Chris: Hey guys, welcome to episode three of my blank fitness journey Podcast. Today we got an awesome guest Jen Pasquale. She is one of our OGs, she has been with us from the beginning of Triforce. So we’re really excited to have her on in a few minutes. But before we get to Jen, Megan, how are you today?
Megan: I’m doing good. I’m pretty sore from our little workout this weekend. But otherwise good.
Chris: Holy cow. So we’re preparing for Murph on Memorial Day. And we decided to just go ahead and do Murph on Sunday. And we’re doing it a different way than we normally do. And Wowzers, I am. I’m really beat up from it.
Megan: It’s funny how changing it just to doing that on partition made it feel so different and somehow so much harder.
Chris: Yeah, it was super fun. I mean, it was. I was glad that we did it. But I mean, it’s two days later, and yeah, yeah. I’m still like Stephanie worked on me today, or, our physical therapists spent 30 minutes making sure that my lats were still attached. So yeah, okay, cool. And we’ve got Megan’s doing her age group quarterfinals starting Thursday, two days from now. So Thursday.
Megan: Yeah. Floor plans already. So that’s fun.
Chris: Yeah, I think the workouts are going to be super fun. And I think more in Megan’s wheelhouse. And she expects, so we’ll have an update next week.
Megan: We’ll see. We’ll see. Okay, gives me Something to train for the next year.
Chris: That’s it, right? Like we all have these milestones. We all have these opportunities to assess, reassess, and see how we’re improving. So I’ve seen Megan getting better over the past year. So I’m excited for you to show it in these workouts. So Megan hit us with your nutrition tip for the week.
Megan: All right. So this week, we are focusing on our relationship with food and how to have a healthier relationship with food because we all have to eat. Your relationship with food is like any other relationship; it takes work. And it doesn’t change overnight, right? It’s usually Something that we’re all working on over our lifetime. So we have quite a few tips that we’re working through at the gym. But the one that we’re going to focus on this week is not labeling food as good or bad. Because when we do that, we give food, that moral character, and it gives it a little more power than it should have over us. So then suddenly, if you give in to a craving, and you indulge in some, junk food, it can make you feel bad if you feel that those foods are bad. And there’s just no need to beat yourself up like that. So what we’re trying to focus on is knowing that there are foods that are healthier for us than other foods, that you’re allowed to have any food that you want, and that we aim for moderation with it. And if you do feel that you had a little bit more of Something than you meant to, or then you want it to, our goal is just to get back on track at the next meal and move on. So enjoy it and move on and not worry about good or bad foods. And just trying to be more mindful so that we can all improve our relationship with food.
Chris: I think that’s really cool. And I remember one of our bosses used to say the only bad foods are spoiled or that you’re allergic to right. So, don’t eat food that will make you throw up or give you hives; otherwise, like, it’s okay. Yeah, that’s a good reminder because I think we all have emotional attachments to food in one way or the other. And so be able to break down that power over us by taking down like good, bad foods, not evil. And that’s, that’s going to help us, journey through the times that we make good choices, bad choices, all those things. So, yeah, for sure. So awesome. Okay. So today, as I said, we have Jen; she has been at the gym for over four years. Jin is one of the most successful members that we’ve ever had. As far as being able to accomplish her goals. She set some very lofty goals when she started with us and has been knocking those down ever since. She’ll tell you a little more about her story, but it’s just been a pleasure seeing Jen conquer it every day. Jin is probably the only person who loves Triforce more than Megan and I. She is a huge advocate for what we do because of the power that she’s seen That CrossFit can have in her life and is having in her friends’ lives and her family. So, Jen, welcome to the show.
Jen: Thanks for having me, guys. I’m excited to be here.
Chris: Yeah, absolutely. So I guess, first of all, this is my blank fitness journey podcast. So let’s start off with you filling in what’s the blank there? Like? How would you describe your fitness journey so far?
Jen: When you first asked me that, I think like, this is my sexy fitness journey. Because like, that was the main thing for me. When I started, this was to feel sexy again. So that’s kind of what sticks out in my head.
