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November Athlete of the Month

Jessica Bailey!

Interview by Chris Fox

I can hardly believe that October is over already. That means November is here and it’s time for a new Athlete on the Month! This month we looked for someone who had really stepped his or her game up as of late, someone who seemed to have developed a new confidence and commitment to their training. We found exactly the right person in Jessica Bailey (aka, J-Bay-Lo or J-Bails ). A native East Coaster from Boston, she came to Brooklyn via San Diego. Jess has been CrossFitting with us for a little over a year but more recently seemed to be hitting the lifts and WODs a bit fiercer. Just last week she hit triple digits in her front squat and we the coaching staff at CFSBK could not be prouder. So I sent Jess a (creepy, apparently) Facebook message and a follow up email and asked her to meet with me for a bit. She though she was in trouble and responded with an apology for spilling some water in the gym. Once that was cleared up we set a time to meet. We ran into each other (actually, I walked right passed her in my haste) on the way to the gym so I ended the suspense on our walk. After the initial surprise and disbelief that our first 2 AOTMs shared, this is what I got.

Fox – Congratulations! We chose you as Athlete of the Month! We’ve noticed a real change in your approach at the gym lately. You’ve been more aggressive in everything and have been improving quite a bit. It’s been really nice to see.

JB – THANKS! You guys are so nice. I really can’t believe I’m athlete of the month. I’ve never won anything.

Fox – Well you have now! So, let’s start at the beginning. When did you start CrossFitting with us? And how did you get started?

JB – I started Foundations in September ’09. A good friend and her boyfriend told me about it. They were doing CrossFit at CrossFit East Bay in California and would tell me about all this crazy stuff they were doing in the gym. I was bored with the regular “gym and spin” routine and wanted something fun. I searched online and CFSBK was a few blocks from home. So I signed up.

Fox – What were your goals when you started? And how have they changed?

JB – Every spring and summer I’d run, swim, and cycle a lot and be in good shape. Then every fall into winter the cold weather would come and I’d ditch the routine and backtrack. I needed something to keep me consistent. I really just wanted to be fit and do something that wasn’t spinning. I was an active kid; I skied, swam in high school  (the 500m and 200m) and had a bit of competitiveness. CrossFit seemed good for that. Now, after a year I want to do the things that for a long time I figured I’d never do. I want to do Murph Rx’d! It was awesome to see Jess and Charlotte do that this summer. It’s great, the women in this community and the things they can do. And the best part of it is how supportive we all are of each other.

Fox – Do you find that to be in contrast with other arenas where women compete? It seems like the SBK gals aren’t “catty” like I’ve seen in some other places. You guys hang out outside of the gym, and you’ve made some close friends through the gym, right?

JB – Totally. I think the ladies here truly want to see the others succeed. It’s inspiring to see each other perform well.

Fox – You’ve been pretty inspiring as of late, too. Triple digits on your front squat! How’d that feel.

JB – Awesome! That’s one of those things I never thought I’d accomplish.

Fox – What helped change your mindset? Where did this come from?

JB – I guess I finally started trusting the coaches, and myself.. You guys believed for a while that I was better, and then I started believing it too. The community here is great and the coaches are all so supportive. It’s helped me to push it a bit. Seeing people push through physical adversity, like David after his injury, inspires me to do better also. I have a fully capable body and feel like it’s my responsibility to use it.

Fox – Do you think CrossFit has bled through to any other areas in your life?

JB – Definitely. It’s helped me at work (Jess is a teacher) to realize that just because a student doesn’t understand something right away doesn’t mean they can’t. Sometimes it just takes a different approach. I can’t remember the cue, but one day I was doing cleans and Margie said something that just clicked for me. I look for moments like that now when I teach.

Fox – Tell me some stuff that most of our members wouldn’t know.

JB – Hmmm…I did a sprint triathlon this summer. 1/3 mile swim, 15 mile bike, and 3 mile run. It was pretty hard, but I did it. What else? I sew. Not as much as I used to but I like to make clothing. I moved back east from San Diego 3 years ago to be closer to my family. I was really done with the west coast but I’ve always been close with my 3 sisters. Also, I am a T-Rex.

Fox – Last thing. What should we look for in our next Athlete of the Month?

JB – Easy. Someone who tries hard and is nice.

