First, tell us a little bit about yourself. What are your interests outside of CrossFit?
I have no interests outside of CrossFit. Once I’ve completed the WOD, I go home to get ready for the next WOD by putting together my matching outfits because I know that it makes Paul happy. Seriously, I do a lot of things and have many interests, and I’m always up for trying something new. I was put here on Earth to serve. I know this so I try to do so every day. Being a Realtor awards me the opportunity to serve.
How and why did you get involved in CrossFit?
A few months prior to Kelli purchasing the CFS Boot Camp voucher from Living Social, I had nearly lost my battle with depression. Not many people know this story, nor would they believe it because I’ve always been strong; strong enough for everyone else, that is. Overcoming the embarrassment and seriousness of those events left me with some very difficult decisions to make. I knew I had some work to do and was prepared to make choices to better my life: for myself, then my family, my future family, and my friends. I had been a functional alcoholic for seven years, and once again my body weight was one pound away from 200. Kelli’s suggestion to do CrossFit in late July 2013 couldn’t have come at a better time. Kelli knew that I had an athletic background and that I pined to be the athlete that I once was. I knew Kelli very well and I knew the location would be a huge compromise. So we did it. I had many old and reoccurring injuries when I started that included: a left foot fusion (I was told I would never run again); a C3 compression fracture in my neck that left no fluid between C1-C6; right knee meniscus removal and ACL tear; right wrist fracture with pins & screws; fractured and now deformed tailbone; tennis elbow(s); and Sacroiliac joint (back hip joint) malfunction and severe arthritis nearly everywhere. My orthopedic surgeon suggested I should limit my physical activities to “perhaps” swimming. Bike riding, yoga, Pilates, and walking were out of the question. He even suggested I consider seeing a psychiatrist to help bring my physical expectations more in line with my physical limitations. Maniacal laughter ensued.
Segue to Surmount. From the beginning, Paul has been patient with me and has always worked with me and my limitations, as he does everyone else. Many people, mostly outside CFS, didn’t think I would last, let alone accomplish what I have thus far. This is a great story of two friends being there for each other at the right time, everything falling into place, and being adopted into a warm and loving community.
What was the first workout that you completed?
I have no idea. I was so oxygen deprived that I can’t remember. In fact I have no recollection of any workout that I’ve done since, not even yesterday’s, yet I keep coming back just to forget again. It’s like 50 First Bourne Butterfly Effects. Only nerds will get that.
What do you remember most about the workout?
Again, I CRS (Can’t Remember Shit). Probably the same thing I think with every metcon, “What the hell am I doing? Holy shit, I can’t believe I just did that! I can’t wait to come back tomorrow!”
What are your current and future training goals?
1) Don’t get hurt. 2) Seven dead hang pull-ups. 3) Run three miles in less than 28 minutes.
Goals 2 and 3 are part of the much debated USMC fitness requirements for women —women half my age, that is! I’m not sure when the running will happen as this will take many visits and discussions with my surgeon (or perhaps a different surgeon). But hey, I can row three miles in less than 28 minutes!
What is your favorite activity or lift, e.g., pull-ups, dead-lifts, running, front squats, snatches, burpees, etc.?
I love anything where I have the opportunity to stick my landing like a gymnast; even if the movement doesn’t call for a perfect landing, I’ll throw one in there just because I can, then shout, “Superstar!” And snatches. I’ve been told my snatch is, well, you know, uhm, technically well-executed.
What is your least favorite activity or lift?
Rest day. I don’t have a least favorite. I may roll my eyes or scoff, but only because I get frustrated when my body cannot perform an activity that my heart and mind perform effortlessly. I used to roll my eyes at box jumps, all squats, lateral bar hops, and lunges. Not anymore!
What do you enjoy more, strength or conditioning and why?
Both. It’s CrossFit. I like strength training, especially when I don’t realize how much weight I’m putting on the bar (because I don’t follow directions) and I just lift it. I focus less on the weight and more on form and how my body feels. I try to remember (CRS) the last press, clean, etc. and how I felt. Did I feel like I could lift more? How was my form? What do I need to fix? I’m still amazed that 10#+ PRs can happen. I like conditioning because it’s my greatest weakness and I strive to always be better than by husband, Mike Allen. (Although that old man is totally kicking my ass! Good thing I’m a masochist!) I also hope to one day be as awesome as Kelli. One can only dream!
Do you eat Paleo/Zone?
After we had the first full month of Boot Camp under our belts, Kelli suggested we do “The Whole 30” starting September 1st, 2013. I had already decided that August 15th, 2013 would be my last day to drink alcohol. I thought 15 days would be enough time to detox and mentally prepare for “The Whole 30.” I’ll just say that there was a lot of cussing, some tears, and many rants, mostly by me as I decided to stop all medications, sleep aids and stimulants (other than coffee), but Kelli was kind enough to join in on the rants and cussing. Especially the cussing! Since then I’ve been mostly Paleo sans: Natural Bliss, Chimes, real butter, and So Delicious Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream. The Paleo diet has been the best thing for my health. Blood pressure, cholesterol, liver functions, glucose, etc., are all normal now. They were not norma 19 months ago! I still have “low days” occasionally because I still have all the same issues. I’ve just chosen to deal with those issues differently and to put myself first. CrossFit, mangos, and good friends who accept me and my crazy are my drugs of choice these days. This is another great story that once again includes Kelli saving my life and being a part of a wonderful, supportive, sometimes just as crazy CrossFit community.
What are 3 fun facts about you?
I was named Jeanette, pronounced in French: juh-NET. However, my parents didn’t know how to spell this to be pronounced correctly, so they named me Janet Lee, loosely after Jeanette Helen Morrison; known professionally as Janet Leigh, best remembered for her performance in Psycho. My mother’s name is Helen and is a, well, uhm, maybe that surgeon was right about me! Also, my name is the feminine of John, which means gift from God or God has been gracious. I try to be gracious every day and my mom still calls me juh-NET when she’s trying to get my attention.
Being a grandma of four is considerably cooler than doing ECGs, audio exams, eye exams, drawing blood, providing medical coverage for events, investigating aircraft accidents and performing minor surgical procedures for Secretaries of Defense, Secretaries of the Air Force, Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, Four Star Generals and Foreign dignitaries, all of which I did at The Pentagon’s Aerospace Medicine Clinic.
I’m an open book. Closely guarded is my mind. My heart is a sieve.