Chris: Absolutely. And Jin, like, from the second that we sat down and talked was very clear about what she wanted and what she wanted to accomplish. And she’s worked hard for it every day since it’s been super cool. So I guess you fill us in before you got to try force before you join with us kind of what was your journey? Like, where were you at?
Jen: So I have two children, I have a 10-year-old and an eight-year-old, both boys. So before I joined Triforce, which was four and a half years ago, my kids were about five and three. And that I was in a tough place because my oldest son has special needs. So we found out that he was going to be disabled. And it kind of threw me into this catapult of depression where I gained a ton of weight. And I was unhealthy. And I had thrown my entire life into making sure that my kids were taken care of, so I quit my career. And I wanted to make sure that my child was going to thrive, they told me he wasn’t going to walk, and he wasn’t going to talk. So my entire life’s mission was to make sure that those things happened. And they did. And somewhere around that point, I had gained quite a bit of weight. I was not doing any exercise. I didn’t recognize myself in the mirror anymore. I just, I didn’t even know who I was. And I was kind of definitely depressed. But I didn’t want to admit that I was depressed. And I also needed Something for myself again because I had given so much to my kids that I needed Something for myself. So 2018 was the year, and I remember on January 1, I said this is the year of me. And my husband was like, Well, what does that mean? And I was like, I’m choosing everything I do this year, I’m choosing myself first. Because I have to take myself, I need to take care of myself before doing anything else. And so I walked into Triforce on January 7, and I wasn’t planning on joining that day. But I walked in, and I remember meeting Chris, talking with him, and crying. And I think this is it. So I just loved the whole feel of your place, how it felt very comfortable, it felt safe. I loved that y’all were families like that, you loved your family, and that you had two children that it was okay to bring kids there. And it just felt very welcoming. And it just felt like the right place for me at that time because I needed Something that was going to strengthen my body and my heart. And it just felt right.
Chris: That’s super cool. Yeah. The passion in which you came into, making that decision. And, the all-in approach that you took was super inspirational. , you’re, you’re our poster child, right? Because it’s one of those things where not only do not just do the results, obviously you had amazing results. And I want to get to that in a minute. But, like you were all in doing things that you said, I don’t think I can do that. Or I’m scared and like, we took you by the hand. And you followed us through like uncertainty, and you’re willing to put in the work, and you did it. And, it’s been really amazing getting to see how far you’ve come.
Jen: Yeah, I agree. Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect. And I remember you asked me in that first meeting. What are your three-month goals? And what are your two-year goals? And I remember thinking about two-year goals like Yeah, right. Like I’m still going to be here two years later that I can’t even think about that right now. I just need to get through this next week. And here I am four and a half years later, and I’m still loving every second of it. But yes, I never in a million years could have pictured myself doing CrossFit. So it is really incredible to think about the transformation that I’ve gone through. Yeah. And it’s just incredible. Being a part of it with you and watching Triforce grow alongside you at the same time.
Megan: I think it’s really cool. Like, I remember speaking about what you were unsure if you’d be able to do; you were still dealing with a shoulder injury when you first started. And we’re kind of thinking like, Hey, I’m gonna have to, lift my son. CrossFit involves a lot of shoulder movements, I’m not even sure if I’m going to be able to do this. But I think it was really cool seeing you trust the process and then show up every day, just be willing to show up, and continue working on it. So I don’t know; I feel like your shoulder has gotten a lot better. I don’t know, what, how would you say? How would you describe your shoulder now?
