Jen Foley, aka “JenMonster,” has consistently pushed herself out of her comfort zone over the last several years. Recently, she had a renewed focus on improving her form and embodies the saying you should “leave your ego at the door” by knowing when it’s more important to drop the weight in order to improve in the long run.
WHAT INITIALLY GOT YOU INTO CROSSFIT AND WHAT KEEPS YOU COMING BACK?
What got me into Crossfit? That’s easy! My incredible, super handsome, studly husband. He had been going to CFHE for about a year with his pal Ryan (aka Grumpy Bear). After a year of watching those two have all the fun, my sister-in-law, Jenny, and I thought we’d give it a shot. Since the boys were hogging the 7:30am slot, that left us with 5:30am as the only real option (mom-duties). At first, we thought going to the gym at 5:30am was crazy, but we soon realized it was the perfect time and had the perfect group of people. I mean, you have to be a special kind of crazy to wake up in the 4s to go get a work out in. Why do I keep coming back? There are so many reasons! The programming – All I have to do is show up and I know I’m going to get an incredible workout it. No 2 days in a row are the same and I know that each day will challenge me in a different way. The people – did I mention all of the crazy and wonderful people at the #530 class yet? They’re the best! The coaches – While I already mentioned the variety in the programming, there’s just as much of a variety in the coaches! After going to CrossFit for over three years, I can honestly say, I have never stuck with any type of exercise as long as I have with CrossFit-and I don’t see myself stopping any time soon.
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF. WHAT DO YOU DO OUTSIDE OF THE GYM?
Kids. That pretty much sums it up. My three kids take up most of my free time but I wouldn't have it any other way. Now that they are a bit older, I am also starting to get back into the working world. I also enjoy spending time with my husband, playing soccer, doing anything active, taking naps (on rare occasions) and traveling. I would travel every weekend if I could!
WHAT’S AN ACCOMPLISHMENT OR GOAL YOU’VE REACHED DUE TO CROSSFIT THAT’S MADE YOU THE MOST PROUD?
A bar muscle-up. This was one movement that just seemed unreachable for me. I honestly thought that no matter how long I continued with CrossFit, a bar muscle-up was just out of reach. When I started, I couldn’t even do one pull-up, but I kept showing up. Slowly but surely, I got the hang of it and before I knew it, I was able to string together 5… then 10. Fast forward a couple of years and I was able to do butterfly pull-ups. Still, I didn’t think a muscle-up was going to be possible, but thanks to some great coaching and encouragement and a lot of failed attempts, I finally got my first bar muscle-up.
IF THERE WAS ONE CROSSFIT MOVEMENT YOU’D LIKE TO PERFECT, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
When I think of movements that people typically want to perfect, it usually includes a bar. I, however, am not a big fan of the bar so let’s keep it simple: Push-ups. My shoulders burn just thinking about them. It's a movement that starts off easy and doable but then quickly escalates to a movement that will have you falling flat on your face, lying there trying to convince yourself that you can do just one more.
ANY ADVICE FOR SOMEONE INTERESTED IN TRYING OUT CROSSFIT?
Just give it a shot. It may be scary to walk through that door. You man be introduced to things that you’ve never done before and see things that you think you’ll never be able to do. After finishing your first class, you’ll walk out of that place sweaty, exhausted, and so incredibly sore. When the dust settles, you’ll likely never look at exercise the same way again. You’ll learn that you are so much stronger than you knew you were and that you can push yourself so much further. You’ll remember (or learn for the first time) that exercise can be fun! You’ll be forced to work on things that you always used to just skip. It will be hard and at times you may even want to quit, but when you look over and see a group of people pushing through it right beside you, you’ll get the strength to push through too.