Jolaine Bloom is used to the stage, but is setting her sights on a podium in 2013.
With one Games season under her belt, the 41-year-old figure competitor from Endeavour Fitness has stepped up her CrossFit game.
Bloom found CrossFit in December 2008, and has been coaching since March 2009 after she and then boyfriend Brandon Bloom took the Level 1 Seminar. Last year, she competed for the first time, and her competitive carried her to sixth place at the Canada West Regional.
Bloom had been training for fitness competitions for eight years and participated in five shows. The preparation for ‘fitness’ and CrossFit are very different.
“It’s just not possible (to do both),” Bloom says. “The biggest differences are the strict diet, and the volume of cardio/respiratory endurance. One does contradict the other, so I had to pick what I was doing to do this year.”
She chose CrossFit.
“Making a switch last October to training five days a week, dropping all of the cardio, and focusing on heavy lifting was hard to do at first,” she says.
Body image is a big part of fitness competitions. Bloom wrestles with her own.
“When you lean out for a show, you want to look that way forever, but not only is it not possible, it’s not healthy to be too low in body fat,” she explains. ”I love what CrossFit is doing to change the stereotype. Women like Angie Pye look amazing all the time.”
Committing to CrossFit meant seeking professional help.
“I train five days per week. I hired a coach, Michael FitzGerald … in October 2012, and have been following his programming strictly,” she says. “Michael has an excellent reputation and is only a three-hour drive from where I live.”
Bloom was unsure she could compete only a few days before the Open began.
“I was pushing hard up to the week prior to the Open and hurt my shoulder. It was so bad that I couldn’t lift my arm over my head. I suffered some dark days that week wondering if I should withdraw and wait until next year,” she says.
She went for shockwave therapy, chiropractic and massage in the days before 13.1 was released.
The injury made Bloom nervous; she didn’t know if her shoulder would last.
“I made it through the 40 burpees with flashbacks of 12.1. When I started the first set of 30 snatches I couldn’t believe I was doing it,” she says. “I took it one rep at a time. I knew I could power snatch 150 lb., but I had no idea what would happen after 100 burpees.”
She got to 192 reps, earning her first place in Canada West for the Masters 40-44 Division, and fifth overall.
Before 13.2, Bloom focused on resting her shoulder and getting some much-needed sleep.
“My nerves were not as bad as 13.1 and I was happy with the tester I did two days before,” Bloom said.
In 13.2, Bloom managed 322 reps. She found the box jumps most challenging.
“The box jump standard of full extension on top of the box instead of hitting extension jumping off was my nemesis,” Bloom says.
She took sixth in the Region.
Originally seeking the Games podium for the Masters 40-44 Division, Bloom currently sits eighth overall as an Individual in Canada West. She may choose to compete at Regionals if she qualifies, as under the new rules, she’ll still be able to compete as a Masters athlete afterward.
“My Regional competition last year was such a great experience,” she says. “What a great group of ladies, so determined and incredible competitors.”
One way or another, Bloom is aiming for the world stage in 2013.