Jen: Yeah, so that’s a really good thing. I honestly forget about it now because it’s not even part of my life, I don’t think about it, but it was chronic pain. And I had it for several years. And I had shoulder surgery in 2006. Prior to that surgery, I had done PT for a year and a half of acupuncture, and nothing helped. So I had surgery. And even after the surgery, I still had two years of PT afterward, and I still didn’t have full mobility; I still had a weakness. And so going into try force, one of the main reasons, part of the main reason was that you guys had physical therapy. So that was extremely important to me because I was terrified of injuring my shoulder. After all, I had gone through so much hell just to get to the point that I was where I was. Maybe 75% recovered. And, just learning the modifications that y’all showed me was specific to what I needed. Because, when you do that on ramping with foundations, that first two weeks where you teach everybody all of the movements and help make it personal to them. So I knew I couldn’t do pull-ups or push-ups or anything like that I was far from that. And all of the modifications kept me safe. And then having the physical therapists there to work on me was key. Because we laugh now because I’ve seen Stephanie, who’s one of the physical therapists there for several years now. And she started working on my other shoulder because I started to feel a similar kind of pain. And literally, within one session, she worked on it, and the pain was completely gone. And I said to her, I was like, damn, I wish I had known back in 2006, I wouldn’t have probably needed surgery because she literally, I have no shoulder pain because of her so and well because of Triforce as a whole helping me modify. And then Stephanie helped me, keep myself safe. That’s great.
Chris: That’s fantastic. Yeah, so you’ve got a multi-layered, like, resume of goals that you’ve achieved, and I could accomplishments, so I guess just walk us through some of those milestones that you’ve hit, you’ve already talked about overcoming your shoulder pain? What are some of the other things that you’ve accomplished along the way?
Jen: Oh, man, there’s, there’s just so many. My first, I mean, I guess my first goal when I started and set foot in there was just to go three times a week for six months. And that was my commitment. I committed to myself that no matter what, I would show up three times a week for six months. And then, I would reassess how I felt. So when I signed up, I signed up for a six-month agreement because I knew that if I paid for six months, I would go for six months. And by the time I was finished with three months, I had already seen major gains in strength and muscle mass. And I had already lost probably, I don’t even know what but perhaps at least 20 pounds. So I was feeling really good already about myself, which motivated me. And then I started going four days a week. And that was all I was doing was just showing up and going to the classes four days a week, which was one hour, four times a week. So four hours of my life literally changed everything. And then my first goal, my ultimate goal was to get to 160 pounds like that was in my head was the pounds because that’s all I knew at the time was just so the upscale number and then enters Meghan, who is my nutritionist, and I had such an unhealthy relationship with food. And I was for me, it was either diet or eat whatever and eat whatever I want or eat like crap. My diet, crash diet or eat whatever I want, like crap. And Megan, through a series of meetings with her, taught me how to transition from doing keto and, dieting, to eating healthy, normal full rounded meals and still losing weight, which was mind-blowing to me because I’ve never been able to do that in my entire life. So around the eight-month mark was when I started adding nutrition counseling to my journey. And that, I think, is what catapulted me into the next level because I was able to go, like, actually live my life and not completely obsess about food and what I was eating and putting into my body. And still, to this day, three years later, I’m implementing all of the things that I’ve learned, which has helped me hit more milestones. So the first milestone, I would say, was getting through the six months. Then my second milestone was nutrition. And then my third milestone was when I turned 40 years old; I had lost 60 pounds, and I felt so amazing. So that was two years into my journey. And then
Chris: I want to, I just want to say that again. 60 pounds like that’s, no weight loss surgery. I guess there’s no magic pill that was not, which is another story. But this was Jin coming in exercising and eating healthy food and losing 60 pounds. That’s amazing. All right. Yeah, I just had to like, I don’t think that we highlight that enough. That’s really awesome. Sorry, go ahead. Oh,
Jen: It really is incredible. When I think about it, I still can’t believe it. And I still can’t believe that it’s like it’s still every day like it’s just who I am now. Right? It’s not even there. It’s just as I live this now. It’s just part of me. But yeah, so it was absolutely incredible hitting that that was my one of my main goals was to be quote Oh, that was it was hashtag fit at 40 was my saying and I want it to be fit at 40 I see people fit and eating normal food all around me, and I was like I How is that possible? I want to be that person. I know that it’s possible. So so, that was around the two-year mark. Then really, my next goal was just to push myself to the point where I was really interested in a size that I was happy with, and getting to a size eight was kind of my happy place. I was never a stick figure girl. I always liked curves and being voluptuous; I guess it is the word, but so for me, hitting around that size was important, and keeping that feminine look to my body was really important. And yeah, so I mean now it’s four years later I still make goals for myself but they’re maybe not as crazy but they’re still little goals like right now working on my butt for the summer. So I’ve added a little six-week booty pump to help add to that, so the coaches have been helping me with that a list of programs. Something for me, so hopefully I’ll have a nice juicy booty for the summer.
