Jessica “Stormy” Weather

4
May

Jessica “Stormy” Weather

Occupation: I’m a physician assistant (currently staffing the CVS Minute Clinic up on Roxboro Rd — come visit me!). I’ve been practicing for 5 years and have worked in a couple of different specialties during that time.

Where are you from? Originally Jacksonville, FL, but I moved to the Triangle in 2006. I spent two years in Philadelphia right after I finished Duke PA school (2012-14), but otherwise I’ve been here ever since!

How long have you done CrossFit? I started in late 2012, shortly after I moved to Philadelphia, so I guess we’re at about the 4.5-year mark now. However, I took a six-month break from it last year, so progress definitely hasn’t been linear. I’m excited to be back!

What is your favorite movement? Least favorite movements?: snatches, double-unders, cleans, and anything with a kettlebell. I used to despise snatches, and was stuck at 70 lb for what seemed like forever; then, completely out of the blue, around my 2-year mark of CrossFit, suddenly something just clicked one day. Now I love snatches, probably precisely because I’ve had to work so hard to get good at them!

Least favorites: jerks and wallballs. (Wallballs ARE jerks!)

Have you played sports in the past? As a kid I rode horses and played basketball; in college I was a club swimmer and did a lot of long-distance open-water events (the longest was a 12.5-mile swim around the island of Key West, but I also led a relay swim across the English Channel in 2007). After college I bounced around for a while trying to find my athletic niche — I did a lot of distance events, including five full marathons and a half Ironman triathlon — but thankfully I found CrossFit in 2012 and haven’t looked back!

How did you hear about CrossFit? I vaguely knew about the concept as early as 2010 because I had some friends in PA school who were members of CFDurham. I did a couple of Groupon sessions at another local gym shortly before we graduated. I didn’t drink the Kool-Aid right away, but when I moved to Philadelphia, I didn’t know the area or anybody in it, and I needed a way to stay in shape as well as meet people in a new city. In my ignorance, I had the incredible good fortune to stumble blindly into CrossFit Center City, and they were the ones who really made me fall in love with the sport. Their approach is very holistic, firmly grounded in solid movement mechanics, individual attention, and the importance of nutrition and recovery. I am not an exceptional CrossFit athlete by any means, but because of CFCC, I feel very fortunate to have been extremely well-coached from the very beginning. Well worth a drop-in session if you’re ever in the Philly area! 🙂

What has CrossFit done for you? (1) I’ll never forget bursting into tears the first time I was asked to do a box jump — from a totally helpless feeling of having NO idea how to make my body perform that unfamiliar task! Because of the ‘general physical preparedness’ of CrossFit, I’m now much more ‘generally functional’, with a dramatically improved sense of body awareness — which means that, nowadays, I’m able to at least attempt just about any novel physical task with a reasonable degree of confidence and competence. (2) I now respect my body primarily because of what it can DO, rather than being quite so hung up on how it LOOKS. This is an incredibly valuable perspective, especially for women. (3) As above, my first gym was very focused on nutrition, so (although I certainly go through phases of being more or less strict about it!), one unforeseen benefit of my involvement in the CF community was that I’ve learned a ton about how to fuel myself better. There are a lot of facets to athletic nutrition that are very different from what’s taught in a traditional medical curriculum!

What would you tell others about CrossFit? (1) Don’t be intimidated — AND don’t be cocky. This sport is infinitely scalable, and there are ALWAYS ways to make any movement easier OR harder as appropriate to the level of the athlete. As long as you’re working at your OWN 90% effort, whatever that may be, that’s all that matters. (2) Don’t be afraid to commit. Give it 2-3 months of 2-3 classes a week. That’s long enough to see physical results as well as decide whether you’re going to officially drink the Kool-Aid. 🙂 (3) For most adults, it’s hard to forge new relationships once we’re out of college and don’t have the ‘built-in friends’ that come along with structured classes and teams. As a general rule, you’ll never meet a friendlier or more fun community than that of a CrossFit gym! They’ll start off just being your workout buddies, but before long, they’ll also be brunch / book club / day-trip buddies. 🙂

Why Southpoint CrossFit? The SPCF community has its priorities straight. In a sport that indirectly rewards intensity, it’s not always easy to strike the right balance between positive and negative pressure. Realistically, most of us are never going to Regionals, and yet some CF environments make it all too easy to place unnecessary emphasis on performance. I’ve experienced several different gyms in the past few years and am impressed by the lack of ego at SPCF — people are generally receptive to feedback/corrections, aren’t overly competitive with one another, and aren’t afraid to scale a movement in order to maintain the intended stimulus of a workout. This community hasn’t lost sight of the fact that CrossFit, at its core, just exercise — and is supposed to be fun!

What do you do outside of Southpoint? Career-wise, Outside of work and CrossFit, I’m also an aspiring writer, voracious reader, and huge musical theater fan. Travel and foreign languages are another big passion; my undergraduate degree is in linguistics, and I lived in the Netherlands for two years during college, so my useless ‘party trick’ skill is that I speak fluent Dutch.