Kelley Jackson
Crossfit | CrossFit Gambit
I have been involved in sports since as far back as I can remember. While my parents encouraged me to try everything, which even included dance and cheerleading, I always went back to my first loves - soccer and basketball. I earned an athletic scholarship to Northwood University, a D2 University in Michigan. Attending a small University allowed me to continue to play both sports, as I wasn't prepared to give up on either. I graduated College in 2006 and quickly learned that without College sports, I was lost. I took up long distance running and began training for half and full marathons. While running filled a void, it was hard on my body and I was constantly battling injuries. After months of pressure from my boyfriend to try CrossFit, I gave in and have never looked back. I started CrossFit in 2010 and signed up for my first competition a few weeks later. I placed 59th out of 60 competitors. My disappointment was overshadowed by my love for the CrossFit community. It didn't matter whether you were first or last, people respected your effort. CrossFit was originally just a fitness activity to partake in after a long day of work but after placing 6th at the 2011 Regionals with little experience, I made the decision to take my training more seriously. I train 2-3 hours a day, 5 days a week. My lifestyle reflects that of an athlete. Sleep and food are a priority and often times I sacrifice social functions for my fitness goals.
It was a natural progression. I tried it. I loved it. I was pretty good at it. I was miserable at my corporate job and made the decision that my health, happiness and passion for fitness was more important than a paycheck.
Hands down, my parents. I wouldn't be where I am today without their influence, love and support.
The first thing that comes to mind when I hear "never settle" is the quote: "If it were easy, everyone would be doing it". I think too often people settle; whether it's work, relationships, their health, etc. To be better requires effort, sacrifice and the desire to want more. This philosophy drives my training as I will never settle.
Earning a sponsorship from several successful sporting companies, 1st Phorm and Titin Tech and being named the St. Louis Ambassador for Lululemon. Not because of the money or accolades, but because they have acknowledged my hard work and commitment as well as my influence on the community I serve.
The CrossFit community as a whole and the community at my gym, CrossFit Gambit, keep me going. I'm so motivated by our members, everyday people who have committed to improving their life thru CrossFit. It sounds so cheesy, but watching someone get their first unassisted pull-up, PR a lift or complete their first 1 mile run brings such happiness into my life. I'm inspired by the people who have careers and families and still find the time to come in and bust their ass for one hour each day. I want my community to be proud of me.
The end goal? Of course, to win the CrossFit Games. But my greater purpose is to show women that strong is beautiful and to create a community that has more focus on health and fitness. I want to expose more people to the benefits of CrossFit thru corporate training, women's seminars, and community outreach. CrossFit is not only my sport, it's my career.
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