Chris: Awesome. So it really has been a sexy fitness journey for you so far.
Jen: Definitely, yeah, that’s awesome.
Megan: So I would say goal achieved right?
Jen: Yeah, no another goal was to wear be able to wear all spandex and feel very competent in it and I can check that off now.
Megan: I think it’s great because I do remember when we sat down, and we were talking and you were like, I still want to be soft and I like I want to be like not I don’t I’m afraid of looking like a CrossFit athlete. and I thought that that was great because you let us know what was important to you and you still were able to reach goals and like keep things that are important to you. and so I do think that that really shows that kind of like customize like the way that it works for everyone right and that can be customized like that. But I also think about some really cool things that you did. Like you have the shirt that now looks like a dress on you that you would take regular progress pictures in and how amazing it was to see and then like now I get I love getting to see you wear like outfits that you love like you look amazing and then you’re having so much fun buying, clothes like you said that you feel confident in it’s like it’s this really cool. I love being able to enjoy you reaching your goals with you like it’s just really fun.
Jen: Yes, thank you. And, it’s interesting what you just said to Meghan, because it is a huge point to bring up about what my goals were physical because that was one of the main things that kept me from starting CrossFit to begin with because I had considered doing CrossFit for about a year prior to actually joining. After all, my brother did CrossFit. And I watched his transformation. But I saw him go to these competitions, and I saw all these athletes that were really ripped, and I’m thinking, I don’t want to look like that. And there’s no way in hell, I can do that. But that’s what was so cool to me. And that I didn’t know. And I had to learn after I set foot into CrossFit and learned how it actually happens, especially at Triforce. Because you guys really do nurture and culture of, for anybody. And that was so critical to me to learn that you don’t have to be like that. There are so many layers of CrossFit and so many different ways to do CrossFit. And I mean, I work out next to a guy who’s like 76 years old, and he’s still kicking butt. And I want to be like that when I’m 76. So, but I think it’s really important for people to know that you don’t have to, you can do CrossFit and be healthy and fit. You don’t have to be a competitor and all ripped, there are so many different ways to do CrossFit. Sure,
Chris: I think that’s great. Jen is kind of the Queen of the nine o’clock class. I mean, I can send literally anybody I meet off the street that I want to try, try force and say, Hey, come to nine o’clock. Jen, I know, we’ll be there to say hello. And she’ll start but strike up a conversation with the person and make them feel comfortable. Which is great. So that nine o’clock class.
Megan: Rowdy is a word that comes to mind.
Chris: Remember that we’re going to keep this podcast and the nonexplicit category.
Jen: Everyone watching this knows me. So it’s okay.
Chris: So tell us a little bit about that class. As far as the different types of people the different levels of athletes? What makes it a fun class for you to keep coming back to?
Jen: Yeah, I’m well, okay, so when I first started, I guess I will, what I didn’t expect was that I was going to find some of my best friends at CrossFit. And I had thought I had already found all of my friends that I was going to have by the time I turned 40. Right. So that was very unexpected because there are certain girls there that have become literally like my best friends. And that is critical to me in the journey of CrossFit. Because having that accountability and making it fun, is what I love about CrossFit and your gym specifically. So the 9 am class, just there’s a whole group that comes pretty much every day, and we just have a blast together. And it’s the 9 am group that tends to be slightly more estrogen-loaded. So it just happens to be that way. Because you have a lot of moms there. And then we have several guys that come but the guys that come are, they just go right into it. And they understand that, that there’s a bunch of moms in there. And so the conversations go all across the board. So it’s very entertaining. So we’ve burned off anything else if you want to just come me a Class A Triforce just to be entertained by me and the rest of the people, please come
Chris: Sometimes I just get a snack and go out there and sit and watch and listen. And it’s I mean, it’s better entertainment than Netflix or goes into a movie for sure.
