Jenn Buntin

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When and why did you start CrossFit? I went to my Intro Class on April 21, 2012, and then took the Fundamentals Class immediately following. After a break of a few weeks for school, I started One-on-One sessions with Charlie. I was intimidated by the classes, and more than a little out of shape. Prior to starting CrossFit, I didn’t have an exercise habit. I walked my dogs, and occasionally did yoga, but I hadn’t lifted weights since a Freshman year “Female Weightlifting” elective to fill some credit hours. After reading about CrossFit and having it recommended by a coworker, I decided to try the Intro class. Practically everything was unfamiliar to me, but I was almost immediately hooked. During the on-ramp class, I was struggling with pretty much everything except the Overhead Squat; that’s when I decided I would stick around – there was one move I didn’t completely suck at, and that was enough.

What is your favorite CrossFit movement? Least favorite? My favorite CrossFit movement is the Back Squat, because I’ve seen so much progress and it doesn’t take much coordination. After several weeks of consistently working on my Back Squat with Charlie, I increased my 1RM from 80# to being able to do a couple of reps at 105#. This is especially satisfying because I had an awful air squat when I first started CrossFit, and then wasn’t allowed to squat past parallel or with weight for a couple of months. My least favorite CrossFit moves are Wall Balls (require too much hand-eye coordination and rhythm) and running. I also really hate the Airdyne. Really.

What do you feel has been your greatest accomplishment tied to your success at the gym? My proudest accomplishment from CrossFit is having the courage to go from 10 months of One-on-One sessions with Charlie to joining Katie’s 4:00 class. I used my 26th birthday as impetus to take what felt like a huge step. Thanks to the encouragement of some awesome people in that class, I thought I’d be okay. Due to the self-confidence gained at the gym, from seeing myself get stronger all the time, I’ve also developed more confidence and assertiveness at work.

How do you explain CrossFit to someone who hasn’t tried it? I always tell people about how I’m doing things I never thought I could do, and how powerful I feel after a WOD. When I come into the box, I can let everything else go; I love how you can’t possibly think about anything but the WOD while you’re working out.

If you could make your coach do a WOD of your choice, what would it be? Watching Charlie do 13.3 and getting to yell encouragement at him was really satisfying. I was pretty excited to be able to turn the tables and yell at him during what looked like the worst WOD ever.

What is your favorite result of your success in the gym? My favorite result of my success in the gym is going from a 12:30 mile, probably the first mile I’d run since the President’s fitness challenge in elementary school, to sub-9:00 mile. Because Charlie made me run, and I kept getting better, I felt good enough to sign up for a ½ marathon in August (in Vancouver, not Houston!). In March, I ran my first 5k, and at the end of April, I’ll be running a 10k. I even joined a Tuesday night running club. I NEVER would have thought I could do that without CrossFit.

If you could be any super hero, who would you be and why? If I could be any super hero, I’d be Superman, because completing the Superman checklist is on my list of near-term goals! Superman’s muscles would probably make that easier.

~Jenn Buntin

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