Athlete Profile: Jenny Downs

Jenny D.

It’s time to get to know another CFW athlete!  Many of us know and love Jenny, and we are continually impressed by her kindness and fortitude.

Name: Jenny Downs

Mom of Meganne, Maddy, Maisy, and Mikey,  Grandmother of Keely!

Hometown:  Felton

When did you start with CFW? At the old gym about two or three years ago.  Jason introduced me to Sam at a competition and he seemed friendly and welcoming.

Favorite WOD/movement: I like it best when a workout includes cleans or snatches.

What is your prior fitness background? What was your exposure to CF before coming to CFW? I don’t have much of a fitness or athletic background.  For exercise, most of my life I jogged because I was too uncoordinated to do Jazzercise. I found my way into martial arts training in my late thirties and that really changed everything for me.

I started Crossfit because I was training in Brazilian jiu jitsu with some guys who were really excited about Crossfit.  I started working out at Central on Sunday mornings with them.  Jason Highbarger was our coach and he was always so encouraging it made it a LOT easier to go back every week.  Plus, he’s a great teacher so I built a really solid foundation of skills.  Since I didn’t have any kind of athletic training until I was so much older, it was really lucky that I started out with such a thorough coach who is so dedicated to proper movement.

Do you remember your first WOD? I don’t remember my first WOD but I remember once we did a workout entitled “Git r done” which consisted of a bunch of stuff like farmer’s walk and tire flipping and pullups.  I loved Crossfit from the first time I tried it.  I remember thinking that I could be strong and capable of amazing things if I stuck with it.

How have you improved in CF? I have gotten so much stronger and definitely capable of things that make me proud of myself! When I turned forty I did the first pullups and rope climbs of my entire life!  I have learned to be much more in tune with the way my body operates, too.

How often do you usually CF? Three to four times per week.

Any athletic activities outside of the gym? I train and teach a traditional martial art and I teach an awesome martial arts related fitness class.  Sometimes I go to a gymnastics class to play on the trampolines and try to flip and tumble.  Gymnastics is a fun change of pace for me and keeps my mind active, too.  There’s nothing like getting upside down to keep you on your toes.

Any special diet you follow? I like to say I’m about 90% paleo.  I have a few cheats like popcorn and chocolate that I’m not really willing to give up, at least right now.  But, I’m a healthy eater in general and I like what I’ve learned about the Paleo diet.  The stricter I am about Paleo, the healthier I feel.   But, I also think that life is short, and I really love chocolate.

Have you had any particular challenges you have struggled with in CF, injuries to work around, fears to conquer? Haha.  I love this question. Yes to all of the above, of course.  My back injury taught me to continue to train and learn to heal while remaining active.  It also taught me to pay attention to how my body is feeling on any given day.  Other challenges: my attitude constantly needs work. I can be really hard on myself.  Sam likes to tell me it’s all in my head, and I think he may be right. I am afraid of dropping barbells on my head and I am scared to death at the top of a rope climb.  But, here I am.  I’m not giving up no matter what I struggle with.

Favorite CF/CFW moments you’d like to share? I think my favorite Crossfit moment of all time was when I finally got the double under.  I tried to do double unders for TWO YEARS.  I’m not joking about this.  Then one day I just did it.  Imagine trying to do something and failing at it for two years and then suddenly doing it!  Don’t ever give up on something you want to do. That’s all I have to say about that.

Who is the best looking coach? They are all so fabulously attractive.  How could I pick just one?

Pre-Workout Routine? Scramble around trying to get everyone out the door and where they need to be while I watch the clock ticking on my dashboard.  I’ve learned that I absolutely have to eat something small and healthy before I work out or I run out of steam.

Post-Workout Routine? Rush off to work!  I stretch at work, I solemnly swear I do.  I make my fitness clients stretch with me!

Share two things you are working on inside the gym: Because my life outside the gym has been tough lately I’ve been keeping my Crossfit goals simple.  Sam’s idea for me has been to do no less than five pullups at a time any time a workout includes them.  So far I’ve  been able to reach this goal consistently. I’m also trying to move faster in every workout.

Share two things you are working on outside of the gym: I am working on earning my second degree Black belt sometime in the not too distant future!  I’m also trying to slow down the pace of my life so that I can get back to setting bigger goals for myself.  I get so caught up in the rush that I stop making time to think about what I’d really like to accomplish.

Favorite past times: Spending time with my kids and my granddaughter.  Knitting.  Soaking up sunshine on the beach.

We love you, Jenny, and our gym is a better place with you here!

CrossFit Games Info-Tickets for the 2012 Games in Carson, CA are going quickly this year.  If you are planning to attend this exciting event, be sure to buy your tickets right away!


Front Squat 5RM


7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

Clean & Jerk 135/95#