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Rest Day

Coach Jess Fox during Sectionals WOD #1

Underneath the Hoodie-Jess Fox
By Margie Lempert

DOB: 10/11/78
Height: 5' 4.25"
Weight: 140
Place of Birth: Coldwater, OH
Place of Higher Learning: Ohio U and Hunter College
Degree: Psychology
Years in NY:12
Years at SBK: 2

I had this totally idyllic movie playing in my head as Jess described her youthful self: a Scout-like little girl, settling for softball cause the boys wouldn't let her play baseball, coming home to Grandma and Uncle with leech covered toes, bailing hay on her neighbor's farm, watching them feed castrated pig bits to the dogs....

(Record skips. Room of people blink silently.) 

....You know, the scrappy, tomboy life.

Jess was always playing sports: basketball, soccer and, most of all, softball. In fact, she earned herself a softball scholarship at a local college, but she wanted to make her way out of Ohio, so after a stint at Ohio U, she came to NYC and Hunter College. And, oh yes, there was a boy.... (not Chris!).

Unfortunately, the boy didn't last (though they are still good friends), and Jess surprised her family by staying in NY. She worked her way through college with various jobs, but ended up sticking around at the Candle Cafe for quite a few years. This is where she met ole Fox. Now, when she started at Candle Cafe, Chris had left the place, so they didn't meet right away. But then he came back and was running the kitchen. Well, Jess decided she dug the Irish boy and pursued him until he finally agreed to go for drinks one night at Bull McCabes. And that, my friends, was it. They had to keep things on the DL for a little while at work, but eventually it all came out, they got married and, well... you know. Of course neither of them are at Candle Cafe anymore; Jess has worked for Administration for Children's Services since 2004.

In 2009, Chris found CrossFit and, consequently, so did Jess. Considering her history as an athlete, the challenge was right up her alley and she dug it right away: the community, the strength building and the competition. Jess relishes competition - she likes to see how she stacks up against other strong women and how she stacks up against herself over time. She loves to take on challenges; a recent BIG one was completing the NYC marathon. It was an amazing experience, though one she may not repeat anytime soon. After rocking the Ragnar Relay, she's got her eyes set on more down and dirty events, like Tough Mudder or (hopefully)  next year's CF Affiliate team.

Coaching is new for Jess, though an obvious outgrowth of her athletic background and connection to SBK's community. She gets a lot of satisfaction from motivating women, both as an example and as a coach. She claims she's shy and has a hard time using her Big Girl voice in class, but I don't know that many would agree. Nevertheless, she's eager to improve her skills in front of a crowd, so be sure to heckle her often so she can practice.

Parting Shots:
Jess still plays softball once a week with the Women's Softball League in Prospect Park.
She digs cleans, wall balls and running, but would rather not snatch or row.
She loves magnets.

Favorite way to eat eggs:
Over easy with rye toast

Barefoot Running Style Dr. Mark Cucuzella
Homemade Bacon Primal Pantry

Reader Comments (18)

Sweet, you guys posted a link to my brothers blog. Nice coincidence, everyone follow the primal pantry my brother and his wife have some really cool recipes. Holler.
June 3, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermarc mess
Yay Jess! I was thinking on Wednesday when I was squatting 3x5 of the first time I went for a 5RM--it was fall 2009, at the Lyceum. I was lifting with Jess and I think I got 135. I think she got 140. I've been chasing her ever since. (Kind of cool to be more than 50lbs stronger 1.5 years later...) I love lifting with you and I'm sorry it hasn't happened much lately.
June 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCharlotte
why on earth are my pecs sore from leg raises? seriously. I bench all the time I very rarely get sore, I have introduced nothing new other than the hanging leg raises, and my chest, in particular upper right. Funny I could feel like I was getting a good stretch in that overhead position (not a bad spot for an internally rotated desk jockey.) It's nothing bad, I just find it curious. Maybe I was trying to mitigate the swinging with my upper body, that's my guess.
June 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJR
It's so nice to read this article! I love getting to know our couches. I took Jess' class yesterday and it was awesome! She did a great job! I'll be a regular for sure!

Thanks Jess! Have a great weekend everyone!
June 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPaloma
It was totally inspiring to watch Jess ripping off those kipping pullups in yesterday's 7 AM class. Strong women are so great!
June 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStella
love me some lady fox!! you always bring 110% and it's always fun working out together and pushing each other!

keep up the great work chica!!
June 3, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterstephaniep
Yeah Jess! It's been great getting to know you better!
June 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDeb
had my first private with shane today.by accident no one showed up for noon.I did a super scaled version of yesterday's WOD3 RFT25 american swings (1.5 pd)20 OHS @65 lbs10 pullups18:45 my back started to feel really tight so i chilled out and did 3 rounds. still brutal.not fun.
June 3, 2011 | Unregistered Commentergabrus
I took Jess' class yesterday, too. You did great. Your "Big Girl" voice is just fine. This is the second class I've had with you around - you're great at correcting and giving encouragement just when it's most needed. Especially for that nightmare of a WOD yesterday. I really really hate KB swings of any kind. They really wear me out.
June 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCorbett

I mentioned making up Murph today, but I don't think it's happening. The 60 pullups yesterday on top of a pull-up day on Wednesday aren't making me excited at the prospect of even more pullups. I still do want to do it in the coming week or so.
June 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJoel W
Yay Jess! You are a great coach!

I also found that Jess' encouragement was definitely pivotal to me making it through the WOD yesterday! Even with light weight, it was a slog, but I actually really loved that combinations of movements - even though my arms felt like jelly afterwards!
June 3, 2011 | Unregistered Commentererican

I hear you! I'm a bit sore from yesterday as well, but I'm still going to hit murph (or at least half murph) at 9am tomorrow if you're interested.
June 3, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteryosh
Luv working out with Lady Fox and most definitely having you in the gym as a coach - I agree 1000% with all - yesterday's WOD kicked my hiney - but Jess got me through it! Thanks Jess!
June 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTeresaB
Major props to you, Jess indeed. And I echo what everyone has said. Without your encouragement, I would've possibly flatlined yesterday!
June 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRahsaan
Great write up on Lady Fox-- you are shy, so it's nice to learn a little more about you. Maybe we can do a dual birthday sometime-- I'm on the 12th.


Solid workout last nigh. And long. Did some good work on my Cleans.

Squat: 225x 3-2-5I was going to try 5x2 for this cycle so I did a set of 3 and then remembered. Doh!

Bench: 165x5x3First set made me a little concerned, it was not very fast and the shoulder again felt a little wonky. It got better, faster and I practiced a few pauses on the last set. No problem.

Cleans: 145x3x2 and 155x3My cleans are OK until it starts to feel heavy enough that I have to squat a little. I then start pulling early and using my arms, essentially sabotaging any chance I have to clean the weight.

145 felt good and then tried 155 and failed twice. I went back down to 135 and did ascending singles in 5 pound increments from 135 to 155. I then could do the triple at 155 without a problem. It's in my head. I'm going to try the same thing next week, but 5 pounds heavier. Maybe I can start progressing again with this method.

Looking forward to my first intensity day in 4 weeks. Wow.
June 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRob Is
Squat (fail)315x5315x4315x4

maybe time to transition, maybe just time to rest.
June 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFox
on the bright side, 315x5 is a new pr!
June 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFox
maybe time not to do beat-down met-cons.


You can't stop here Fox-- THREE plates. Come on. Take another swing: 5-4-4 is not a disaster. Rest some more and give it a go buddy: you are so there!
June 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRob Is

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