JESSICA BANDA

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Do you have any nicknames?

Most people just call me Jess, but people call me JB, Banda, or J Benzo.

Where are you from?

I am from the 2-1-0, home of the San Antonio Spurs! I grew up and lived on the Northwest side until recently.

What is your fitness background?

I started swimming since I was 4 and eventually ended up going to college on a swimming scholarship. I wasn't much of a "land" workout kind of person...I would rather be in the pool, but if I hadn't broken my collar bone in middle school I probably would have continued playing soccer. It is funny because I hate running, but that's all you do in soccer! 

How long have you been CrossFitting?

I have doing Crossfit for about 5 years, although I took a break for about a year when I moved to the 281 area.

What made you want to start?

Well I actually tried out Crossfit in 2009 with a friend at Alamo City Crossfit, back when it was on Blanco. During that time I got a job, which was 100% travel, so I was never home during the week to commit to a box. And with that being said, because of that traveling job I gained almost 65 pounds in the 3 years I worked out of town. I ended up getting a job back in San Antonio and realized I needed to get my health under control. I couldn't even walk up a flight of stairs without being out of breath. I started to work out with a couple friends in a garage before I committed to a box. I liked Crossfit because it kept me in that competitive mindset for every workout. I am not one to go to Gold's and workout on my own...let alone lift heavy weight. I personally need people to push me and I found that with Crossfit. 

What is your favorite part of Elite Crossfit?

When I moved to the 281 area I was sort of nervous to try out the box's in the area. My friend Adrian and I would always have conversations about Crossfit and he told me stories about Jeremy and how I should try out Elite. It is always tough moving boxes, but after my first week I knew it was a place I wanted to stay. The coaches and members brought me in with open arms and it felt like home. 

What progress have you made since joining the gym?

I was on a year break from Crossfit when I joined Elite 6 months ago, and since then I have matched my PR's in my clean and jerk, snatch, and bench. Not only that, but I have improved my running and DUs. Hoping to get back to my weight pre-traveling job in the next year.

What is one thing you would like to improve on over the next few months?

I would like to get my back squat PR back and also be able to string DUs for a workout.

What advice do you have for people just starting out with Crossfit?

Go at your own pace, but at the same time push yourself. Stretching and using the foam roller is key. And push through the soreness, you WILL feel better. :) If you Crossfit regularly, eat healthy, and stretch...you will not only see results, but you will feel better.

If you could design your own workout for the class to do, what would it be?

It would probably include either snatches or overhead squats with box jumps and maybe a 200m row. I like any workout with a barbell.

Favorite cheat meal?

A huge weakness of mine is CHEESE and mexican food. I would say cheese enchiladas, Chachos nachos, and fideo. That is of course more than one cheat meal. lol

Which is your favorite Fast & Furious movie?

I’ll watch a Fast & Furious movie, only because it has the Rock and Paul Walker. I am more of a Marvel and Disney kind of movie watcher. Ha!

What music of you like to listen to when working out?

Anything gangsta! jk I usually listen to Bey, Kanye, and Drake. Definitely nothing rock. I like a good beat and not loud noise/yelling when working out. lol