Underneath the Hoodie-Jess Fox
By Margie Lempert
Height: 5' 4.25"
Place of Birth: Coldwater, OH
Place of Higher Learning: Ohio U and Hunter College
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.
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