Jessica Long

1 – How long have you been a Crossfit athlete for and what got you started?
I started CrossFit in February 2014, although I had been admiring from a distance for a number of months before that. I’d been doing a lot of functional training & went to watch what was then the Battle of London; the atmosphere was electrifying, & the pain that the athletes were putting themselves through was intoxicating (I’m a little bit of a sadist), I was hooked before I even got started.

2 – Who/what inspires you?
I’m inspired by absolutely everyone who decides to make health a priority. Fitness for me is all about health. Often I struggle with the balance between rest & training; if I could, I would train all day every day, but need to remind myself that achieving the overall health piece means that I need to prioritise rest also.   In terms of specific athletes Camille Leblanc-Bazinet & Annie Thorisdottir are hugely inspirational, I think it’s important to stay humble, the barbell is very unforgiving if you forget who is in charge & I think these two ladies have managed to do this.

3 – What is your best ‘fit’ memory?
I think my fondest memory is reflecting on my training from 4 years ago when I thought deadlifting 50kg was insane ‘for a girl’. Now I can snatch that! In terms of deadlift, I can pull over 100kg for reps which is a great personal achievement. CrossFit can be so challenging & frustrating sometimes that it’s really important to remember how far you have come & enjoy the personal victories no matter how small.

4 – And of course your most embarrassing/funniest one??
My most embarrassing fitness moment is definitely the fact that I almost blacked out the first time I did bar facing burpees at a new gym. We all have to start somewhere, & now it’s definitely my favourite burpee variation (who says that?!). That near black out when I had my legs up against the wall was when I decided that high intensity training was for me, it awoke a determination I’d been missing in the gym to be as fit as I could & really made me want to kick ass.

5 – What are your three top nutrition tips?
1-      Eat your carbs! We all get so wound up about evil carbs. I agree, we should all aim to cut sugar out of our diets where possible. However, carbohydrate is the preferred fuel source for anyone who wants to train with intensity. Plan your carbohydrate intake around your training session, you will have more energy for your session & recover much better afterwards
2-      Protein is a girls best friend, & no, protein shakes won’t make you ‘massive’ J Protein is an essential component of your diet; your hair, skin, nails & most importantly muscles are all comprised of protein. When you train, you break muscle tissue down, so you need to eat or drink protein to ensure you’re repairing that muscle tissue. If you see the condition of your skin or nails taking a nose dive, that’s when you need to reassess your protein intake.
3-      Prep is the key to success. Taking control of what you’re going to eat on a daily basis is really empowering. If you prepare healthy food, that’s what you’re going to eat, & I guarantee that once you get over the sugar-craving hump, you’re going to feel great. I like to use Sundays to make sure I’m set up for the week. Allocating some time to making healthy foods really tasty (it’s not that hard!), means you’re much more likely to stick to a healthy eating plan.

6 – Some words of wisdom for anyone wanting to start getting fit and healthy?
Start now, make your mind up & just go for it. Make small & sustainable changes to both your diet & training. It’s all about sustainability; suddenly deciding to eat only chicken & broccoli & to train twice a day 5 times per week will not lead to success. Start at a pace you’re comfortable with. It’s very important to find a type of training you enjoy, you’re much more likely to stick with it. Group training has always been my preference whether it was playing hockey, going to a spinning class or now CrossFit; being surrounded by like-minded people is the key to success.     7 – What is your ultimate goal? This is tough, with CrossFit, it’s an ever moving target because there are so many skills to acquire & then master. My short term goal is to get a muscle up. My long term goal is to qualify for what was the Battle of London. I’ve been competitive throughout my entire life & watching that competition made me realise that CrossFit would be my next competitive arena. If I can make it there for the January 2017 event I’ll be really pleased.

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