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The Little CrossFitter That Could by Julie Kelly - CrossFit Journal

In The CrossFit Life

February 09, 2012

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A year of CrossFit and an astonishing deadlift PR transforms Jessica Tyler from shy wallflower to outgoing leader. Julie Kelly reports.

Jessica Tyler, a 28-year-old nurse and Navy reservist, first walked into CrossFit San Diego on Jan. 3, 2011. All 5 foot 7 and 120 lb. of her stood just outside the huddle of members while they chatted about each other’s kids, exchanged their latest cheat meals, stretched, and worked out the kinks with their PVC pipes, foam rollers and lacrosse balls.

Braided pigtails and thick black glasses swallowed Tyler’s face. If anyone made eye contact with her, she would quickly look at the floor. If she spoke at all, her voice was low and muffled.

Just over a year later, I am still in awe of Tyler’s transformation. Put aside her impressive accomplishments and continuous PRs. She has gone from a shy wallflower to a strong and confident woman who now goes out of her way to introduce herself to new members, who screams with enthusiasm when one of her teammates makes a new PR, and who always encourages the new member who gets an unassisted pull-up for the first time.

That is the real transformation. That’s the good stuff.

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16 Comments on “The Little CrossFitter That Could ”

1

wrote …

"All you have to do is want it." Ain't that the truth? Keep up the self motivation. Amazing story. Great job Miss Tyler.

Louie

2

wrote …

AWESOME STORY!!!!Way to GO girl!

3

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Jess you are an amazing Crossfitter, I'm so glad Julie took the time to tell briefly tell your story. You really are what Crossfit is all about, it's really about learning about and cultivating the strength you already possess. Great job, and here's to many more PR's in the gym and in life!

4

wrote …

I absolutely love articles about CrossFitters and coaches like this! Thank you so much for sharing this story.

Jessica, you are a bad ass. Keep it up!
Best,
Pat

5

wrote …

Jess has really wowed all of us. Her story is nothing short of inspiring. Aush, I agree with you. Jess is what CrossFit is all about.

Pat, I think I can speak for Jess and Sal when I say it means a lot that you commented :) It will definitely give them an extra pep in their step today.

-Julie

6

wrote …

‎"The biggest thing I’ve learned from all of this is that you have to chase your own capacity before chasing the person next to you." -- Is a pretty awesome quote..... So as a murse myself I am wondering if you work nights 3 and if so how that affects your training? Keep up the hard word, awesome story.

7

wrote …

Wow, amazing story. I love how crossfit transforms women. I know cf transforms men too but for women it's more than just a great workout, it's an incredible environment that empowers them to do more than they ever thought they were capable of.

8

wrote …

I absolutely love this story! I love what this article represents as it is not only a motivational tool for someone to read and want to replicate but also proof that if you but your mind towards something it will happen. I recently just PR'd my Deadlift, I went from 225lbs two years ago to 455lbs with the encouragement of my fellow CrossFitters around me and can only imagine how she feels right now with her new achievement. Congratulations as I will be printing this out and showing everyone at the unit I work at in my branch of the military.

9

wrote …

Well done and well said. Transformation IS the good stuff!

10

wrote …

Jessica,
You inspire me, so much that tears are just a token of the inspiration.
Way to go!

11

wrote …

Thanks for the amazing comments, everyone! It really means a lot to Jess to see the CrossFit community coming together to give congrats to a fellow CrossFitter.

@ alex cardenas: Jess has since been given day time hours, which definitely allows for more room to train. Earlier in her training she did work a lot of graveyard shifts, but she managed and the gains were slowly coming.

Also, Jess currently has a 210lbs back squat and a 80lbs press. She still weighs 127. Not to shabby at all considering where she started. She actually stood up with 310, twice! But couldn't get a full lock out.

She's a great example that being patient, consistent, and willing to learn new things equals results!

Thanks again, everyone!!

12

replied to comment from alex cardenas

Thanks Alex! Glad you enjoyed the article. As far as my schedule, I was on a night shift, 12 hours, 3-4 times a week. I would literally get off work at 730-745ish, get home around 8-830ish, sleep until 10 and hopefully make it to the gym around 1100 to finish by 1pm. If I had to work that same night Id get home, shower and sleep until about 530pm just to do it all over again. It wasn't always easy going through my days like that but I frequently tell myself that you always make time for the things that are important to you, no matter what. Sleep plays an important role in your performance of course, and after a while when that work schedule and the gym caught up to me I had no choice but to take a break and let my body rest more. I didn't really see any dramatic negative changes in my numbers but my body did fatigue a little quicker on those smaller amounts of sleep. Ive learned to not get so worried if I have to take a few days off. In the end if It's going to help my body recover so I can come back stronger that's what Ill do. As of recently my schedule has changed, I am doing 8 hours shifts Mon-Fri and so I am able to get to the gym after work and get home at a decent hour to get a good nights sleep on days that I train. More sleep and more food have made a world of difference! I love having tons of energy when I get there. how do you usually work training into your schedule?

13

replied to comment from JAY SPONSELLER

I absolutely love this story! I love what this article represents as it is not only a motivational tool for someone to read and want to replicate but also proof that if you but your mind towards something it will happen. I recently just PR'd my Deadlift, I went from 225lbs two years ago to 455lbs with the encouragement of my fellow CrossFitters around me and can only imagine how she feels right now with her new achievement. Congratulations as I will be printing this out and showing everyone at the unit I work at in my branch of the militar

I'm glad you read the article Jay! And congratulations on your 455lb PR on the Deadlift! That's pretty outstanding. It never ceases to amaze me what our bodies are capable of and how much more they can endure when worked really hard. I can honestly say I can't remember the last time I was that excited about anything. And having the support of the people you workout with every day is so important. It's one thing when you are trying to convince yourself that you can do something...it's a million times better when you have a ton of other people reinforcing that same thought. So I sincerely hope your unit reads this article and it gives the same kind of positive reinforcement that I have always gotten from my CrossFit family.

14

wrote …

Jessica, what an awesome story of your transformation! Keep up the hard work and you will know no limits!

Steph

15

wrote …

Awesome!!! Thank you for sharing your story. It is awesome on how much hard work you put in and are still having a blast. Thank you for showing us what hard work does for you. I'm so proud to be apart of the crossfit community, that helps builds people, inside and out!!! HOYAHH!!! It's so awesome that crossfit has so many positive woman. My 8 year old daughter loved this article, thank you lady's for being such a positive vibe and influence to the young girls. AWESOMMMMEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!

16

wrote …

Very motivational AND this little lady gives the 'skinnies' hope ;)
Great work, girl!

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