This chick has some serious wisdom to share about fitness, life, and being awesome in general.  Jesi Foster ladies and gentlemen…

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What do you do for a living?

I’m the Assistant Supervisor in Neuroimmunology Lab at Mayo Clinic. But I’ve only been there for three days, so I’m still learning about what we do.

What’s your favorite thing to do outside of the gym?

I love competing in events with my two vizslas.  Vizslas are pointers from Hungary.  I show them in conformation, rally, obedience, agility, and lure coursing.  At the moment, I’m also starting one of my dogs in tracking and possibly barn hunt.  I’d also love to try dock diving with them but while they like to swim, jumping into the water is not their thing.  Besides sounding like my life has gone to the dogs, I also like hanging out with my friends and family.  I love hiking and discovering new trails in the area, I’m open to almost anything.  If it sounds like fun, I’m game to try.  With that being said, I can be a home body and my friend Jill is good at getting me to leave my house.

What made you decide to try Progression?

I have a friend who lives in Fargo, ND.  She has been active in CrossFit for years.  I’ve always been intrigued by the sport/philosophy but I never pursued anything locally.  About a year ago I kept having random conversations with co-workers or people I would meet and they always mentioned that they did it.  When I asked where, it was always Progression.  I finally thought, this is a sign.  I need to see what this is all about.

How long have you been at Progression?

Since May 2016.

What was your experience with health/fitness like prior to joining Progression?

In high school I was active.  I ran cross country, played basketball, and did field events with some random sprint relays in Track.  In college I would randomly run or workout at a local gym, but nothing was ever consistent.  That pretty much was me post-college as well.  A few years ago I trained to run a half marathon and completed the Rochester half marathon in the fall.  After that, I fell off the work out bandwagon for the next two years.

What was your biggest fear when you started?

Being watched.  Being critiqued.  I have always had a problem with people “looking” at me.  It’s not just when I workout.  I may be the first voice you hear belting out a song on the radio from the corner of a room or the backseat of the car, but you will never find me singing on stage.  I freeze up.  I have quickly adapted while at Progression.  The fear of being watched has been replaced by a desire to improve day by day.  I appreciate all the feedback from the coaches and the veteran CFP members.  I’ve gone from hiding in the corner to being okay working out in the front of the gym.  Don’t get me wrong, I would still prefer the corner some days, (did someone say box jump?) but I’m okay tackling the WOD from any place on the mats.  But I will still not sing alone on stage.  Nope!

rochester mn gym crossfit progression

Favorite cheat day meal?

Bread.  A warm French baguette with salty butter melting on it.  Mmmmmmm.  Any boulangerie in France will do, really.  The French know how to make amazing bread.

What goal(s) are you currently chasing?

I recently set a primary goal to do a strict pull up.  I’ve never been able to do one.  It’s going to be a long journey and I have a few other goals that are related so that I can set small achievable steps to count my successes along the way.

What’s the hardest part about your fitness journey at the moment?

Preventing my own negative self speak from getting in the way of my success.  I’m learning it’s okay that I’m not perfect.  No one is.  There will be and have been days that I find it difficult to show up and work out.  But every time I don’t give in and I get in the doors of CFP, I’m better for it.  I’m always glad I made it and the coaches and friends I’m making are helping quiet the self doubt.  I don’t think I had ever realized what power to words, “You can do this” repeated over and over can hold.  Oh, and getting out of bed.  It doesn’t matter if it’s 5 am or 10 am.  Getting out of bed is hard.  That pillow and warm blanket have the siren song of a seductress…

What’s one thing your fellow CFP’ers would be surprised to learn about you?

My youngest brother met his wife while he was in the Army.  She was in his unit and they were stationed in Hawaii.  They married nine weeks after they met.  Over a year later, after the birth of their first child, a girl, they had orders to attend mandatory training in California.  It was scheduled to last 8 weeks.  They tried to get a delay for my sister in law so she could stay home with Cassidy.  But it was denied.  So, after much discussion with the entire family, I volunteered to watch Cassidy while they were at training. I am not married and have no children of my own.  Cassidy was five months old when they flew to Minnesota from Hawaii.  With much help from my friends and family, I was able to find an opening in a local daycare for a five month old.  For the next 8 weeks I had a crash course in being a single aunt.  It is a hazy period in my life that I attribute to lack of sleep and 3 am feedings.  But that was the easy part.  The hard part was having weekly phone calls with my sister in law and hearing the pain in her voice over the phone when she heard stories and updates about all the firsts she missed.  Hanging up was so hard.  That was 8 years ago.  I will cherish that time with my niece always.  And I will always be there for my family.

What’s your favorite piece of advice you’ve gotten from a coach or member at Progression?

“You won’t die.  I’m here for you”.  I really wanted to quit.  I had just started and it was one of the most difficult workouts I had ever done.  Oh the burpees.  So many burpees.  I don’t even remember what else we did.  But I do remember Samida saying, “You won’t die.  I’m here for you.”  And my mind cleared and I thought, “Ok, I can do this”.  While my mind cleared, my lungs did not.  But I did finish that workout.  I’ve heard so many good pieces of advice, but that is the first one I remember and it stuck with me because it is what Progression is about – a community that is here to support one another.

How has your outlook on health/fitness changed since starting at Progression?

I’ve stopped measuring my success according to a number on the scale. My health is more than a number.  It’s become more holistic.  My physical, emotional, and social well being are inter-connected.  How I fuel my body impacts my physical performance.  My emotional state should not dictate what I eat.  And when I feel good, I want to see my friends and family.  I want to DO things.  I won’t say that Progression taught me this.  I knew it.  But Progression has given me an outlet that allows me to measure what I can DO.

What has been your fondest memory during your time at CFP?

Participating in the Hammer Race last fall.   Carrie Winter and Adam Fritz brought it up and kept telling me to sign up.  I finally did and I am so glad they talked me into it!  I ended up running with Carrie and Eric Winter, Sonie Van Vugt, Kaylee Evans, Ariel Borisch, and Mandy Reckward.  I never thought I would have so much fun running through woods, up some crazy hills, crawling under and over obstacles, getting a “boost” over walls, and saving a worm along the way… all while carrying a 10-lb hammer!  And I don’t think I would have made it over the final two walls without Sonie’s help pointing out an alternative way getting over them.  Thanks Apocalyptic Unicorns!  I had a blast!

Why do you think you’ve stuck with Progression?

Without a doubt the community.  The people who create this positive and encouraging atmosphere are amazing.  That is why I keep coming back.

What would be your one piece of advice for someone who just joining Progression?

Use the most valuable resource you have available – the Coaches!  Ask them for help, advice, and guidance.  They have so much knowledge and experience they are able to share.  Set aside some time to talk with them and let them know what you need.  Because they are here to help you.. me.. all of us.  Don’t be shy!  And when they know your goals, they are able to motivate you when you need it most or help tailor your workout to help you reach them.