Jenny Kemp, 50-54 year Masters Competitor from Crossfit Adelaide placed first in the world on workout 12.1 with 112 burpees. She was both delighted and stunned at her unexpected burpee domination.
And so began her 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games journey. Four weeks later, at the end of Week 5, Kemp finished the Open ranked 15th in her age division. Her top 20 performance will advance her directly to Carson, Calif., to compete at the CrossFit Games.
She says she may not be the strongest, the fastest or the most naturally gifted, but what she lacks in talent she more than makes up for in commitment, discipline, determine and willingness to listen and learn from the best. She trains to improve constantly and to improve mentally and physically.
And she is doing just that. In 2011, Kemp says she doesn't even remember where she placed. “Way, way, way down the ladder … maybe 150th,” she says. “Last year taught me that I had many weaknesses to work on. This past year I have worked hard to develop these weaknesses, I still have more to go, but I think I have made solid progress.”
Coming from a background of triathlons and road cycling, she has a solid base for mental toughness and the ability to endure the pain in longer met-cons. In fact, when she was competing in triathlons, her 400 meter run splits were about 12 seconds slower than they are now; and her 5k time is almost two minutes faster. As a result of CrossFit, she’s fitter at 50 than she was at 40, she says.
Kemp’s strength has been her bodyweight workout capacity. For the past four to five months, she has been focusing on her Olympic lifting. “I have to consistently work my Oly lifting, but thanks to training with Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist Chris Rae, I have improved significantly this year,” she says.
At Crossfit Adelaide, Kemp is dominating an eight-week “Eat Good, Sleep Good, Train Good Challenge.” She has eliminated sugar from her diet and gets a full eight hours of sleep each night. While she is tempted by chocolate, she is staying strong. Her consistency, work ethic, positive attitude, and determination are paying off. “I don’t see CrossFit as a just a sport. CrossFit offers me more than just a competitive spirit,” she says. “CrossFit is a way of life for me – mentally, physically and socially.”
Kemp is described as a humble, supportive, determined and an eternally enthusiastic woman, CrossFitter and competitor. She’s always the first to have a go at the workout, to laugh, and she encourages others daily.
Squat: 75 kg
Clean: 52 kg
Snatch: 37.5 kg
Deadlift: 100 kg
400 m Sprint: 1:23
5K Run: 23:20