certain with your guidance, she will take charge. With the right leader however, she is keen to follow and always willing to please.
Renegade is a white arabian gelding who walks to the beat of his own drum. He is boisterous and friendly unless he feels fearful… which has a way of over whelming him. It’s worth gaining the little guys trust, even if it is a bit fickle.
Pippa is a wise ole’ senior who is full of spunk. She is gentle and kind but won’t be waiting around for pleasantries once she decides on an activity.
Taria is an ultra marathon horse: an arabian mare looking forward to crushing miles at her next endurance event. She is an elegant beauty who is in a class of her own and is fully aware of her awesomeness.
Buttercup, Mew and Peep-Hiss are the farm rat patrollers. They were discovered at 3 weeks of age under a lilac bush. Their forth sibling was lost while waiting for their mom so they were taken into the house for bottle feeding. Buttercup is a chubby little munchkin, and bears great resemblance to the 80’s cartoon icon Garfield. Mew is the most bold and adventurous of the trio… and takes his mousing job very seriously. He was the kitty who originally found us and led us back to his litter. The final cat, Peep-Hiss is more cautious than the rest and a tiny bit of a thing, but has come more and more out of his shell as he goes through life.