When did you start doing CrossFit?

I started with Vinny, at his previous place of business, where we didn’t have a pull-up rig or squat racks, in 2009 and was so hooked I went and got my L1 cert. I remember I had to do Fran with jumping pull-ups because I didn’t have them. Vinny brought us to CBCF for “The Open” the following year and we fell in love with with community.

Favorite WOD(s)?

Wittman, the Hero workout, Helen, and Open workout 15.3, because I was able to do 14 muscle-ups and see a lot of work come to fruition.

Least Favorite WOD?

Fran, and Open workout 14.5, because I’m just not a fan of thrusters and bar-facing burpees.

Favorite Lift?

Power clean!

Least Favorite Lift?

Front squat

Tell us a little bit about yourself (family, job, sports, military, interests, etc.).

I grew up in Chicago as oldest of three girls and settled in PA after meeting my hubby at the Bucks County Courier Times in 2002. I was a very competitive three-sport athlete in high school who walked on to the Northwestern softball team and spent one year as a bench-warming relief pitcher before focusing on my journalism studies. I’ve worked as a sports reporter in Chicago, Atlanta and Philly for 15 years. I spent (wasted?) my 20s running on treadmills and doing bicep curls, and while I still enjoy running, CrossFit is my passion because of the constant variety, opportunities to compete at any age, and overall celebration of strong, badass chicks.

What were you doing before CrossFit?

See above! Haha.

What were your thoughts after your first CrossFit workout?

This is unlike anything I’ve ever done, and I’m a creature of habit, but this is what I need to do now! I never thought I would enjoy group classes (I’m a loner, Dottie. A rebel.) but the shared experience is probably my favorite part of CrossFit

What were your goals when joining CrossFit?

Get pull-ups! Seriously, it took me a year to learn the kip, and I focused so much on that I didn’t have any other goals.

Please tell us about achieving those goals?

Well I’m still not the greatest at gymnastics, but when I think about where I started and that I’m now doing strict muscle-ups, not just kipping pull-ups, I have to acknowledge that I really have evolved as an athlete, and I owe it all to CBCF!

What are some of your best WOD times/ achievements inside the gym?

Muscle-ups, handstand push-ups to the floor, a 200-pound backsquat, 100-pound snatch and learning not to compare myself to other people because we are all coming from different places and have different strength and weaknesses. Everyone who shows up and works hard should be proud and happy.

Do you have any other special memories/ achievements during your time here?

Competing at 1Force with Jess and seeing her get her first muscleup in the finals, and just watching her develop as an athlete overall. Folks giving up their time and coming to support us/coach us at various local competitions. Sharing most of my CrossFit experiences with my hubby.

What advice would you give to a newbie just joining Central Bucks CrossFit?

It’s hard to be patient, and it’s hard to deal with failure, but you have to be patient, and you are going to fail, but you have to trust that good days are around the corner if you just keep at it. Don’t worship the white board. And you will never regret showing up, even if you happen to suck that day.

Something you might not know about me is?

I’m deathly afraid of needles and can’t even get a blood test without them giving me the special stretcher bed and a pillow and the nurse talking me through it. It’s why I don’t have tattoos.

Coach’s Note: Jen is a true dynamo and one of the most passionate athletes I have ever encountered. She wants nothing more than to do the best that she possibly can, and when it both does and doesn’t happen, I know about it just by that look in her eyes. One thing I’ve learned with Jen is that its best to not tell her to “compose herself”….because I don’t ever want to see that fire within die out!