Jessica Latham

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Name: Jessica L
Age: 30
CrossFit Start Date (and box): 2008 on my own (now at CrossFit Silicon Valley)
Favorite movement or WOD: Handstand pushups, squat cleans
Least favorite movement or WOD: Deadlift


What was your athletic background prior to CrossFit?
Cheerleader, Superbowl dancer, soccer player, runner, went to the gym and did yoga.
How did you hear about CrossFit? What convinced you to join, and why have you stayed?
My husband Kevin was obsessed. Instead of taking walks at night, he wanted us to do a more intense workout.  The impetus for me was that I wanted to be super-fit for our wedding – no skinny bride here, I wanted to be the strong bride! I have stayed with CrossFit because I love the community, the challenge of each day’s workout and I really enjoy working out with my husband (and kicking his butt!)
How do you manage the mental and physical demands of CrossFit training?
That has been a huge self-learning experience. I started doing meditation every morning, and now in the WODs I use the same techniques to control my breathing and to get to that same mental place – it can be hard on some WODs, no doubt. From a physical perspective, stretching is very important every day.  I have learned to care and maintain my body outside the box and to manage the entire experience of taking care of my body – it isn’t something that simply begins and ends during your workout.
What do you love about the people and/or place where you train?
Everybody is really energetic and they all have a very positive attitude.  I feel like it is a family, and my husband and I have become close friends with several of the other men, women and couples in the box.  Each workout, it feels like I have many fans and mentors no matter how I do that day.
What do you do in your everyday life? How has CrossFit impacted that role (or roles)?
I am finishing my master’s degree and am transitioning careers once I graduate.  CrossFit helps me maintain my energy and stress levels, and it helps balance my time with friends while keeping me active and healthy.
Looking back, what 2-3 things did you wish you knew when you started CrossFit?
I would tell people to be realistic about their goals – it is a balance to push yourself hard and to simultaneously maintain perspective.  Same with food, CrossFitters should try to learn proper knowledge about nutrition in order to make meaningful life changes rather than yo-yo back and forth between the latest fad diets they encounter in magazines and on the Internet. And once you plateau at CrossFit, as everyone does, it is important to stick with it.  Don’t quit the sport and try to figure out how it fits into your life – what do you want to get out of it, is it to get more mobility, to get healthier, etc. – once you understand that, then it helps bring perspective to your results in each day’s WOD.
What is your most memorable CrossFit moment?  What is your most embarrassing moment?
They are linked, actually.  The most memorable moment was the first year I joined a box and I was asked to be on their team for the CrossFit Regional games – the training was great and in fact I got my first muscle up in the build-up training for Regionals. My most embarrassing moment (which is more funny than embarrassing) came at the NorCal Regionals themselves.  It was pouring down rain that weekend and the workout was chest-to-bar pull-ups.  Normally I am quite good at pullups, but we didn’t have a chance to wipe down the bar and I was the first one to go.  The moment I jumped up with a hard kip for the first pull up, I went flying completely off the bar and cracked a rib when I landed – the rest of the day I had people coming up to me and saying “hey, you were the girl who flew off the bar!”  I thought it was quite funny at the time, and in spite of my coach’s best efforts, we haven’t been able to replicate the circumstances in training!
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