It’s time for another JR CrossFit Athlete Spotlight! This week, we got to talk with Jennifer Bondaruk about how JR CrossFit helped her recover from abdominal surgery earlier this year, her goals going forward, and much more. Check out our full interview in this week’s blog post:
Tell us about yourself: When did you join JR CrossFit? What are some of your other hobbies?
I joined JR CrossFit almost two years ago. When I started, I wanted to join because I was working out at Planet Fitness by myself at 3am (because I work nightshift) and I knew having accountability would motivate me to step up my training and get better workouts in. When I’m not working or at CrossFit, I love to spend time cooking, hanging out with my husband and cats, and hiking.
What kind of progress (physical, mental, etc) have you seen since you started at JR CrossFit? How do you stay motivated?
Working out at JR has allowed me to get a lot more serious about my workouts — instead of just going to the gym and spending an hour and a half moseying from here to there, JR helps me get focused, intense, quicker workouts in. CrossFit has definitely become my catharsis after I have really rough shifts at work, and I’m really thankful for the community and atmosphere there that makes it a place I can go to even when I’m upset after a hard case. Picking up that bar really helps me work through a bad day. Physically, I’ve seen a huge difference in my body — especially since I started doing nutrition with Haylie. Her macros combined with JR 5-6 days a week has helped me find some abs, and a lot more self confidence in my strength and abilities. It’s a great feeling to feel proud of your body for the things it has become capable of, and not just for “being skinny” or something like that.
How did JR CrossFit and CrossFit in general help you recover from your abdominal surgery earlier this year?
CrossFit was huge in having a quick recovery for me. I’ve had 5 other abdominal surgeries, and I always felt weak and tired for months after. It sounds almost counterintuitive, but getting back into working out the day my surgeon cleared me for it has helped me recover so much faster. I was really thankful to the coaches, because I wasn’t allowed to lift anything over 30 lbs for a month, so there were a lot of classes they had to modify or completely swap every single movement written. Once, I told a coach I wasn’t coming to class the next day because every movement written I wasn’t allowed to do and I didn’t want to a burden or cause them more work, but they were like “nope, you’re coming, I’ll just write you all new movements that you can do”, so they just rewrote the entire workout for me. Having that accountability really helped me, and I’m actually stronger now than I was prior to the surgery!
What are some of your CrossFit and fitness goals going forward?
I really want to compete in a competition, and I want to continue getting stronger and focus on strengthening skill sets. I’d love to get better at gymnastics — especially handstand walks and muscle ups.
What advice would you give to someone considering joining JR CrossFit?
Do it! Even if you’re scared and have no idea what to do. I remember signing up in the middle of the night, walking up the next day to the gym by myself and literally thinking “what am I doing here, I know no one, I have no idea how to CrossFit, this is going to be awful”. Then Kacie spotted me, welcomed me with open arms, and here I am two years later! Just take the leap! I don’t want to sound cheesy…but it legitimately changed my life.