Athlete Profile: Jen Barrie

Jen Barrie

If you’re an “old school” DCFer, you know Jen Barrie. Devout member since 2011, Jen Barrie has grown quite a bit as DCF has grown over the years. Peppy, sarcastic, and energetic…Jen’s the kind of athlete that wants to have a damn good time as she’s getting her workout on.

What’s your athletic/fitness background?
Assorted. As a child my parents signed me up for every single sport under the sun to see what would stick. Tee-Ball: Made daisy chains in the outfield and was never signed up again. Volleyball: Too short, no vertical jump. Figure Skating: It was suggested that I might be better suited for hockey. Gymnastics: I still can’t do a proper cartwheel to this day. Tennis: My younger brother was better than me, and that was just demoralizing. Soccer: Stuck with it and played in a travel league and on my high school team. I was awarded the “Best Attitude Award” 3 years in a row, which is really code for, “You’re terrible at this sport and just barely good enough to make the team, but you and your parents never complain that you always sit the bench so you probably deserve some sort of recognition”. “Fitness” wise I count all the tap dancing I did through childhood and high school. I still take classes every couple years here in DC. I was in dance, show choir and musical theatre. Anyone who says tap dancing or show choir isn’t a work out is clearly jealous of all the choir and theatre nerds of the world and only wish they could earn a show choir letter for that snazzy letter jacket! Now I also cycle, which I love. My husband is a super talented, super serious, CAT 1 racer who got me into it. I just enjoy riding for fun and also the occasional duathlon as well as a fake half-ironman some friends and I do every year – 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 2 hours of dancing (which turns into a party) = The JAM Half-Ironman. It’s all about having fun working out together all day long and dancing and drinking all night.

What was your first CrossFit workout and what did you think of it?
My first CrossFit workout was at the original location on NY Avenue (not the most recent NY Ave location but the one before that). It was a one on one with Noah. I think it consisted of burpees, pull-ups (with a band), sit-ups and maybe push-ups? Not sure, but I think it was all body weight exercises. I came in thinking that I was in okay shape from going to the gym and cycling, but I was definitely wrong. It was killer. I also remember the first week I came to group class. I walked in the door after class, picked up a glass to get some water from the faucet and promptly dropped the glass in the sink, because my hands and arms were shaking so badly.

What’s been the biggest change for you since starting CrossFit?
Sticking with a gym and workout on a consistent basis. I never want to quit coming to DCF. I love it, and I look forward to it. I’ve made great friends who I look forward to seeing in the mornings as well as outside of the gym. In the past I’d go to a gym and read US Weekly while plodding along on an elliptical for 45 minutes or try and or sign up for half marathons in an attempt to convince myself I actually enjoyed running. None of it stuck long term. I’ve been coming to DCF for going on four years, and I’ve never fallen off the wagon. In addition, I think I have an appreciation for the things my body can do that aren’t based on appearance, and that’s huge. I don’t think I scrutinize myself the way that I used to or focus on the scale or trying to get into a certain size. I used to work out to try and “get skinny”. If I’m being honest though I enjoy food way too much to do that! I’ve shifted my focus; I’m striving for things that make me strong and proud rather than thin and vain.

What’s been your favorite DCF moment up to now?
This is a really tough one; there are so many. I look forward to the 12 Days of Christmas WOD every year. That morning is always so fun. The first year I did it Andrew played Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You on repeat for the entirety of the workout, which I LOVE. This past year Amon let me create a playlist for the workout after he said he refused to play All I Want… on repeat. Honestly, it’s the day to day moments of getting a new PR, beating a time on a WOD and having funny moments with friends that make DCF a place that I love.

Least favorite CrossFit movement/WOD?
The Snatch. I’m so terrible. I pull early and use my arms EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Teresa has taken to bribing me with baked goods to try and get me to fix it. And of course, rowing. I can’t stand rowing.

Favorite CrossFit movement/WOD?
Squats of any kind. For some bizarre reason I like thrusters. I think it’s because they are tough as hell but don’t require as much coordination as a movement like the snatch (see above).

When did you know you were hooked?
From the moment my hands shook while trying to hold a glass under the faucet after a WOD; I hadn’t worked that hard in a really long time.

Any advice for people starting out?
Introduce yourself to everyone and don’t be nervous about trying new things or how you look doing them. You’re there to do something good for yourself.

Describe your favorite part about DCF?
My favorite part of DCF is the people. The coaches are knowledgeable, caring and take joy in seeing you succeed. The athletes/friends get my day off to a great start. Typically my IDP class consists of the boys and me. I think I’ve taken on a bit of a little sister role (even though I think I’m the second oldest person in the class), because I’m constantly getting picked on and teased about something.