(508) 481-2372 jeff@pennantcrossfit.com
When did you start CrossFit and why?
I started CrossFit in the fall of 2010 while I was in college. A friend of mine was an Ironman who had just started doing CrossFit and knew I played on the softball team and needed to stay in shape in the off season so he asked me if I wanted to give it a try. I still remember finishing the Deck of Cards workout next to the indoor track at school after about an hour and a half of huffing and puffing and wanting to throw up. I knew right there and then that this was something I absolutely would do for the rest of my life! I stuck with doing CrossFit at my college for my remaining two years and saw my batting average, stolen bases and just about every other statistic increase dramatically due to my newly found strength & fitness level. I did CrossFit old-school style at a garage gym until 2013 when I became a staff member at CrossFit Sobo. I fell in love so deeply with CrossFit that I decided to pursue a career in CrossFit after I finished law school (much to the shock and dismay of my parents). I received both my Level 1 and Level 2 certifications as well as a nutrition certification during the 4 years that I coached CrossFit. I am so glad to be back at the first official box I was ever a part of, but this time I am loving the experience of being a member instead of a coach! There is truly something special that takes places within these walls and that has been made stronger through the leadership of Dan, the owner and head coach.
What is your favorite movement?
My favorite movement would either be wall balls or thrusters. It’s probably from catching in softball throughout my life but any movement that allows me to explosively squat, I love!
What is your least favorite movement?
My least favorite movement is probably a muscle-up…even though I technically don’t have them…but when I get them, I know I will hate them. I guess sometimes you just know- call it a hunch. In all fairness, they probably won’t like me either.
Tell us a little about your life outside the gym
Outside of the gym, I live in Southborough with my handsome husband Ramiro and our beautiful 3-month old baby girl, Lucy. Being a mother to my daughter is by far the best and toughest thing I have ever experienced in my life. Between the feedings, diaper changes, and nighttime wakings, I absolutely look forward to and need the one hour break I get at CrossFit! Outside of the home, I work for Lululemon but I am currently on maternity leave with my little girl until January. Besides being fully immersed in baby land right now, I really enjoy spending time with my family as well as my husband’s family so we make sure we see them very often, at least once a week. We also have two German Shepherds, Jax and Roxi, who I love taking for walks at the dog park when the weather is nice. I love cooking healthy meals for my family whenever I can and I am also a travel junkie with a goal of seeing one new place in the world per year that I have never been to.
What were you doing before CrossFit?
Before I started CrossFit, I was playing collegiate softball at Babson College in Wellesley. I would run (when my coach made me) and lift weights without paying much attention to my form or whether or not I was even doing lifts that would transfer over to softball. It wasn’t until I started doing crossfit that fitness in generally really clicked for me. Outside of CrossFit I have competed in Olympic Weightlifting, run a half marathon, and plan to run Boston this coming April.
What were your goals when joining CrossFit and how have you achieved those goals?
My goals with CrossFit, and relationship with the sport in general, have ebbed and flowed just like any other relationship in my life. When I first started CrossFitting in college, I just wanted to get better at softball. However, after college I decided to pursue the competitive side of CrossFit and was fortunate enough to have been on a team that went to the East Regional in 2015. Since having my daughter in June, my goals have once again changed. Currently, it’s all about me building back a body that I am really proud of and comfortable with while also always being proud of the effort I am putting forth in the gym. My goal is to always leave the gym knowing that I busted my butt for the hour that I was away and cleared my mind of any stress so that I am the best mother I can be for my little munchkin waiting for me at home.
How has CrossFit affected your life outside the gym?
I can easily say that CrossFit has blessed me in every capacity of my life as it would look very different today if I had never started. In 2014, I met my husband while coaching him at CrossFit Sobo (how cliche of me!) when he asked me to do a partner competition with him and we hit it off. Here I am, almost 4 years later, in a wonderful & happy marriage with a beautiful new baby, both of which would not have happened had I not started this sport. Perhaps the other biggest thing that CrossFit has afforded me is mental confidence. I have found over the years that the mental toughness gained by completing grueling workouts in the gym has absolutely trickled over into my personal life when I have found the perseverance to get through a difficult time or situation. It really allows you to grow as a human being. Over the past 7 years, CrossFit has been a constant thing that is always there for regardless of how hard it is or frustrating it can be at times.
What advice would you give to someone new to CrossFit or thinking about giving it a shot?
As far as someone who is hesitant about starting CrossFit, I would say the toughest part is truly getting your butt in the car and driving to the gym. Once you are there, the coaches will take care of the rest. Truly, just make the decision to start and the battle is already won! You need to consider working out a habit you do every day, like brushing your teeth. Once you get to that level, you would not think about skipping CrossFit as an option, just as you (hopefully) would never skip out on brushing your teeth. Whenever I meet someone new to CrossFit who is just beginning, I always tell them that just when you think it’s so hard that you can’t do another rep or go for another minute in an AMRAP, you will prove yourself wrong, find the strength within and impress yourself. You just have to make the mental decision to keep going and your body will fall in line. Many people who are new to CrossFit look at the experienced CrossFitters in their classes and look down upon themselves in comparison, not realizing that those people are suffering just as much as they are- they have just learned to go faster and get the suck over with sooner! For me, the beauty in CrossFit lies in the journey to the PR, not necessarily the PR itself.