Name: Jenny Church
Hometown: Westwood, Lassen County, CA
Started CrossFit 580: June 2017
Favorite Movement: The power snatch.
Least Favorite Movement: The assault “bike.”
Tell us about your fitness/lifestyle background:
I’ve always been somewhat athletic- As a child, I was in ballet until I was about 16, and did a lot of outdoor activities with my family. In high school I played varsity sports- basketball, volleyball and did mid-distance running and jumping events in track. My “back in the day” moment happened when my brother and I both were awarded league MVP for basketball in my senior year. In college I continued with basketball for a short time, I tried crew (rowing), and in the summers I worked as a forest fire fighter, including one summer on “helitack” (the helicopter crew). In graduate school, I mainly did a lot of running but I also participated in Taekwondo which helped a lot with the stress from school. More recently I’ve done two Tahoe Tough Mudders and was part of a really great boot camp for a couple of years in Tracy.
Then I moved, and time passed, and before I knew it I hadn’t done regular exercise for a few years. I was frustrated with some joint issues I have —doctors wanted me to modify movements (like running), but I just couldn’t find a balance between the modifications and getting the workout I wanted. Thankfully, I kept looking, and was able to find that balance at Crossfit580. I’ve been here for about a year now, and I’m loving it!
How did you first get exposed to CrossFit580?
I looked online for a challenging workout which might allow me to use cardio equipment in place of running. Then I contacted the owner, Mark, and he and the coaches took the time to reassure me that things could be modified but still be challenging, so I knew it might work.
What have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CrossFit580 (before/after)?
When I started Crossfit580, I was overweight and out of shape. I had hip and back pain because of early onset arthritis and sometimes I couldn’t even walk without a limp and a lot of pain. I’d stopped trying to get any kind of exercise at all, and the muscles in my core, hips and legs had become weak. My blood sugar was rising, my blood pressure was rising, my energy level was low, my mood was poor. I wasn’t doing very well.
It’s a year later and I have lost 20 pounds (for me, if I can exercise, I will eat well), my blood pressure is normal, and my blood sugar is great. The strength in my core, hips and legs has begun to return which then supports the joints, and so my day-to-day arthritis pain is greatly reduced. I have energy and I find that I have a positive outlook now as well.
I was afraid to do some of the strength training because of my joint issues, but with the modifications and encouragement from the coaches, the strength portion has probably been the most beneficial to me. The other day I realized that I am actually having fun working out again! I enjoy learning the technical movements and gymnastics progressions, and it’s just fun to be able to push myself again.
Please share with us any favorite CrossFit 580 moments:
Timeless words from our coaches, of course! // Hey coach, can I row instead? “Because you don’t want to ride the bike or because you need to modify?” Don’t want to. “Get on the bike!” // “No Angelo, I will not play that song!” // <Coach RX’s the kettlebell workout> “That was… woo!” // But coach, it isn’t going to be a challenge. “Oh. It will be a challenge.” // “How do you like the new bikes?” // “Those dumbbells are too light and you are not engaging your abs! Use these.” <hands me the heaviest dumbbells I’ve ever seen> // “You love the bike! You are one with the bike. The bike is your favorite.” // And of course, the famous “Pinch the penny!!”
I kicked up into an assisted handstand for the first time and learned the snatch all in the same day. That was a good day!
My favorite moments though are the times we are all in there slogging it out together, even the off-duty coaches sometimes. People are encouraging, and everyone’s working hard and giving their own personal best effort. It’s awesome and motivating!
What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of Crossfit580?
I moved not long ago, so getting settled in is my main extra-curricular activity right now. I love to be in the mountains doing anything outdoors and to spend time with my family, and I enjoy making things, so I knit and cook. I also love to read and I listen to a lot of audiobooks when I’m on the road.
Any advice for people just getting started?
If you can find a way to build up to consistency in your workout schedule, your nutrition and your rest days, you will be successful.
For me, it helps to take a minute every day after my workout and find a way I’ve progressed that day. It could be physical progress, could be mental toughness progress, could simply be the fact that I showed up that day at all. The point is to notice the small successes every single day and then to be sure to feel happy and thankful for them. This attitude helps me continue to come back to the workouts even after a day that maybe I didn’t feel so great about overall. When I have a way to feel good every time, I can be consistent.