Jen: Yeah. And there’s, there’s definitely a-holes like there’s a lot I mean, there you have the moms but then there also we have our guys that come to but they join in the fun and we just there’s a lot of like little jokes and, like teasing each other and, just encouragement. So it’d be, it starts to become like a family. So whenever we see a new face, we, try to include them and make sure that they feel welcome and that they know that we’ve all started at a certain point, then you don’t have to come in there and, go crazy that we’ve all been there a day one so it’s all it’s very supportive.
Megan: Um, I think that that’s definitely Something that I see as well, like you said, supportive because I know that, as you said, You’ve been with us for four and a half years. There’s a lot of life that has happened in four and a half years, and it makes me happy when I see, you or one of your friends come in and, I can see that Something’s off, right? Like, we get to see each other every day. So it’s pretty obvious when Something is going on in one of our lives. And I think it’s really cool to see you guys, come around each other and, and talk fight through work through, like, whatever needs to be worked through. And because you do have that care for each other those relationships bill and it’s like, seeing that you guys have created like such good relationships that you do have that support for not only your fitness journey but, some of the other things that happen in life that we all need support for as well. Um, I think that is what makes CrossFit classes maybe a little bit harder sometimes. And also like special is that you, you don’t just come in and jump in, you’re square like you’ve known. And, people and I think that that’s a benefit, it’s really special about the classes is that you do get to know each other on that personal level, you do get involved in each other’s lives, which, can be just really awesome. And I see you guys enjoyed that, which makes me really happy.
Jen: Yes, and one of the things to mention is that since joining CrossFit, I had two surgeries, but though, those were more personal choice surgeries. And there’s literally no possible way that I would have made it through those surgeries. Without Triforce and the support of the members of Triforce. There’s literally no way they came to my house and made me walk, brought me healthy food, and forced me to get back into the gym. And even when I went back, it was so I mean, I could barely even stand up straight. And so if I can go back to CrossFit and basically start from day one, doing CrossFit with a walker where I can’t even stand up straight, literally anyone can do CrossFit. So just tells you right there, the modifications that are available. And the coaches, specifically Alyssa, who coached me a lot at 9 am was critical in helping me with the modifications to build back my strength in order to be able to walk and squat and lunge and move my body again. So it was literally their sister’s do not I would not have made it through without Triforce
Megan: Those kinds of things are so overwhelming, like you said, like some of those things happen in life where it’s in your control. It’s not in your control, but as you said, you’re starting, it feels like from zero, and it can be very overwhelming and very frustrating. And that is an easy point to quit, like, and I think it’s a testament to you and like you said, like, I think that that’s one of the goals or one of our like, things that we love seeing happen is that like your class, and your coach didn’t let you quit, they’re like, No, we have to have our gin in here. And so like, I just think that that’s really cool. Seeing you go through that and then like you said like seeing that your body responded really well to the surgeries because you have put in so much effort and so much consistency and taking care of yourself, it gives you it kind of leading into one of the things that we always like to ask people is what would you say is your superpower your real-life superpower
Jen: My real-life superpower I mean, has to be tied to my son because I advocated and I still do I mean he literally I fight constantly for him and it’s not a physical fight it’s an emotional fight and I have to fight everything to get him the services and everything he needs to thrive and so my superpower is probably just being a crazy mom. I don’t know how to label that specifically as a proper label to that but my superpower is probably advocating for my children.
Chris: That’s the word I would use for you as an advocate like you advocate you advocate for gunner for Dami for people in the gym for people’s families in the gym for people you don’t know like I 100% agree with that and like I need to get change your Wonder Woman outfit to wonder advocate outfit or Something. I don’t know. That’s weird, but yeah, I agree. That’s great. Cool. So what is one thing that you would say? Like, If somebody is on the fence or trying to decide, hey, is Triforce a good choice for me, I, maybe I look different than the people that are in the gym or I have maybe I feel like I have different goals, or I don’t think that I can actually do CrossFit. What’s your piece of advice to somebody that’s on the fence?
