Jane is a UK CrossFit® original who has helped blaze the trail for Masters as a competitor, trainer, blogger and key player in bringing Raising the Bar to the competition scene. Passionate about providing the chance to throwdown to the older age categories, she’s looking forward to getting back on the competition floor herself in 2018.
How old are you, Jane?
How long have you been CrossFitting and where do you train?
10 years –I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time when the first Box opened in England – CrossFit Manchester. At that time everyone that was CrossFitting in the UK knew each other! We didn’t have comps – we had throwdowns!
What are the other commitments in your life?
I gave up over 30 years in PR a few years ago and now I am a CrossFit Trainer at M20 CrossFit in Manchester which I love, and I also walk and look after dogs for a living and recently qualified as a baby swim teacher – so I have a varied, if rather hectic life.
What keeps you coming back for more?
CrossFit is addictive – even after doing it for such a long time, although priorities change in terms of training regime and ambitions. It’s interesting to watch people that I coach who are new to CrossFit get hooked.
What achievements are you most proud of?
Raising the Bar as it has been more successful and popular than we ever could have imagined – and personally coming equal 2nd in Europe in the Open (with Mandy Dawson) and 78th (I think) in the World a couple of years.
What are your personal goals for 2017?
The answer to this question different from if you had asked me in January! Then I was hoping to finish in the top 200 in my masters group and make the regional workouts… but I have a bad anterior knee injury which the physio thinks will take at least 6 months recover from – I am also now recovering from breast cancer surgery which has presents its own training issues – so my aim now is to rebuild myself for the rest of 2017 and try and try to return to full fitness by 2018!
Raising the bar is a UK Masters Institution and continues to set the standard – what are it’s origins?
Very humble! I used to write a blog called Raising the Bar aimed at female masters (there was no other medium for the older female athlete to compare notes! From this a few of us decided it would be fun to organise a masters comp (I think it was actually Maz Glover that suggested it) – the team was Tess McKenzie, Sharron Lowe, Jules Sterling, Maz and I.
I think we eventually attracted 60 competitors to Dragon CrossFit where Andy Edwards set the wods, – this year it is the 6th year and we closed registration after 10 minutes with 180 entrants.
How has the competition scene in the UK changed since you first became involved?
There used to one or two comps a year! Now there are five or six a week! Most are good. I think the successful comps are the one’s organised by people passionate about organising a good comp and the worst are those who see it as a way of making money.
What would you like to see change in the UK masters competition scene?
At the risk of getting back on my soap box – I was concerned when HQ reduced the masters entry age to 35 it would have a detrimental affect on opportunities for older masters – and I was right.
Raising the Bar and the Open remain the only Masters comps with specific 55+ and 60+ age groups – there are some that split it 35+ and 45+ and the odd one with a 50+ split but the older athletes are missing out. I would like comp organisers to consider Masters and Veterans categories to give more opportunities.
Any pet peeves?
Ha ha see above
What advice would you give to a Master thinking about competing for the first time?
Relax, enjoy, learn don’t take the competition or yourself too seriously!
Which competitive Master are you most Impressed with at the moment?
If we’re talking UK – then Scott Jenkins is not just impressive with his ability – but he is a genuinely good guy – also delighted that Cathy Wilson is going to the Games she deserves, Maz Glover also deserves it but has sadly missed out again .. I don’t know any master that trains harder. I am expecting to see Kelly Friel at the Games in the not too distant future – another awesome athlete.
If you could give an award to a masters competitor past or present, who would it be and what for?
Tess McKenzie came to mind immediately I read that – Tess has been involved in RTB and we have become good friends and I can see how hard she works and trains. She is in the 60+ category – everyone knows her at RTB – she’s the lady who smiles through every work out and gives it her all. She continues to make gains .. ask her about her rowing and running!
Age is a case of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it don’t matter.
Can we find you on social media?
Facebook mostly – I am not very good at updating Twitter!