/var/www/html/wp-content/themes/Divi/single.php April Female Athlete Spotlight - Jessica Gardner | CrossFit 913

When did you start CrossFitting? Who/what got you started?

I’d never considered CrossFit until we moved to Kansas in 2016. We were moving from Ohio for Alex’s job opportunity and I’d stayed with the kids over the summer to care for my mom who was diagnosed with stomach cancer. It was really frustrating not to be physically strong enough to do all the things she needed. So, when we finally got to Kansas I started looking for a structured program to build strength and came across CrossFit 913 in my Google searching. Thankfully you retargeted me with an ad on Facebook and I signed up for the on-ramp class with Ben, Will and Emily!

What is your favorite/least favorite WOD?

I’m more a slow and steady gal, so I usually love the EMOMs and longer workouts where I’m not redlining. I really love the partner WODs on Saturdays. Anything that’s a sprint is not my jam.

What is your favorite/least favorite movement?

Thrusters… UGH. But, I love dumbbell snatches.

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

I work in marketing for a bank and mortgage lender, North American Savings Bank. Alex and I have been married for 19 years this August. We were barely legal when we made that decision, but thankfully it’s worked out. We have two boys and are looking for the right puppy to add to the mix (hypoallergenic, so keep your eyes open puppy rescue friends!). Isaac is 14 and a sophomore at BVNW. Arthur is 5 and starts kindergarten this fall. I was the chubby asthmatic kid growing up, so never really developed a love of sports although I like to watch baseball live (Go Indians!). I also love live music and gin and tonics.

What was your workout routine before CrossFit?

Mostly I just ran before CrossFit. Not very fast, but I don’t like to say that I jogged because that made it sound like I was at risk for getting killed in the park. I usually did a few half marathons every year. This is the year that I’m going to run my first marathon.

What did you think after your first CrossFit workout?

I thought I was dying. I mean, I had this idea that I was relatively fit, but I was not. Fortunately, I’m motivated by shame so I kept coming back even when I was embarrassed by my performance. Once I joined the main classes, people were really encouraging and that helped during the worst workouts. Sometimes I still need to hear one of the coaches say, “You’re fine. Get back to it.”

What were your goals when joining CrossFit?  Have you achieved any of those goals?

My goal was to get physically strong and although I’m just starting to enter the “adult” weight category for most lifts, I’m amazed at how far I’ve come, both physically and mentally. It was a BIG day when I could ditch the training bar and start using the real women’s bar and then add weight to it. TJ was just saying how much better my front squats looked from the crumpled mess I was when I started☺. Since starting I also really wanted a pull-up and JUST got THREE during 18.4 (Thanks, Anthony!).

Has CrossFit affected your life outside the gym?

I can tell when I’ve been out of the gym a few days. It has a tangible effect on my mood. Sometimes Alex will insist that I go to the gym if I’m waffling…

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

I remember an early class where I was just really discouraged. Brady could tell and took the time to work with me and encourage me. It’s just one example of a zillion over the past 15 months that shows how special our coaches are.

Also, this is my first open and I am having the best time! I am not even close to RXing anything, but for once I don’t even care. I’m proud of our team’s spirit and it’s just fun to get together as a community, steal drinks from Brooke (thanks, Brooke☺), and cheer everyone on! *Go Leftovers*

What advice would you give to a newbie just joining CrossFit 913?

DO IT!  You’re going to love this place. The people are welcoming. The coaches are fantastic; motivating, encouraging, and also willing to call you on your bull$h!t. If you really care about getting better every day, this is the right place for you. Just leave your ego at home, keep an open mind and heart, and embrace all the good stuff that this community offers.

Something you might not know about me is?

I am one of eight kids (the seventh in order and the last girl). Growing up, my mom taught us four-part harmony and we sang all over Ohio. It was very Von Trapp.