This month I am recognizing Jennifer Buntz. She attends my 615 M/W/F women's only crossfit class for the past two years and my 6am Tues/Thur Lean Lifting class for the past year. You can always count on her to be in class on time and ready to work. She is an inspiration for anyone who thinks crossfit is "too much" or you need to be in shape before. She came in the first day ready for a change- and she found one! She is a wife, a full time attorney, an amazing mother of two, and an inspiration to myself and her entire class.
Here is her story:
I have always been a supremely average person, physically. I never excelled at sports growing up and never knew what it was like to naturally run fast, jump far, climb high, etc. I always looked up to the people around me that seemed to so easily sprint or do pull-ups but I figured those things just weren’t for me and so gravitated toward fairly low-key physical activity. Two-three mile jogs through the neighborhood and yoga had me feeling pretty good about myself overall. I never saw any changes in my body and mind but felt like I was maintaining my status quo fairly well. This went on for years until my friend Mari joined Crossfit Central and I (and several other friends) noticed how strong and fit she looked. Without knowing the first thing about crossfit, I signed up for Elements with Jenny (current Lean Lifting/CC all-star) and Sun (Lean Lifting/CC all-star w/ a broken ankle on hiatus). Here’s what we looked like on our first day of Elements:
Jenny Flemming, Sun Lim, and Jennifer Buntz
Little did we know what was in store for us and how we wouldn’t be able to walk for days after learning how to air squat! Since that time, I have been in Coach Jen’s women’s only class (for the last two years) and joined Lean Lifting (a year ago). I know it’s been said over and over but it’s hard to express all the positive changes that crossfit and Lean Lifting have had on me. I really do feel like it has changed my life. For the first time, I feel strong. This is something I’ve never experienced before and I love it. I had never lifted weights before joining Central and completely love Lean Lifting for Jen’s focus on being strong and lifting heavy. Jen has helped me gain so much strength that I can now do pull-ups and all manner of fun lifts. Who knew I would love to clean and jerk? I finally feel like I am strong and capable and this has spread to my family life where I never have to hesitate to climb the monkey bars with the kids or do handstands with them in the living room. My husband also crossfits and lifts at home (after seeing how positive it has been for me) and the kids love joining us in burpees and push-ups and squats.
Another giant impact of crossfit and Lean Lifting that I value equally as much is the sense of community that I have in my classes. I seriously LOVE to get up at the crack of dawn and hang out with these amazing women. Everyone is so supportive and encouraging and I am so grateful and feel so fortunate to be able to spend that time with them!
The last giant change that Jen has had (and one she will never let me forget) is that I am now a ravenous carnivore! When I started in her class, I had been a vegetarian for almost 25 years! I shifted to Paleo eating pretty quickly, trying to rely on protein powders and about a million eggs to keep my protein intake up but eventually started eating fish and then, about 8 months into meeting Jen, had my first taste of meat in decades (steak!). I now realize how much my body needed meat and feel so much better for eating it. My whole family eats paleo and I’ve tried so hard to show our kids the importance of eating well-raised meats, eggs and veggies. All in all, Coach Jen, through crossfit and Lean Lifting and constant harassment and encouragement!) has had a huge impact on my life. I now see myself as an athlete (and someone who loves to lift weights and eat meat!).