Congratulations to our March Athletes of the Month Jenna Barclay and James Wang

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Congrats to March’s Athletes of the Month – Jenna Barclay and James Wang!

The coaches have noticed massive improvements in their progress and the dedication put in by both.

Well done guys!

Meet Jenna Barclay

jenna

1> What do you do outside of CrossFit for work and for fun?

I have a business called Upcakes that makes sweet treats free from wheat, dairy, sugar and eggs. You may have seen them in the fridge at the Fuel Bar! My job is my biggest hobby, so if I’m not working or Crossfitting I’m probably eating or sleeping.

2> How did you get involved in CrossFit?

Through my friend Sarah, who knew Philly and Michael from childhood.

3> When did you first join CFP?

A big bunch of my girlfriends all started doing it together in October 2013. I remember doing it on sunday mornings and thinking: HOW do other people manage to do this more than once a week? It was a whole other level of fitness than I was used to, having done yoga and pilates all my life. We did group PTs for about 6 months until we decided to put our big girl pants on and join the regular classes. I’m the only one still left from my original girl crew though – luckily CFP is filled with tons of awesome friendly people and great banter.

4> What was your first WOD in the classes?

I can’t remember – I’m one of those naughty people that doesn’t record my workouts, even though I know I probably should.

5> When did you realise CrossFit was right for you?

Almost immediately. After doing baseline I remember feeling nauseous for the rest of the day and thinking that’s not how you should feel when you’re supposed to be in the prime of your life. The more I did crossfit, the more I experienced that energetic high after each class, which is what got me hooked (and still keeps me hooked).

6> What are your short term goals?

To do ONE freaking pull-up. And get a butt like Mario’s.

7> Long term goals?

To feel more and more energised from my workouts as time goes on.

8> What is your greatest accomplishment?

Crossfit-wise, I did a handstand push-up last week and I was so excited I couldn’t sleep that night. Life-wise, I think keeping your mind right despite what life throws at you is the biggest accomplishment that exists.

9> What is your favourite WOD / movement?

I LOOOOVE a good burpee. I think I might be the only person that feels that way about them. And also anything that’s a squat in disguise: wall balls, thrusters – even push presses I can kinda turn into a mini squat. Anything that works the butt.

10> What is your least favourite WOD / movement?

Split jerks. I hate the idea of only doing them on one ‘side’. I’m OCD so I like things to be even on both sides.

11> Would you recommend CrossFit to your friends and family? What advice would you give them?

I have and I do! Especially to girls who want to get in shape, because it gets you results so fast. I can’t believe how many years I wasted doing daft things like mini leg lifts and ‘tiny pulses’ at ballet and barre classes, hoping that would do anything for my overall health.

I tell people to try and do a few crossfit classes when they start before they make their minds up about it, as I think it’s so easy to misjudge what CF’s about from just one wod.

12> Least favourite and favourite music to WOD to?

Least favourite – angry music. I rely on my hour at crossfit to boost my vibe, so I don’t want any negative crap in my ears.
Most favourite – Ozzie pretty much has my exact same taste in music so anything on his playlist always leaves me in a good mood.

13> Bonus question: Most memorable or funniest CFP moment?

It’s always a good time in there but my favourite moment was going to watch Friday Night Lights for the first time last year. I remember thinking, this is about so much more than just exercising your body for an hour. I don’t think there’s any other type of workout that adds to your life in the way this does.

james wang

Meet James Wang

1> What do you do outside of CrossFit for work and for fun?

I do some energy consulting work – mainly modelling EU electricity markets – looking at the impact of renewable/conventional resources on energy prices and grid security and fun stuff like that. Outside of work, I used to play a lot of ultimate frisbee but haven’t gotten to play much since moving to London. Looking to travel more around Europe now that the weather is getting warmer.

2> How did you get involved in CrossFit?

I had actually first heard of it in 2011 but my impression at the time was that it was a really intense exercise thing for a small group of really fit people at a really high cost, so it didn’t catch my attention. I got some more exposure to it in 2013 from a friend who had recently joined so I started trying out some of the workouts by myself and thought actually this is really fun. Ended up joining Crossfit Rubicon in the Washington DC area in the fall of 2013.

3> When did you first join CFP?

Moved to London in October of 2014 and joined in November. I actually made a spreadsheet that had some of the local boxes and info like distance to home, price, nice-ness of the facility, legit-ness of the website, wod content (I wasn’t looking for a place that put up daily wods that were excessively long and “random”), and how big/popular the box is (you can actually gauge this by typing in an affiliate’s name in games.crossfit.com to see how many people they have registered for the open). CFP clearly came out on top.

4> What was your first WOD in the classes?

I don’t really remember but it was mainly some bodyweight/running stuff which was good as I had taken some time off due to a wrist injury and was looking to ease back into it.

5> When did you realise CrossFit was right for you?

Once I actually tried some of the wods – pretty much immediately. The level of intensity / anaerobic exercise is something that is entirely absent from most people’s normal gym routines. That and the the soreness I got when first starting (and sometimes still get though not quite to the same degree any more unfortunately) was completely addicting!


6> What are your short term goals?

Goal #1 is probably more strength. Goal #2 is definitely more strength.

7> Long term goals?

I’d like to unlock my inner Chinese Olympic weightlifter. That would be pretty sweet.

8> What is your greatest accomplishment?

Umm, getting nominated for athlete of the month? It’s all downhill from here for me. That, and actually putting on some weight recently (gaining about 5 kg to get to 71 kg was a highlight in 2014 for me). Once I get to 80 kg… I’ll have made it.

9> What is your favourite WOD / movement?

I think people generally tend to like things they’re good at, and my background before Crossfit has mainly been running/lower body/bodyweight-related sports. So I tend to do better in workouts with box jumps, pistols, squats, double unders, etc. But I think I actually quite enjoy the Olympic lifts – snatch / clean and jerk – even though I could use a lot of improvement. I like the combination of explosiveness, technique, and general strength that’s required.

10> What is your least favourite WOD / movement?

Definitely heavy stuff. More specifically heavy shoulder to overhead.

11> Would you recommend CrossFit to your friends and family? What advice would you give them?

I would / I do, though I agree with the whole “Crossfit is for anyone but not for everyone” statement. I tell them it’s basically gymnastics meets Olympic weightlifting at high intensity with like-minded people. I also usually caveat my recommendation because there’s significant variation in the quality of instruction / attention to safety across affiliates and finding a good one is key.

12> Least favourite and favourite music to WOD to?

In short, I like my beats fast and my bass down low. For a more complete response, please refer to Christina Duffy’s answer to this question in her athlete of the month blurb.

13> Bonus question: Most memorable or funniest CFP moment?

Definitely the Friday Night Lights open experience as a whole has been very memorable for me. It’s really a fantastic environment – it’s competitive yet supportive, you get to meet evening people (if you’re a morning person, and vice versa), there’s good music and food, etc. Too bad it’s only once a year!

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