Congratulations to our November Athlete of the Month, Jessica Thurman!

Jessica Thurman

“The first time you try something is basically the worst you will ever be at it. The next time you do it, you are pretty much guaranteed to be better at it.” And that’s the journey our November Athlete of the Month, Jess Thurman, started two years ago.

Jess moved with her family from Chicago to DC in the Summer of 2017. Wanting to try something new, she joined our community at CFH Ivy City soon after making the transition. She came into the gym with a One-Month Groupon voucher for CrossFit and had no idea it would set the tone for a new lifestyle. Jess is soft spoken but is always a coachable student. She is very receptive to any correction our coaches brings to attention…and it’s all paying off. She now lists a 300lb Deadlift and can cycle 10+ unbroken Pull Ups just to name a couple of recent performances. But you wouldn’t know that unless you’ve seen it in person because she’s too humble to boast about it. That’s ok, that is what our coaches are for.

It’s inspiring to see any parent come in to the gym and crush WOD's and Jess, being a mother of 6!! (Including the pets because we all know that pets are our babies, too) is nothing short of inspiring. She’s a regular in the 5:30am class and usually sets the score to beat for the day. We love having her in our community and can’t wait to see what other goals she reaches - fitness related or not - and we’re pleased to announce her as our November Athlete of the Month.

Read on below for our interview with Jessica!


When did you start CrossFit?

It was September 2017 at CrossFit Hierarchy Ivy City.

Tell us a little bit about yourself (family, job, sports, military, interests, etc.).

I am originally from St. Louis but moved to Chicago right after college and lived there until moving to D.C. in summer 2017.  I am married with three kids, two dogs, and one cat. I enjoy cooking when I have the time, which is never. I got into swimming this year too.  Since I am from STL, I love baseball but I rarely miss watching a UFC fight.

What were you doing before CrossFit?

Before CrossFit, I was doing a lot of running.  I had run a marathon, some other shorter races and trail runs and a few Tough Mudders. I ran cross-country and track in high school.   I really enjoyed running but then got plantar fasciitis while training for another marathon that just would not go away so I had to put running on the back burner.  

How did you find CrossFit?

A few years ago, I had a co-worker who talked about it all the time and how much he loved it.  I ended up randomly watching the Games on ESPN one year and saw Elisabeth Akinwale as one of the female athletes.  I was just so impressed by her because she was a black female in her 30s who was strong, tall, and a mom who lived in Chicago.   She was crushing these heavy weights and was surrounded by other amazing women. After seeing her, I really wanted to try CrossFit but was always too busy, or traveling too much for work, or it was too expensive, or too far away, etc.  I always had an excuse. When we decided to move to D.C. I made the decision that since this was something that I was always wanted to try- new city, new adventures, why not. I think I just ended up googling CrossFit in D.C. and the Groupon for CrossFit Hierarchy Ivy City came up and I bought it before we left Chicago. I had no idea where we were going to live in the area or where Ivy City was but I knew I was going to try it.

What were your thoughts after your first CrossFit workout?

I remember being super impressed by the people who didn’t appear to be dying as much as I was.

What were your goals when joining CrossFit?

I wanted to lose some weight and be able to eventually do a pull-up.  That was pretty much it in the beginning.

Have you achieved any of those goals?

I have!  I can do 8 strict pull-ups and I feel like I have never been in better shape.  

Has CrossFit affected your life outside the gym?

I think the most important thing is that it has taught me consistency. My husband always jokes that I get super wrapped up in something for a short time and then just as quickly get bored with it and move on to the next thing.  That has not be been true with CrossFit. 2 years is a long time! I know that if I consistently show up for the workouts and work on my weaknesses, I will get better. I also tell myself “elbows up” when something gets hard to do like going into a soul crushing meeting at work because the coaches are always telling me “elbows up” during WODs.

What does Crossfit Hierarchy mean to you?

It sets the tone for my entire day during the week. I actually enjoy getting up every morning for the 5:30 class.   If I miss a morning, I feel completely off schedule and probably say at least 3 times that day, “I should have gone to Crossfit this morning.”   I didn’t go this morning and I have already said it twice.

Do you have any other special memories/achievements during your time here?

This year was my first time doing Murph.  I had already convinced myself before it started that there was no way I was going to be able to 100 pull-ups in one day. But I did it! 

What advice would you give to a newbie just joining CrossFit Hierarchy?

Do the best You can do every day and don’t compare yourself to everyone else.

Favorite WOD (Girl, Hero, or just a type of workout)?

Anything with box jumps

Least Favorite WOD?

When we have to do more than 5 burpees in a WOD.

Favorite Lift?

Snatch because it is so technical. 

Least favorite lift?

Thrusters- I think because it is an awkward movement- at least for me.  

Something you might not know about me is…

I have a very irrational fear of live fish. I was traumatized as a child. It’s a long story.


Congrats again on being our November Athlete of the Month!!

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