Happy Spring! I can’t wait for it to actually feel like it. You know what I can’t get enough of this week? Berry LaCroix. It’s not as good as the Target Key Lime flavor, but it’s second, for sure.

SoOoOoOoO, we have one more week left of the 2018 CrossFit Games Open. Are you excited? Or sad? Time flies. Unfortunately, my attention span is short, so I’m always looking to the next thing. It’s been a fun ride though. So far. We’ll see about that last workout. And by the time you read this, you’ll probably know what 18.5 is – or at least know the 3 choices we get to choose from. Because for the first time ever, we get to pick an Open workout. That’s cool. I’m thinking two things:

1. the site is going to crash when everyone signs in at 6 pm EST to see the choices. and 2. All three workouts will be made up of the same movements, but they will just have different rep schemes or time domains. We’ll see. I’ll probably go back and take this part out if I’m wrong.

Today I want to tell all of you about my friend Jeri Ann. She’s incredible. She started doing CrossFit right after I made the jump, so I feel like we’ve shared some of the same experiences. She helps run a local, family owned business with her husband, she’s a mom of three, and she never misses a day at the gym. Yet somehow she finds time to spend with her family, attend baseball and soccer games, and hopefully sleep somewhere in there. Not only does she workout consistently, but it’s at 5 AM!!!! 5 am. Every day. I tried to workout consistently at 5 am about four years ago, soon after I started. I couldn’t hang. In fact, I finally broke down and cried after a workout. I don’t even know why. Actually I do. It’s because 5 am is tough. Yeah, coaching is great, but making my joints move like I want them to, nope, not gonna happen. It’s not for everyone. And she doesn’t miss a day. No excuses.

It’s been really cool watching Jeri Ann compete in the Open this year. We usually end up on the same team for the In House Comp, but unfortunately, not this year. I got to judge her through 18.4 this past weekend, and she almost made it through 21 deadlifts at that heavy 205. And this was her second time doing the workout in less than 48 hours. Goals. Her two daughters, Kendall and Kiley also workout at CFEC. Kendall is a freshman at Clemson, and Kylee is in high school and is doing a version of the Open workouts in her middle/high school class with Colin. I love that they get to see their mom kick butt in the gym. It’s obviously impacted them too because they consistently drive themselves there and do the same workout their mom does (just not at 5 am:). They both think it’s pretty cool what their mom can do in the gym.

I asked Jeri Ann a few questions about CrossFit and the Open: 

1. How long have you been doing CrossFit? Why did you originally start?

I’m pretty sure I started CF in June of 2013. I was previously at a local gym with a personal trainer (I don’t like training alone). He had some health issues arise, so he had to step back and take care of himself. The gym tried partnering me up with other trainers, but that 5 am time didn’t seem appealing to anyone. Can you believe that? I had heard about this CrossFit stuff from some good friends, Brandon and Whitney Cox. I decided to give the foundations class a try. Honestly, that whole week I thought, “what am I going to get out of a 10 minute workout, or 30 reps of something for time?” I have since apologized to all the Benchmark girls.

2. How many years have you been doing the Open?

I have competed in 4 Opens. I believe this is my first year doing Rx across the board (maybe second). 

3. What is your all time favorite memory from the Open (any year)?

I can’t say I have a favorite memory from any of them, but 18.4 has been my favorite so far. It was a mental game challenge for sure. I knew I could perform all of the moves, but the weight and standards would be tough. This is where mental toughness comes in to play. In the past year, I’ve tried to create the habit of mental toughness – when I get tired, push on for five more minutes or push out one more rep when you think you can’t. I myself still have a lot to work on, but I’m winning small battles each day.

4. What keeps you coming back to CrossFit every day at 5 am?

I can’t imagine not starting my day at 5 am at CFEC. I will admit I’m not the most jovial at that time, but it works for me. Being a wife and mother of three kids who are involved in sports, I don’t get a ton of “me” time. I know some people think us 5 am people are crazy (we might be) for getting up that early, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. We may not be loud (or get any social media time ha ha) but we do encourage and support each other. More importantly, it has fostered friendships that make me a better person.

5. What changes have you seen in your family overtime since you started doing CrossFit?

Since I began CrossFit, both my girls, ages 19 and 15 have both got involved. The workouts are able to be scaled so they still feel like they are able to participate. So many young girls have self confidence issues, but I believe CrossFit can help them learn to believe in themselves. I believe the group lesson setting and community support of CrossFit helps kids grow and mature, as well as socialize with other kids. I hope they can learn to enjoy fitness and carry these values into adulthood.

 photo by  Kathleen Dew

photo by Kathleen Dew

Shoutout to Jeri Ann for being awesome, and a great role model for me and so many other people at CFEC. 

Good luck to everyone in 18.5!! Finish strong, and celebrate your accomplishments no matter what after!