Tonight's Athlete Profile is from Jenny Martinez. She is in the gym consistently, week after week, in the 7:30 A.M. classes and Saturdays. Jenny’s work ethic and positive attitude encompass everything that I love about coaching at CrossFit 818. Watching her crush big weights during Saturday Wreck Shops is an inspiration.
Ladies and Gentlemen… Jenny Martinez
When did you first start CrossFitting?
I started Crossfit in April 2013 at CrossFit 818.
Tell us about your sports and fitness background:
I grew up in a sedentary household with plenty of unhealthy foods and a lack of activity. I struggled with my weight throughout most of my life. At my unhealthiest, I carried an extra 100+ pounds on my 5’4” frame. Needless to say, I was extremely unhealthy.
How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? Take us back to your first WOD...what was it, and how did it feel?
I had reached a much healthier weight by 2012 and was feeling great. I wanted a challenge and was bored at the gym. I tried classes like yoga or dance, but they were not for me. I learned about CrossFit through a coworker who encouraged me to try it, so I gave it a shot.
I was terrified to step into my first class but Z eased my newbie anxiety. My first day included skill work on the snatch + 100 OH squats. The warm-up was enough to wipe me out, but I was promptly reminded that I hadn’t made it to the actual workout. I got halfway through the WOD and was hooked the moment I touched that barbell.
What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CF (before/after)?:
Physically, I lost even more weight after joining CrossFit. I started to get stronger, was breathing better during exercise, and my energy levels increased. The warm-up runs and exercises actually started to feel like warm-ups!
What sort of changes in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like CrossFit that were totally unexpected?
A side effect of growing up unhealthy was that I didn’t get the chance to build a relationship with my body or learn what a healthy me was like. CrossFit taught me to listen to my body and understand what it was telling me, not just during workouts, but also throughout the day.
I learned that we can be our own worst enemies. I was letting my mind consistently tell my body what it could do, when in reality, my body was capable of so much more. CrossFit gave me a way to attain what I thought was unattainable during every WOD. Be successful, focus, and embrace failure as a positive part of the process.
I also became aware that I had internalized a lot of negative messages about my body from all kinds of sources. I spent too much time and energy thinking about what I was not that, I didn’t stop to appreciate what I WAS… so I changed that. I started to appreciate my body for the amazing machine that it is and learned to love it. This includes even those (formerly pesky) hips and thighs that I now know are responsible for helping me move very heavy things around with authority. In short, CrossFit taught me a lot about myself and introduced me to, well, me.
Please share with us any favorite CrossFit / CF 818 moments:
My fellow CF 818ers never fail to brighten my day. A smile, high five, friendly chat, or encouragement as I push through a workout go a long way. Having fun in class is also appreciated. I’m not quite sure where else I’d be able to have an early morning discussion about comic books with my workout.
The coaches are wonderful. They have never missed a beat in supporting me as I work toward my goals and consistently push me to be better than I was yesterday. Their support has been invaluable as I work toward my next goal, being strong. Not only have they helped me identify attainable goals, but they have also helped me develop a plan and have supported me as I move forward.
Any advice for people just getting started?
We’re capable of so much more than we think we are— so get out of your comfort zone, scale the workouts as needed, and be proud of your accomplishments. We’re not 100% all of the time either and that’s OK too. Whatever you choose to do, work hard and be consistent. Seek support and work even harder.
What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?
Sewing, photography, learning to work on my car, hiking, camping, cycling, and nerdy things are some of the things that I enjoy.
10 deadlifts (100% of A)