Well there you have it folks. Congratulations, J-Bay-Lo, on being CFSBK’s November Athlete of the Month. Thanks for meeting with me, in a non-creepy way, and we look forward to watching you continue to crush it on a weekly basis. 3 cheers to our T-Rex!


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Reader Comments (38)

Congrats Jess! Your determination and progress is really inspiring!
November 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBethany
Well deserved. Congrats, Jess!!!
November 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterScott J.
Nice work Jess! That photo is very cool. (And I like the nod to pedagogical techniques in your interview).
November 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSamir Chopra
Right on Jess, congrats!
November 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Mak
I couldn't agree more with the Jess Bailey decision! It's been a great pleasure to see you ramp things up in your workouts. And you're just so damned fun.

November 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMargie
All our AOTM's have exemplified some basic characteristics we really appreciate here at SBK. Integrity of character, good training habits and perspective as well as a willingness to learn and help others. Jess has been such a wonderful influence in our community and I couldn't be happier about her being our first female AOTM.
November 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Osorio
Congratulations J Bails! It's always so much fun to work out with you - you've got such a wonderful attitude and wicked sense of humor!
November 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterariel
Congrats Jess! You earned it!
November 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdeb
Don't worry Fox - you'll always be creepy to me!
November 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJoe
Congrats Jess! Well deserved!!
November 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAvi
congrats jess! keep rockin it
November 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commenter.DMG
Hooray for Jess! I love having Jess in the gym because she's super fun to be around, but is also taking the work seriously at the same time. Great interview too, I learned things about Jess that I didn't know yet!
November 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
Congrats Bails, couldn't have gone to a more deserving giant rat.
November 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNoah
Hooray for JBails! 100+ lb front squat?! I am super impressed! It couldn't have gone to a more deserving athlete and workout buddy!
November 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSnip
Congrats Jess! It's true that it's great to be in a class with you. Also, brilliant photo choice.
November 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commentercarrie
yay bailes! it is always a pleasure working out with you. very deserving!
November 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterstephaniep
AWESOME CHOICE. Not working out in the evenings any more I don't get to see a lot of you cats and Ms Bailey is someone I really miss a lot. Sarah hit it on the head: she's super-fun and serious at the same time, a great workout partner. Nice work on the front squat!! Very impressive.
November 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCharlotte
Congrats! Master splinter :-)You totally rock, keep it up Jess!
November 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjuliana
Hip, hip, hooray JBails!!! Ditto what Sarah and Charlotte said.

In honor of our AOTM, I, too, will do some goal-posting even though I was going to skip it. See what a great influence you are Ms. B?

I am looking forward to doing better at Cindy when Katie and I attack it again at the end of the month. I would like +2 rounds from this past attempt. Like Katie, the limiting factor for me is the pullups. So I'm going to continue our weekly kipping practice. My goal is to string together 4 (unassisted) kipping pullups. I will also work the strict pullup with band work and negatives.

I have a few other goals that involve pushups,handstand holds, and DUs but I haven't sorted it all out yet.
November 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBecca
congratulations! It's always a pleasure to see you in the gym
November 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjr
@ Becca, I'm there with you on the handstand holds and pull ups. Set a double under goal for myself this month.
November 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDeb
Hey crossfitters, you raised a ton of cash for FGB and that is awesome. For anyone interested, I am doing the moustache Movember thing with friends. Here is the link if anyone is inclined to support me. (I have a close friend and colleague of over 10 years who is terminally ill, and that's why we do it.)


Thanks guys. Also, November 30th is a Tuesday, I'll be guest bartending at Joshua Tree with other mustachioed men. If you're interested, save the date. Sorry for the interruption but I thought I'd put it out there!
November 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjr
fox, can u interview me in a "creepy" way?

what do i have to do?
November 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteralex villari
Yay Jess!
November 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPeter
Congratulations to my beautiful Bride Bailey. You inspire me every day. I could not be more proud of you.You are the best Bailey a girl could have and I love you with my *entire* butt.
November 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRegan
hooray for bailey!
November 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkatie
Tonight:Started with active recovery with Fox. Super helpful, especially in the calves/ankles.

I'm going to be gone the rest of the week so I wanted to try tomorrow's FSs. Warmed-up with a jump squat/FS shoulder stretch/calf stretch triplet.

