Have you ever watched American Ninja Warrior and always wanted to try something like it? All the climbing, running, and swinging? Well this place will be great for you. Totally different from the school gym.
I would’ve never known about this place if my co-worker didn’t tell me about it. He usually goes there by himself and spends hours training until he can’t continue. I wondered if I had the strength to complete the course, so I decided to join him and brought my brother.
The OCR stands for obstacle course race. Here, you can run around, jump up walls, climb ropes, swing on monkey bars, and so much more. If you’re super active like me and my co-worker, then this place is perfect for you.
On Dufferin Street, a little sign welcomes you inside. It’s in this warehouse looking area right in front of the bus stop. You can take the subway to Dufferin, and then take the 29S TTC bus and stop at Alma Ave. It will conveniently stop right in front of the door.
Going inside, don’t be surprised if it smells like sweat and B.O. because it’s a training place. You need to sweat. But don’t worry, you’ll get used to it. Soon enough, you will smell like it too! Since you’re being active in Pursuit, you need to sign a waiver that you’re liable for your own safety since you’re inside with no supervision. You can sign up for the available programs or pay for an all-day pass. I chose the all-day pass, which was only $20 and you can come and go as you please. They close at 11pm so you can train, leave for food, and then come back if you want. There are lockers provided so you can bring a change of clothes and stuff it in a locker. If you forgot to bring a lock like my co-worker, you can trade in a piece of ID and then you can borrow a lock.
Inside the facility, the course starts on one side with three board walls that you jump over. After that, there’s a mixture of rope walls, monkey bars, tunnels, rock walls, rings, and a warped wall at the end on the other side where you started. You can run the course all at once or you can focus on one section and try new creative things. If you can’t do a section, then you can skip it no problem.
How to Survive
One thing you constantly need to do is stretch. Do it often so you don’t get hurt or won’t be as sore the next day. This place is very heavy on the upper body. Since you’re hanging around, your arms will definitely be sore the following days depending on how much you use them. Your legs will hurt too because you’re running around, but not as much as your arms. I was sore all over, but my arms hurt the most. Since I bruise easily, my legs were covered in bruises. Trust me, you don’t really notice how much you use that part of your body until you’re totally aching the next day.
Bring water. Unless you don’t mind tap water, you can use the sink in the washroom. That, or you can buy a drink for $3. Since you’re running around the whole time being active and sweating, you don’t want to be dehydrated. When I went, I brought a water bottle but it wasn’t enough. We stayed there for three hours just training different things. This was pretty normal for us though, since we usually train for like two hours after our shifts on Saturdays at our gym.
Have good footwear. You’re on your feet constantly running around. This place is a part gym/playground/training area, so you don’t want to ruin your nice shoes. Running shoes are highly recommended. Casual footwear won’t be very helpful either when you run the course. You’re more likely to slip and fall and hurt yourself.
Even if you’re not a totally active person, don’t worry, that’s okay. There’s no pressure, you can still check out this place and try it out. Not everyone can do everything though. My brother couldn’t jump over the second higher wall, or do the monkey bars/rings. The first time I ran the full course, I fell a couple times and had to retry before I could do it. Honestly, being a gymnast helped me with pulling myself up and over or hanging on the bars. Don’t fret, you can always have your friends help you out. I’ve seen groups of friends who help each other out and give an extra push. I’ve seen couples who would come and run the course and still enjoy their time. So you can have fun too! Everyone there is extra friendly so they give free helpful advice.
Even though I can run the whole course consecutively, there are some sections that I like to experiment on. I would stay at the section for longer than others, try to do different variations, and find ways to run it as quickly or efficiently as I can.
- The Rings.
I like the rings because you can travel through so many things. You can use every single ring to get to the other side, you can skip one or more, or you can hop rings at the same time. The best part is if you ever slip, there’s a little ball pit at the bottom to catch your fall. The one thing that I kept trying to do was to hop the rings, where I would hold a ring on each hand, swing, and then grab a set of rings further away. After A LOT of falls into the ball pit and a lot more slips, I finally got it once. My co-worker has extremely long arms so it was easy for him.
- The Rope.
Yes, a single rope. You can climb up using both arms and legs, you can use arms only, or you can just hold yourself up as long as you can. A simple thing hanging from the ceiling and it’s the best conditioning you can do for yourself. You use your full body for this so it’s great. It looks easier than it actually is. I know a lot of people resent it, but to me, it’s more of a love-hate kind of thing.
- The Warped Wall.
We all know the infamous warped wall on the show American Ninja Warrior and how they always chant “Beat that Wall, Beat that wall!” Well over here, you can also beat that wall. The wall has two sides that are 11ft and 14ft high. This wall is also everyone’s favourite at Pursuit. Everyone wants to be able to reach the higher wall and let me tell you, it is tough. The lower 11ft is a lot easier, but to get to the 14ft, you need a lot more energy. No matter how many times I can do the lower wall, I was always so close to reaching the higher one but can never make it. It was my ultimate goal that I never reached… maybe next time when I come back. With this wall, you need to be extremely careful because you don’t want to fall and injure yourself. It happens, trust me.
“Don’t save anything for the walk home”
Pursuit OCR is a really great place to have fun and release all your energy. Written plainly on a whiteboard pinned up on a wall, there’s a cheesy yet meaningful quote that my co-worker and I love. It states, “Don’t save anything for the walk home.” We all know how hard work always pays off. So we want to train as hard and as long as we can, spend all our energy until we have nothing left. That way, we can get that much closer to reaching our goals with our gymnastics. Until our hands are ripped, until our arms can’t pull ourselves up, and until our legs give out, that’s when we know we gave it our all and it will soon be worth it.
If you have ever been to this place or plan to go here, let me know what you think!
Take Something Old, and make it Something New.
Something Old: Being a lazy bum, watching American Ninja Warrior at home.
Something New: Being active, going to a similar facility to test your abilities.
Rate: 8.5/10 ♥