Athlete Profile – Jessi Howald

Name: Jessi Howald
Age: 26
Hometown: Indianapolis, IN
Joined CFBR: June 2011
How Many Opens: This will be my 2nd open!
What led you to CrossFit?
Throughout high school and college I was involved in competitive sports. I did gymnastics, 
softball, and competitive cheerleading. I cheered at Ball State for four years and after
that was over I was looking for my next challenge. I had heard a little bit about CrossFit
but it wasn’t until I met Jeff, outside of the gym, did I really learn what it was all about.
I went for my first one-on-one with him and I was hooked! One of my favorite aspects
about crossFit is that there’s always room for improvement, always a new goal I want to
attain. I love that challenge. I love that there are so many different movements. I feel
like an athlete again. I will never go back to another exercise regimen ever again. This
is my passion, this is my heart. What has surprised you the most about CrossFit? What surprised me the most about crossFit was the confidence I gained from doing it, and
the relationships I’ve built along the way. I was always one to have body image issues and
I have never felt so confident about my body. I love how my overall outlook at life is
different. I love being strong and working my butt off to accomplish my goals. I love being
a strong role model for ladies and knowing that muscles are beautiful. What is the movement that you love the most, and why? The snatch. Honestly it used to be the movement I hated the most, but after a year of
hard practice, I finally “get it.” I am finally able to start adding some weight to the bar
and practice the movement more because my technique is better. I love this movement
so much because it is always going to be a goal of mine. To get better, to become more
technically proficient, to be just like my coach, Jeff ☺ I also love box jumps and burpees
because I love to bounce! What is the movement that you hate the most, and why? There is probably one movement that I actually do hate, and that movement is pull-ups.
I think it’s because of my small hands that I have such a hard time stringing a bunch of
them together. But every time pull-ups are written on the white board, I cringe. But,
the more I practice them the more I will like them. Practice the thing you hate the most! What are you most nervous about with the Games? Whenever I say, “I’m nervous about the open. I’m nervous about Regional’s,” it’s more
of butterflies in my stomach feeling. I get super excited to do the workouts every week
and I just always hope that I do my best. I’m most nervous about everyone staying
healthy and injury free! As an individual competitor last year, I needed to perform well
for myself, and at Regional’s last year I again, needed to perform for myself. This year,
we have a great shot at making it to Regional’s as a team! So every choice I make I
always think about my team first. And so I just pray that everyone stays healthy and
injury free so we can perform our best! What is the one profession you wish you'd tried? If I were good enough, I would have loved to try and be an actress. Go big or go home,
right? I love singing and dancing. I will sing and dance in the gym all the time. I love
performing, so I would have loved to be a stage actress. Other than training, what is the one hobby you most enjoy? I really enjoy dancing. Is that a hobby? If I’m having a bad day, I will literally blast
Lady Gaga for an hour and pretend to be on stage and dance. It’s the most freeing
activity and I feel so amazing afterward. Another hobby of mine is making sure I
spend time with my family every week. My schedule is very busy since working at
CFBR, and so every Wednesday is family night. My family is so important to me and I have
to see them all the time or I go crazy! When you need motivation, what do you think about? There are a lot of things I think about when I need motivation, and those things change
on a daily basis. A big motivation for me this year is knowing I’m part of a team and it’s
not just about me anymore. I want to do well for them and make them proud. I’ve
dubbed Shannon my crossfit fairy. Whenever we train together, she gives me that extra
push to keep going. Knowing that all the other amazing athletes have improved and gotten
stronger makes me want to stay at the top of my game. Setting goals and crushing them
helps motivate me to continue making goals and continuing to crush them! Sometimes
during the middle of a hard workout I think of my dad, and that helps me to push harder.
I think of my dad climbing 14,000-foot mountains and visualizing him pushing through the
cold and the pain of the climb, and it motivates me to push harder. I am blessed to have
such an amazing coach. Who spends a great deal of time programming workouts to make
us the best athletes he knows we can be. I am blessed to train with a group of people that
are amazing athletes, and I try to take a little bit of their greatness and incorporate that into
my training. What is the one thing you wish people knew about you? One thing I wish people knew about me… This is a tough question! I would say that I have insecurities. There are some days I have self-doubt, and that I
even get intimidated by certain workouts or movements. Or some days I’m just not
“feeling it.” But that’s all part of training and that’s what I love so much about our gym.
On those not so good days, your friends are there to pick you up and say, “You got this!”
I do have one more secret, and that is during my lunch break, I will turn the lights down,
blast Lady Gaga, and use the volume remote controller as my microphone. Paws up!


Jeff Edwards

- National Coach USA Weightlifting - Crossfit Coach of individual and team competitors - Outdoorsy nerd - Owner and Head Coach at BR Fit Club