How did you discover CrossFit?
I’ve always found a niche being a competitive athlete; I played on an Olympic Development Soccer team my entire childhood into college and club soccer at PSU. As college was winding down and I was leaving the team training environment I knew I needed to incorporate a type of workout where I was being coached and pushed, and also told what to do (if it’s written on the board I do it 🙃). CrossFit was the natural fit for me and I’ve loved it ever since.
What draws you to DeNovo CrossFit?
Mostly the failures at 6:15AM barbell. But also the entire community.
What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment in CrossFit and in life?
I don’t know if I've lived long enough to have accomplished anything great yet…I guess being consistent despite multiple injuries and still seeing some PRs/results at the gym so that’s always nice to trust the process even when I don’t want to. In life? Not murdering John? #twelveyearsandcountingbitches
What athlete/s at DeNovo inspire you to be the best version of yourself each and every day?
I guess I look like a douche if I don’t put John since half his spotlight was unnecessarily about me…and also everyone that shows up to a class. I’m biased towards my fellow 6:15ers but gosh darn it, I love those crazy fools. We all say it, but even on days where I just can’t…I can because of them. Or at least, I don’t want the inevitable text chain to blow up asking where I was. Try as hard as you want to get rid of our secret pow wow corners with the new gym layout, we will still find a way to gather and not get things done in the name of being approachable! Intentional! And fun!
What is your pet peeve?
Not being allowed to have my gym bag in said gym… I need my things close by so I can sort them! If only I had some sort of pass…
…please don’t fire me. 😬
What/who inspires you?
GusGus. What a happy go lucky idiot. I wish for that kind of simplicity in my life. Also sloths. Because is there a better living representation of living by exerting the bare minimum? I wish I knew how to do that! What is that like?! Also the perfect unicorn bebe that is the “I Am Thirty AF” instagram account…if you’re not following you don’t know what you’re missing…
Anything that comes out of Stephen’s mouth on Thankful Thursday 😇
What advice would you have for anyone who is nervous to join DeNovo?
You should be. Just kidding. Kind of…I think it’s good to have some sort of nervous energy when you try anything new…it’s how you know you care about it. Maybe I just think that because I’m a super awkward and anxious person. But just like ripping a bandaid off, the build up in our minds is way worse than the actual act. Everyone here is super kick ass and it’s impossible to not find your niche. Grip it and rip it and full send and all that shit and you’ll fit in juuuuuuuuuust fine.
What do you enjoy doing outside of CrossFit, both for fun and professionally?
I do love my job (Orthopedic Surgery Hand and Upper Extremity Physician Assistant) even if it’s stressful and crazy hours (spoiler alert, I have been inside at least 3 DeNovo members…so far…) It’s very much a complex anatomic puzzle that I like being able to figure out and put back together. I guess I thrive on stressful things. I love traveling and hiking and exploring places with John and the doggos, Gus and Maggie. I like hanging out with CrossFit people outside of CrossFit, like at one of the several breweries or restaurants around here…or parties at big brother Z’s place. I had no friends for bring a friend week because you weirdos are all already here 🤷🏻♀️ I am obsessed with watching or going to most sporting events, namely PSU football games or Penguin hockey games. Sportsballs in general are always a safe bet.
If we were sitting here one year from now, what would we be celebrating together?
That I haven’t completely fallen apart yet? Hopefully some more barbell PRs and consistent strength gains. The fact I haven’t been kicked out yet by our fearless leaders. The demise of spiders everywhere.
Favorite CrossFit movement?
Either of the Oly Lifts. They’re complex and technical and challenging and make you want to cry, quit working out in general, punch things, dance like a moron, and question life choices. I love them.
What are you currently reading?
Well I usually watch youtube videos for how-to perform my surgical procedures…trust me guys I’m a professional! But the few books I currently have in rotation, aside from different orthopedic journal articles, are The Heartmath Solution by Doc Childre, Untamed by Glennon Doyle, and The Body Is Not An Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor.
What are you thankful for?
Working in healthcare definitely forces perspective on you at one time or another. Even if it doesn’t cooperate with me the way I expect or want it to, I’m very thankful for my body and my health. All my family and fraaaaaands here. DeNovo was and is a surrogate family for me, especially during the COVID lockdown when John was stuck back in Pennsylvania and I was out here by myself starting a new job and helping take care of my cancer stricken dad. I cannot express how grateful I am for having such a diverse group of awesome people that helped me forget about life’s crap for a while, even if it happened through a computer screen. The ability to belly laugh and be awkward. Therapy. Puppy snuggles. John snuggles. Jorine’s modeling of what eventually winds up in my closet. CrossFit memes. The Brooklyn 99 BSB cold open (6:15 knows what’s up). https://fb.watch/kGo5x05Pby/
What the Coaches have to say about Jess:
Jess! Long-time coming on this! Thank you for being one of our most consistent members (31 months on Commited Club running woop woop!) no matter what life decides to throw in your way. Your dedication to showing up amidst injuries, work battles, life stress and even the worst of weather is so inspiring to me. I love that you have made fitness and DeNovo such a part of your lifestyle that there is no question on if you will be coming to the gym multiple times per week or not. You are one of my tride and true yoga members too and I LOVE that you attend all the types of classes (CrossFit, Barbell Club & Yoga). Thank you for being the best cheerleader during the Open and for bringing laughter, love and fun to the classes you attend. I am so glad that you came to Miramont back in the day and still am so happy that you were able to join us for our first week of opening DeNovo. How special is that! (happy tear) Thank you for working hard to challenge yourself and stay positive through it all, even though I know that can be so tough. And thanks... sort of... for sharing John with us haha! Only kidding. He's pretty awesome too, but I think he get's that from you! Love you, Jess. HUGE congrats!
Congratulations Jess on being our June Member Spotlight! I have been in awe of your consistency especially working through some rehab for an injury that limited you and your lifting for quite some time! You showed up and did what you could do and patiently knew you would be stronger for working through it. And it paid off! I appreciate how much you help us to be a welcoming gym by being so friendly and supportive and how you make classes fun by being you and allowing yourself to have fun! Thanks for being a part of the DeNovo fam.
Jess!Congratulations on being our member spotlight! I am constantly impressed by your strength, commitment and dedication to CrossFit. You have been so consistent even when dealing with some physical things that make it really hard to workout. You continue to show up and do your PT, and as much as you can. I enjoy the times I get to coach you and see your CRAZY rom in the bottom of your squat. 😜Thank you for being a cheerleader to other Denovo athletes and a welcoming face. You’re such an encourager, and I know many people have felt your support whether in the OPEN or during wod’s.Congratulations!!!
Jess, you are a vital member at DeNovo. You always make to sure to check in on others and truly care about how people are doing outside of the gym. You have a busy work schedule, but you are fully committed to your health and consistently show up for yourself each week at DeNovo. You’re always aiming to move better and accept feedback, and you had a great attitude even during a frustrating injury. I love the competitive spirit you bring to the gym and watching you dig deep in those hard workouts. This is both inspiring and motivating to others. You genuinely support fellow members by cheering them on, encouraging them to push harder, and celebrating their success as much as if it were your own. You also balance that hard work with fun and laughter! Congrats on being a well deserved member of the month!