CrossFit Sandpoint Member Profile: Jen Stevens

What brought you to CrossFit in the first place?

I started CrossFit in an effort to keep up with my husband during hunting season. I swear that man is part mountain goat! Being the competitive person that I am, I felt like I needed do something to improve that experience. I wanted to enjoy the physical challenge of hunting rather than being miserable. The woods are very unforgiving place to test your fitness. In the past I had considered myself to be a pretty fit person, I was moderately athletic throughout high school and could basically eat whatever I wanted. Most workouts I had tried after graduation left me feeling like I still had the stamina to do well, but really they just weren’t challenging enough. I had this skewed vision that I was still in shape and didn’t need anything more. Then one day I looked at myself in the mirror and had to grasp the harsh reality that I was no longer a 19 year old with a fast metabolism who looks good in a tiny bikini! There’s a possibility I had eaten one too many cookies at the 10 baby and/or bridal showers I was coerced into attending each year. So, I started doing some casual CrossFit-type workouts, taking pointers from a friend who was already attending classes. They were hard, unexpected and I was doing stuff that I never knew existed at a non-competitive level. Eventually I worked up the courage to go to a class, mostly for the accountability that atmosphere has to offer. I remember my first day at CrossFit we did wall balls and instead of catching the ball at the bottom of my squat, it hit me in the face. That was humbling…and so it began!

 What was your first impression?

I would be lying if I said that watching a bunch of people throw weights around, doing pull-ups and sweating out every last ounce of water in their bodies wasn’t scary. It was sort of like going to my first day of 7th grade all over again! My first WOD was with Coach Dan and it was clear that he was super tolerant of my lack of know-how, so that immediately changed my mindset; nobody is there to judge you. I walked out that day no longer afraid, but used those “scary” movements as an inspiration of what was to come! My opinion of CrossFit has only improved over time. The coaching, support and fantastic people (who will no doubt be life-long friends) have made that giant garage a place where I feel comfortable being vulnerable. I literally show up in slippers and freshly rolled- out-of- bed hair at 6 am and I completely forget about how I look the second I walk through those doors. Participating in CrossFit over the past 3+ years has done some pretty incredible things for my self-worth. This is the one thing that I wholeheartedly do for me and I have 100% control over the result. I can choose to push myself… or not. The possibilities are endless!

 What Was your first Success?

My first success… oh, how sweet it was! I was in the middle of a WOD and had been using bands for pull-ups. It was a triplet for time – running, pull-ups and kettlebell swings. I got back in after my 400-meter run to jump on the bar only to discover Coach Kenny had taken my band away and when I looked at him in pure distress to seek help in getting my bands replaced, he just stood there, shook his head and said, “no bands for you”! I was in shock but what choice did I have but to dig deep and get it done? If someone else believed I could do it then the only thing standing in my way was fear. I was so proud of myself for doing the workout completely RX’d … it was an unbelievable feeling. By the way, before this, I can’t remember the last time I was “proud of myself” for anything!

 What are you working on now?

I am working on a few things right now. I want to get my butterfly pull-ups down under fatigue. I just started the Sports programming (a task in itself) in hopes that I will get a little stronger and really put some effort toward getting my first muscle up! Also, snatches… I need those back in my life, where they feel good again.

Whats your favorite CrossFit Sandpoint memory?

 I have so many memories; my first success mentioned above is one I will never forget! Last year during the Open I had something like 20 seconds on the clock to get as many more clean and jerks in there as I could. It was heavy and I was tired; I cleaned it, then dropped the bar on my knee (ouch!) but I didn’t let the pain phase me. I picked it back up to complete one more rep before the time ran out. Even though I failed, I pushed through and left nothing on the table. That experience says so much about what CrossFit has the ability teach you. My mantra during almost every workout (and life) is, “I can’t grow unless I am uncomfortable”!