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Member Spotlight

Benchmark Fitness – home of Yellowhammer CrossFit

Our BF-YHCF Member Spotlight is none other than Jennifer Samson!! An amazing person, athlete, and our resident Nurse Practitioner for all things skin related.

You will likely never get your tail whooped, in a workout, by anyone else who’s as humble, nice, and supportive as Jenn! Most of the other athletes claim it as a victory if they beat her on the first round or first movement of a workout, because that’s about all they are going to get; she’s likely to be out in front after that! 🙂

She has one heck of a comeback story, after suffering an ACL injury in a January 2020 competition – the story probably deserves it’s own blog post, honestly. From injury, to rehab, to doing her first CrossFit competition – since the repair – in December 2020, to making it through to the 2021 CrossFit Quarterfinals last month – absolutely amazing! She’s worked hard to get back to where she is today, even setting some personal best along the way!! Take a minute and learn a little more about this special person. . .

What do you like most about Benchmark Fitness – home of Yellowhammer CrossFit?

The people and friendships! I joined CrossFit not long after I moved to McCalla, AL; and through it, I have made lifelong friends!

How long have you been doing CrossFit – why did you start?

This is my 9th year. I started because I wanted to find a way to stay in shape. I was a runner and was getting tired of the long runs and wanted to build muscle. I love how the workout is something different every day, so I’m not bored.

Q: What’s your favorite movement? What would a perfect workout consist of for you?

My favorite lift is the Power Clean. It would probably be an AMRAP of power cleans, burpees, and GHDs.

What are 3 things you are most proud of accomplishing since being at Benchmark Fitness?

  1. Overcoming an injury. I tore my ACL in January 2020 doing a heavy power clean during a competition. I didn’t think I would ever be able to lift or workout like I used to. But, through physical therapy and hard work, I’ve been able to come back just as strong as I was before! *Big shout-out to the amazing crew at Ultimate Edge Sports Medicine!*
  2. Making a podium finish in a RX Competition with my training partner, Rebekah Atchison!
  3. Learning gymnastics skills. I was always scared to trust my body to be up-side down. So being able to do a handstand push-up and handstand walks was a big hurdle to overcome.

Side Note: If you’ve ever had an injury in sport or fitness, you know that there’s a mental hurdle you have to get through, of trusting your body to be able to do the thing(s) it once did. And the feeling of pure joy, relief, and confidence it gives you when that happens. Several of our coaches and athletes were able to witness that, this past December (2020) as Jenn, due to a last minute cancellation, got back to doing something she loves: competing It’s such a great thing to witness, and be a part of. Our bodies are incredible machines and will allow you to do more than you realize. -Team Benchmark

Favorite place to eat in the Birmingham area? What do you usually order?

Firebirds. I always get the Kobe beef meatloaf and the Big Daddy Chocolate Cake 🙂

Favorite hobby outside of fitness? Traveling!

What is an interesting fact that most people don’t know about you?

I play the guitar, piano, and saxophone

Hit us with a pet-peeve…. I can’t stand when people are late

What would you tell someone who was skeptical about starting at Benchmark Fitness?

Just walk in the door it can be intimidating at first, but stick it out. You will be amazed at what your body can do and it’s so rewarding to be able to track the progress.

p.s. if you need an amazing Nurse Practitioner to help you with your dermatology needs, please look Jenn up at the Naaman Dermatology Clinic – great clinic that many of our athletes, friends, and family use.

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