FS(1): (45x5, 95x3, 135x1, 165x1) 185, 205, 215, 220PR215 wasn't super pretty so I was going to call it a day, but Shane convinced me to try for the PR. Glad I did. Though it was slow and my rack fell apart a little, it came up. Glad so many people were there to cheer me on. Especially after yesterday's frustration, this was great.
November 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkatie
Oh, you guys are the best! This is amazing, thank you so much to everyone for all the kind words. I am one lucky lady to be part of such a wonderful community. Thanks also to David, Chris, Shane, Margie, Laurel, and Jeremy for all of the great coaching over the past year, I didn't think I could do half the things that you all knew I could. Thank you!
November 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJessica Bailey
Strength Cycle #2 Day #4

Pre Class: some foam roll loving and some tennis ball work on the bottom of my feet. they both suck. definitely feel the difference on the leg that alec worked on and the one he didnt't, need to get the other one some attention.

BP: 45*5, 75*5, 95*5, 115*2, 132.5*3*5

everything felt ok, just need to actually get myself properly set before i move the weight. but the weight itself was fine. just keep on chugging along.

DL: 135*5, 225*5, 290*5

weight was comfortable. definitely have more room to grow on these. 4 wheels on the nest total is doable.

since i was making up for missing yesterday and i'm in tomorrow there was no squat. my goals for this month are:

#1 - gain 10lbs, being able to rest this month and adding milk to the diet should really help this.#2 - attend at least 2 of fox/shanes torture sessions. hopefully since this is on the second page they wont notice.#3 - keep adding 5lbs per session on the squat. this is where goal #1 comes in.

November 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commentercloyde
strength cycle B, session four

the theme for this cycle is apparently My Fucking Back.

LBBSw/u 45x5, 65x5, 85x5, 105x3, 115x1work 120x5x5

gotta keep my back engaged and chest up.


really want to bench 100lbs this cycle. I came in to cfit in April with a 90lb 1-RM so I don't understand the lack of progress.

w/u 45x5, 55x5work 65x3x5

elbows IN.

chins: not as spectacular as last week, but not tragic.bb 8, 6, 6.

chins this cycle are lonely without the group to lift me up on its wave of cheering.

supplemental groove- greasing modified pushups: 2x4.
November 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermichele
also forgot to say to Katie: we were watching that . bad ass.
November 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermichele
today's MOD is breakfast for dinner.

2 Eggs, Steak, Bacon and some green beans. Everything organic. washed down with water and fish oil
November 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Osorio
Clean(from blocks) + FS:100,105x1x5 (1,1,1,x,1)

Jerk (from the boxes!):80x2,90,100,107.5,115

Single Leg Squat:5R,5L; +vest 3R,3Lx1x ouchno vest+3bands x5R,5Lx3

Getting coughed on by random people on the way home x 5...I see good things in my future!
November 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterYoon
Cloyde - I am watching.

Bails - You are fantasick.

Katie - NICE! Be safe partying in Miami.


Looking forward to FSQing tomorrow
November 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFox
Oops, forgot a couple things:On the subject of November goals, my main one is to maintain some sort of consistency with training: 3 days a week, minimum (2 of them heavy).

And congratulations Jessica!
November 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterYoon
Hang Snatch 145 (10 lb PR) (135, 145, 155F, 155F, 155F)

Came really close to 155 each but couldn't quite get it - next time

2K Row - 7:05 Was planning to take it slow but ended up going pretty much all out.
November 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDan L
Jess Bailey rocks! Superb choice for AOTM! Somehow she's able to always be friendly, smiling, funny & slightly perverted, while still mantaining intensity and focus. Love, love, love being in the same class as Jess. Thanks for being so inspiring. Can't wait to see you rock Murph rx'd!


Tonight:-active recovery class-lots of good stuff for my legs (thanks Fox) and lots good laughs. Only Jess Bailey could have made it better. ;)-hang snatch-got 83lbs a couple times but never looked pretty. Need to work on these more consistently and not be scared. Thanks Shane for all your help.-2 mile run-at about a 9:05 pace.

Hope to post my goals for november tomorrow...
November 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJess
Yay Jessica. And thanks for the shout out to those of us who train at Crossfit East Bay.
November 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterZach

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