“I’m way healthier than I was in my 20s–I look like I think I’m supposed to look, I’m happy, I feel strong. I consider that a win. It’s a sort of reclamation of who I was born to be—does that sound crazy?”
Congratulations to Jessica G., our Cypher Athlete Spotlight for November 2015!
Cypher: What is your athletic/fitness background?
Jessica: Hahaha, without getting TOO detailed, there’s my rough & tumble tomboy childhood, then about 11 years of depressed inactivity, and then a sort of renaissance* that began in my 20s and brings us to current day. *running marathons (slowly), Bikram, cycling, weight training, powerlifting. And then I started CrossFit about 5-6 months ago.
Cypher: What is your occupation?
Jessica: Right now I’m a manager in Customer Experience for Eventbrite. We build tech to get people to get off their smartphones and enjoy live experiences! Or to create their own and sell tickets.
Cypher: How long have you been with CrossFit Cypher now?
Jessica: I have a lot of acquaintances that got started with CrossFit during its infancy, and some have gone on to compete, coach, or own their own gyms, so I was always intrigued. However, as with anything popular and maybe different, people are quick to look for flaws—injuries, obnoxious cult-mentality, etc, so I was stubborn and did my own thing instead. Interestingly, people always thought I was a crossfitter anyway. I’m not sure what that means. My boyfriend—who is NOT a crossfitter, mind you—read about CrossFit Cypher somewhere and suggested that I try it out! A year later, I did.
Cypher: Describe your first day participating in a CrossFit workout. Do you remember what the WOD was? What was it like, and what were your thoughts when you left the gym?
Jessica: My first day of on-ramp wasn’t bad at all! We did deadlifts–I love deadlifts and think they’re one of the best things anyone can do! However, the last workout of the on-ramp was the worst, and I said as much. Rowing, sled-dragging, and something else. It was all that type of stuff that I can never get myself to do on my own because it SUCKS! Ah, but it’s so, so good for you. 😉
Cypher: What has been the most challenging part of CrossFit for you?
Jessica: To be honest, the most challenging part has been just showing up! I get stuck in my head a lot, so, for example, I’ll skip Partner WOD Saturdays because I feel socially awkward. Womp womp… There are a lot of things that I can’t do yet, but I know these things will come with time and I’m patient. But I have to show up.
Cypher: What has been the most rewarding part of CrossFit for you?
Jessica: CrossFit is fascinating because it reduces a lot of the speedbumps that prevent people from making good choices for their health. Do you not know “how” to work out? Great, you will be taught. Do you make crappy choices with your diet, sleep, whatever? Well the programming is so challenging that you won’t get away with that for long. >:-D The structure makes it easy. You just have to get here and do the work.
Cypher: What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CrossFit?
Jessica: I’m way healthier than I was in my 20s–I look like I think I’m supposed to look, I’m happy, I feel strong. I consider that a win. It’s a sort of reclamation of who I was born to be—does that sound crazy?
Cypher: What encouragement or advice would you give to new people coming in?
Jessica: Eh, you’ll figure it out, whatever “it” is for you. 🙂 But since I have the platform, here are some tips from Jessica’s Guide to Life (not an actual guide): Everything good takes time and effort. Have patience. That said, expect success! You deserve to get what you want! Everything is better if you participate. Introduce yourself, ask questions, join a Paleo challenge ;-). Believe it or not, you help create the culture of whatever community you’re in. Don’t opt-out. This world needs you! Things happen, but you always have a choice in how you react. Do you want to beat yourself up for missing a class or a lift or eating an entire pizza? Or do you want to persevere for next time? Do you want to suffer through a tough workout, or appreciate its lessons and laughs?
Cypher: What are some of your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of the gym?
Jessica: If I have zero obligations, you can bet I’m napping. Otherwise I love to eat great food with my boyfriend Tony and we play with our cattle dog Kodak. I also make some pretty sick MSPaint drawings.
Cypher: What are a couple short term (3-6 months) fitness goals you have (ex. Back Squat X amount, get first pull-up/muscle-up, PR Fran, etc.)? How about long term goals (6-12 months)?
Jessica: I need to get my pullups on lock in the next 3 months. There. I said it. January 23. I know exactly what I need to do to make it happen, and I just haven’t done it yet. But now that I’m writing it down publicly I’m accountable. Other short term goals, less quantifiable: proper ankle mobility and spine flexibility. Long term, no specific date and dependent on other things: squat 300#; deadlift twice my bodyweight. Run faster, jump higher. 😉
Cypher: Any other thoughts or shoutouts?
Jessica: I tried to make a playlist of butt songs for deadlift/squat days. It had your current booty hits (Nicki Minaj, JLo, etc), and then I added some Major Lazer, 2 Live Crew…anyway, it turned out really intense. Like…too intense. But current inspirational jam = “Yoga” by Janelle Monae.