Athlete Spotlight: Jen Morello

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Hometown: Lewiston, NY

Age: 42

Occupation: Business Manager / Dental Hygienist at Finger Lakes Dental Care

When did you start doing CrossFit?
I started doing CrossFit 4-5 years ago When Linda moved over from Hardcore Fitness. I can remember learning how to do med ball cleans up on the second floor of Hardcore. It was such an awkward movement; now it is like second nature.

What is your favorite CrossFit Movement and Why?
I would have to say my favorite is the deadlift. I remember when I hit 125 pounds for a PR and it was so heavy. Now I can deadlift 100 pounds more.

What is your least favorite CrossFit movement and why?
I HATE snatches. I have never been good at them!

What is your sport, health or fitness background?
To be honest, VERY little! Prior to CrossFit, I took step aerobics classes at the Y and did very little weight training. I never saw a difference in my body. I wish I would have been introduced to CrossFit when I was in my twenties.

How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? Take us back to your first WOD… what was it and
how did it feel?
I remember thinking to myself, “there is no way I will ever be able to do any of this stuff.”  “My body was not made for this, I will kill myself.” Now five years later, I can do pull ups, I can deadlift 225 pounds and I can back squat 185 pounds. It has been amazing journey over the years to see the numbers go up. Even the smallest increase is exciting.

What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CrossFit?
(Before and After)
Before CrossFit, I struggled to keep a healthy weight, I was approximately 15 pounds heavier than I am now. After starting CrossFit I started losing weight and noticed my body becoming more firm. I am doing things I never thought possible and I have more confidence in myself. I can walk into the gym feeling like crap after a long day at work and leave with a clear mind feeling refreshed and ready to go again.

Share with us your favorite Canandaigua CrossFit memory/moment?
I remember the day I stopped telling myself that “I can’t” and started saying “I CAN!” That day I completed three kipping pullups in a row! Now I can do 30 without breaking.

Do you have any advice for people who are just getting started?
Don’t worry about anything except for coming to class. Leave the rest to the pros (the coaches). Ask questions and don’t be afraid. The coaches and athletes all have the same goal and vision in mind, to be better than yesterday. Don’t worry about your size or strength, we start slow and small. There are always coaches there teaching us and showing us proper technique. They are never going to force you to do something you can’t or don’t want to do. If I can do it, you can do it! Remember this a marathon and not a race. Best of all, you will meet some really incredible people along the way of becoming stronger and healthier.

Outside of CrossFit what other hobbies and/or talents do you have?
When I am not at the gym or work, I enjoy traveling, doing yoga and my latest hobby refinishing furniture.

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