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Athlete Feature Jenn Penner

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My oh my…….Miss Jenn. Where do I start? Jenn was one of our first “new” members after we transitioned the gym. It was summer, it was slow, I was still figuring so much out about the gym. It was just Jenn and I for quite a while and I remember being so worried she was going to leave because she was the only one showing up to classes. I could tell right away she was going to be a good fit and take to CrossFit and I was right. After a while classes started to fill up and it was no longer “Juuuuuuust Jenn”.  Jenn will take on anything you throw at her and give it a 110% effort. She continues to make gains and evolve as does her role at the gym. We are very excited that Jenn will be working with members to help them with their nutrition, more about that later. Jenn is one of those members that when she is gone the gym is just ‘off’ a little and my day is just not the same. BOTB is quickly becoming a special place where the right people are coming together to be a part of each other’s lives and Jenn is definitely an integral part of that and I can’t imagine BOTB without her. We are so lucky to have such a driven, strong, positive, woman at BOTB.   ~JB


1. What brought you to Crossfit and what keeps you coming back?
I had a funny road to Crossfit, specifically BOTB. Though I’d tried a Groupon for some classes several years ago, the classes didn’t work for my schedule at the time. I ended up at BOTB because I’d asked for Olympic Weightlifting classes for Christmas. Then life happened and I ended up not using the certificate (which was to SicFit) until the following August – at which point SicFit was then BOTB. I’m so happy that things worked out the way it did, had I used that certificate earlier, who knows if I would have stuck around.

There are so many things that keep me coming back. The programming is challenging and brings a sense of accomplishment each time I make it through something that looks intimidating. I have a sense that my boundaries are always being stretched and I need that in my life. I love learning new skills. If I had to pick one thing, though, it would be the people. There is a sense of family within the gym. I come back every day because the work we do together is an anchor in my life that gives me the strength and drive to excel throughout the rest of my day.

 2. Tell us about your life outside of the gym. (family, career, interests, hobbies)
I live with my boyfriend Jim, a wonderful man that I’m incredibly fortunate to have in my life. He’s very supportive and encouraging when it comes to my latest endeavors, be it in the gym or the next new interest I decide to go for. Lately, I’ve been working on a diploma program in Holistic Nutrition, as food has always been fascinating to me. I love to eat!
I also love to read and will pick up a book over turning on the TV any day of the week. Between the gym, school, and work – life is very full.

3. What is your favorite Crossfit movement and/or Benchmark workout?
Though it’s been almost a year, I still feel like there are lots of Benchmark workouts that I haven’t yet tried. I would say my favorite movement is pull-ups – I’ve almost got four kipping strung together! And Fran – as a Benchmark WOD that I’ve been able to do RX’d. Although, it’s easy to hate her, too!

4. What is the movement that when you see it on the board you want to leave the gym?
Overhead squats or box jumps. I can do both, I enjoy neither.

5. What is your favorite indulgent food/meal?
Favorite indulgent food – cinnamon gelato from That’s Amore gelato shop
Favorite indulgent meal – a massive breakfast after a hike: loaded omelette with bacon and waffles.

6. What is your favorite motivational quote?
I have two. Depends on the day which one comes out on top
“Don’t give up before the miracle happens.”

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” Henry David Thoreau

7. If you could be an animal what animal would you be and why?
Though it’s not particularly original, I would want to come back as a house cat. I feel like I could use a lifetime of napping and pets.

8. How has Crossfit impacted your life and helped you live “Life Unbroken”?
Like I said, Crossfit is an anchor for me. It gives me a solid foundation each day to build my best self. Some days the struggle to be my best is more intense and out of the work we do, I know I have the strength to make it through the fight. And if at the end of the day, the fight got the better of me, I have yoga to help me find my balance and peace again. Though I am definitely physically stronger for all the work we do, the mental fortitude I’ve gained stretches into every aspect of my life, and that is where ‘life unbroken’ comes in. It is impossible to put a price on the value I’ve received for the time and energy spent at BOTB. You cannot measure the relationships, the peace of mind, the laughter, the grit, the strength, or the accomplishments I’ve been the recipient of over the past year. I’m forever grateful that I’ve been privileged enough to be able to participate and be a member at BOTB.