Jen: Well, first of all, I had every single thought that you just said, in my head. So I know you’re seeing me now, four and a half years later, but I’m happy to share my pictures, my before pictures with anyone who wants to see them so that you can see that I was that person. If you can just picture a mom who was 6765 pounds heavier, and just depressed. And there’s just so that I mean, there are so many ways to do CrossFit. So my, my thing would be if you walk in, and still to this day, people will walk in, see me in all spandex, and I intimidate them. And so I know and I can feel it. So I make a point to go up to them and show them mine before the picture. And that is what is so inspirational because I want them to know that I did not look like this. Y’all made me look like this, I showed up like that I showed up and did the work. So you don’t go into a CrossFit gym, look at everyone, and judge yourself there. Chapter 20. You walk in, it’s your chapter one, I had a chapter one, and I’m just on my chapter 20. So you have to start, you want to get to chapter 20, you have to start a chapter one. So I think that’s probably the most important thing: don’t judge yourself based on the people there, because they’ve already had a journey. And if you see someone who intimidates you physically or makes you nervous, find out what their chapter one was, because I guarantee you, it will shock you and inspire you.
Chris: That’s so good. That’s so good. It’s amazing to me how many times I have people that, maybe they like, put in on the website or Something, hey, I’m interested in coming in, I want to find out more information. And then they get nervous and back out and I want I think I need to get in better shape before I can’t do CrossFit. I’m like, come on, like that’s like saying, Hey, I know I’m sick. But before I go to the doctor, I probably need to get a little bit better before I go to the doctor like, as you said, Don’t think that you need to be at chapter 20 Like John was talking about. You’re where you’re at, and where you want to go. Let us help you, let the nine o’clock class help you, and let people like Jen help you accomplish those goals. Because like we already talked about, we’re going to drag you along, we’re going to get you to where you want to be. Sometimes it might not be fun. Sometimes there’s going to be a day when you don’t want to go to the gym. But my friends are expecting me if I don’t show up. I’m going to get 20 texts saying what happened. I run out of gas on the way to the gym because you’re there Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. If it’s a Wednesday, I’m like Where’s Jen? Oh, yeah, she, Thursdays are an off day, right? Like, people know, and people are going to expect you to be there. So absolutely. That’s super cool. Jen, as we’re wrapping up, is there anything else that you feel is super important about your fitness journey so far, or even? where you’re going next?
Jen: Oh, I think we covered a lot of stuff. I mean, the most important thing that I want to relate to people is that it’s true for anyone. And I wish that you if you didn’t know me if you don’t know me, I wish that you could see where I started so that you can literally see that this is true for every single person I’ve over the course of four and a half years I’ve seen so many people come through try force and watch their journeys. And it’s really remarkable because every body shape, every age, every walk of life is in Triforce. And it’s it really truly is for anyone, and I don’t know why the term CrossFit has such a bad rep because people think you have to be a certain way to go in there. Because I thought the same thing, but it just it’s not like that. So that’s the most important thing that I would say to people is make a commitment to X amount of months and Don’t falter and show up and you will literally your life will change.
Megan: I love that. Like you said making a commitment because that’s what I’ve seen you do. You’ve made a commitment like your birthday money went to your CrossFit membership like you were planning you planned outings like how am I going to eat like so that I stick to my goals like you plan your week around when you’re coming to CrossFit like you’ve made like your health a priority and you committed to yourself to do that but like you said, you don’t have to do it all at once you do it one week at a time or three months at a time you break it up, but like, I do think like you said that it takes that commitment, but it’s so worth it like and it’s worth it.
Jen: Yes, definitely. Check-in with me in six weeks so I can tell you about my booty and how good my booty looks.
Chris: Yes, that will do the follow-up. A sure episode of How’s Jin’s booty pump going. It might be probably our best, our best episode so far. Awesome, Jen. Well, we appreciate you so much. Thanks for being on. This was super fun.
Jen: I love you all so much.
Megan: Thanks for being on.
Jen: Thank you.