"Meeting Brooklyn that day, when I was down and out about having to withdraw, brought me back to reality and what really matters."
The NorCal Region has many competitive and promising athletes in CrossFit. Jenny LaBaw is no exception. Her track record includes a second place finish at the 2011 NorCal Regional, sixth place at the 2011 Reebok CrossFit Games and first place at this year’s NorCal Regional.
Although this year’s Games did not turn out exactly as LaBaw hoped, her positive outlook has her focusing optimistically on the future.
“My favorite event was the triathlon – much to my surprise. It was long, it was hard and it was definitely unknown considering we had no idea where we were actually going,” LaBaw says of the surprise event. “It wasn't like you could see the finish line like we do with most workouts … To have Marines cheering us on and coaching us along the way was absolutely humbling. These men and women have left their blood, sweat and tears on the same ground that we were trudging along in training to defend our country.”
During the MedBall-Handstand Push-Up event on Friday evening, it was apparent LaBaw was dealing with some discomfort. “Since January, I have been battling some issues with my neck,” LaBaw says. “Unfortunately, the weekend of the Games, it flared up and just continued to get worse as I tried to fight through the workouts. There's just a point where you have to learn to listen to your body and know when enough is enough.”
Despite LaBaw’s inability to perform the handstand push-ups due to her injury, she continued to persevere through Saturday. She pushed through the Sprint, Rope-Sled Event and Clean Ladder before deciding to withdraw from competition. Though this decision was difficult for LaBaw, she says she found solace in an inspiring story.
“My heart and soul were touched by a 5-year-old girl named Brooklyn that I met on Sunday in the crowd. Her aunt, Tamera, had contacted me earlier in the year explaining that Brooklyn also has epilepsy and that my story had inspired her and her family,” LaBaw says. “This little girl, so young and innocent is in the middle of struggling with a horrible condition called epilepsy, but she doesn't know that it could limit her … She gave me a huge hug and my heart melted. We talked about her being a CrossFit athlete someday and turns out she loves to jump rope … Meeting Brooklyn that day, when I was down and out about having to withdraw, brought me back to reality and what really matters.”
LaBaw is taking the necessary steps to aid her body in recovery. “My injury is improving. I am taking time to rest it, which is what it has needed,” she says. “I am doing my rehab exercises given by my PT and it's looking like in a month or so I will be able to get back into my full-fledged training program for the 2013 season.”
Prior to LaBaw’s full-fledged training, she is taking advantage of some active recovery. “I've been mountain biking, running, paddle boarding, camping, hiking and I've taken a couple of classes at my gym for some fun. It's been great and totally reviving for the mind and body.”
The combination of LaBaw’s determination and positive outlook make it a certainty we will see her in 2013.