Jaime Gold started seriously CrossFitting in February of this year and already has shown her potential to be a serious badass in the sport after earning a 3rd place finish at the 2011 Central East Regional for a spot at the Games.
“I don’t know if I quite fall under the [badass] category yet, but I hope to one day,” said Gold.
Originally from New Albany, Ohio, Gold is a former gymnast and a two-time strength and conditioning All-American. She competed at West Virginia University, then moved to Pennsylvania where she worked as a personal trainer. That is where she found CrossFit. “Some time in November, I came across the main site, thought it seemed pretty cool, and called one of my friends to see if he had heard about it,” Gold explained. “To my surprise, he was currently Level 1 certified and was coaching at CrossFit New Albany. He told me next time I came home to visit, I needed to come by and try it, so I did.”
Between December 2010 and February 2011, she visited Ohio three times and went to CrossFit New Albany each time to workout. “I ended up leaving my personal training job in February and moving back home to Columbus. I needed a job, and was familiar with CrossFit, but hadn’t been training CrossFit-style,” she said. “Ralph Hicks, the owner, let me shadow for a week or so and then I was teaching classes a few days a week. The atmosphere and energy of the clients of CFNA drove me to really start training and I fell in love with CrossFit.”
Gold did well in the Open, placing 5th in the Central East Region. But her expectation for the Regional was “nothing.” Even with the success of her performance in the Open, she wasn’t sure how she would do in a more traditional CrossFit competition setting. “After the first day, I remember my girlfriend coming over and asking me how I felt. I told her that I felt like I did OK for my first day. She looked at me and said, ‘Well, you did well enough to be in 2nd after the first two workouts!’" said Gold. “I was shocked. I had no idea that I was in 2nd.”
After a rough Day 2 – she was mentally unprepared for the 100s workout – she was tied for 3rd going into the last day. She said she was feeling pretty beat up after two days of rigorous competition and even with her supporters telling her “Amanda” was a workout she could do well in, her body was hurting. “But on three, two, one, go, I felt no more pain and ended up finishing 2nd in that WOD,” she said. “With one more to go, I had to strategize because I knew that I had a chance.”
Her strategy worked and she ended up tying for 2nd place with Lisa Shiu. Because of the tie-breaker rules, she received a 3rd place finish – still good enough for a spot at the 2011 CrossFit Games.
Gold is now living in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where she is enrolled in a doctoral program for physical therapy. “Between school and training, my schedule is a little crazy,” she explained. “As of right now, I’m training five days a week, with at least two of those being two-a-days, if not three, and making sure I take my rest days. I need them for my body and my brain.”
She started training at CrossFit Affliction in Florida, where coaches there, as well as her coach in Ohio work together to program for her. “That is probably one of the coolest things about CrossFit. All of my coaches are out for my best interest,” she said. “They do all of my programming. I have enough to think about. Sometimes it’s nice to just walk in the gym and not have to think.”
The support network Gold has surrounding her is a large motivation to perform well and never quit. “My gym, CFNA, [has] wonderful people. I had to fly back to Ohio from Florida to compete and they did a T-shirt fundraiser to help me get a plane ticket. They were all wearing T-shirts to support me and the other competitors from our gym,” Gold said. “They were the loudest people in the crowd. They also got me a plane ticket to the Games and I cannot be more thankful to all of them. They have a lot of faith in me and I won’t let them down.”
In addition to her CrossFit family, she attributes a large part of her success in CrossFit to her girlfriend, Mallory, and her family, who she said has supported her through every decision she’s made. Her girlfriend is also a CrossFitter living in Florida and working as a physical therapist. “She is the one who makes sure I am on top of everything – my nutrition, my mobility work, all of my recovery work – and I would have not made it through Regionals without her by my side.”