I would like to introduce Jen Burtt to our coaching ranks. Jen is a new Apprentice Coach here at CrossFit Boston. She has a ton of experience in coaching as she has been in the field for some time now. She holds a CF-L1 certificate as well as specialty certificates in CrossFit Mobility and CrossFit Endurance/Running. In 2011 she graduated from the National Personal Training Institute.
Here is Jen’s Story.
Athletics has played a significant role throughout my life. As a 3-sport Varsity athlete, I was able to demonstrate leadership ability as Captain of my high school field hockey, basketball and softball teams. I received the “Contributed Most to Athletics Award” my senior year, 2004. I played ASA softball for 7 consecutive seasons and as Captain my team qualified and competed in National Championship tournaments in Atlanta, GA (1999) and Midland, TX (2002).
I thrive on pushing myself to achieve my personal best, which is what I encourage those around me to do every day. I’ve competed in two CrossFit competitions: the first was in June 2011 in the scaled division, placing 20th out of 59 women; the second was in September, 2012, where I placed 36th out of 100 in the RX women division in The Garage Games at CFNE. I plan to continue competing.
Prior to joining the CrossFit family, I worked in the cosmetology profession for 5 years as a Board Certified Hair Stylist and Nail Technician in the State of MA. In July of 2010, I experienced a life-changing event. I was a passenger in a multi-rollover auto accident in which I sustained life-threatening injuries. Through the grace of God, I survived. My faith and willingness to overcome the mental and physical obstacles that I suffered gave me the drive and determination I needed to recover. After months of rehabilitation and physical therapy, I joined CrossFit. It is through CrossFit that I was able to regain my core and full-body strength as well as my athleticism.
When asked about the accident I always have to pause so that those asking will understand my response. To make a long story short, I am blessed. I was saved by God and by all of the wonderful people who kept me alive in my most delicate hours. I was told so many times by my family, friends and doctor the details surrounding my accident and recovery; yet, I have no actual memory of any of it. All I have are the scars on my body and the ever-lasting effects of a traumatic brain injury. It’s strange because I don’t feel like it even happened to me but the evidence is there. That’s how I know I was blessed, because now I am physically, mentally and spiritually stronger than before. I took every opportunity I had to gain the strength I needed to become who I am today and what I am meant to be. My mother and father could tell stories of my recovery – how from the moment I was awake and aware of my situation that I was driven more than ever to recover, how I listened to my doctors’ advice but listened to my body more.
While in the midst of my recovery I decided I no longer wanted to be a hairstylist. I always had a passion for physical fitness so naturally it seemed to be the best path to follow. I became re-energized about my future and made the decision to become a personal trainer. I have more passion for this career because I feel like my personal experience inspires others to be better, to be healthier and to appreciate life.
After a whirlwind of battles, I’m on the journey to travel again, to pick my spirit back up, to work hard every day and to not worry about tomorrow. I’m seeking positive thoughts, positive people and a place to go that I can call home, the CrossFit community. I love what I do so for all the love that I have I give all that I can and then some.
I am where I am today because I knew that the only way I could take back my life was to focus on improving the quality of my life. After being in a wheelchair, not being able to walk, I made the decision to get up and put my feet on the floor. I made myself walk, run, sprint harder and further. Now I am stronger and wiser than I ever was before. This accident was life changing, because if not for it I would not have had the courage to follow my heart. I can tell you this: it was not easy and it was heart breaking at some points but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!
I can honestly say now that not working or training consistently in a CrossFit gym recently has changed the quality of my life. With that being said, I am very happy with the steps I have taken to be where I am right now. I know that getting my feet back into the CrossFit community will help my overall happiness and sanity. It balances my inner strength mentally, soulfully and physically. I do live my life through my heart and soul. I live for the best for all, for everyone, not just myself. It makes me happy to give the joy that I have and feel everyday. I give my entire heart to what I really want. Whether it is a competitive time for Fran, or building strength for a Clean & Jerk or a Power Snatch; whatever it is my heart thrives for, I just give it all I have and I will achieve it. It might not happen tomorrow, next week or maybe next month but it will happen. What you give is what you get.
That is how I live and that is what I give. I believe within and know that this community will never leave us stranded. It is a strong, powerful, and passionate family.
I never want to be satisfied with my achievements. I never want my family, friends or the CrossFit community to be satisfied either.