May 21, 2013
Jeff Prejean: Age is Just a Number
By Kari Walker

"I don't look at myself as older. I look at myself as a CrossFitter."


Photos by Anne Talhelm

There’s a saying that you are only as old as you feel.

For South Central Regional competitor Jeff Prejean, age ain’t nothing, but a number. At 38, Prejean will be the oldest competitor at the South Central Regional this weekend in San Antonio, Texas. He’s once again proving he can hold his own against athletes 10 to 15 years his junior.

“I don’t look at myself as older. I look at myself as a CrossFitter,” he says.

Prejean finished 38th at the 2012 Regional and spent the past year training to hopefully improve his placing. He mapped everything out, knowing he could do better.

“Sticking to the training plan the entire year has paid me dividends,” Prejean says.

He programs for himself, but mixes in programming from CJ Martin (CrossFit Invictus) and Ben Bergeron (CrossFit New England), as well as Catalyst Athletics for Olympic lifting help. Prejean says he also checks in with William Albritton of CrossFit Alexandria to help him stay on track.

“I feel like I’ve spent more time on my weaknesses,” he says. “They are still not my strengths, but I’m improving.”

Spending a lot of time on the road means Prejean is always looking for a a box away from home. He is thankful area affiliates have shown him Southern hospitality by allowing him to come in and do his own programs as needed.

Competing in local area competitions has been helpful for Prejean’s training, as well as confidence. Recently, he finished 18th at a local competition in Austin, Texas.

“Anytime I can be competitive with Regional-level athletes, I’m satisfied with my performance,” he says.  

Tasting what’s to come keeps him on track with training, and he knows as the elite level increases, there are smaller margins for error. 

Amidst the countless hours of training time for qualifying, Prejean also opened his own affiliate, CrossFit South Bank, in Alexandria, La. He is anxious not only to draw in new faces to CrossFit, but also to dive in head first and give back to the community. He is well known in the Louisiana CrossFit community for his involvement with charitable organizations like Mammograms in Action, where in 2012 he helped raise more than $5,000.

To Prejean, a first-place finish means nothing if he isn’t doing his part to give back to the community.

“I love competing, but my favorite thing about CrossFit is community and philanthropy.”

His long-term goal is to qualify for the CrossFit Games in 2015 in the new Masters 40-44 Division.

But for now, he’s focused on the Regional in just a few days.

“I train smart. I am nutritionally consistent, (I) build rest into my training and understand there is a time and place for the difference between training and competing,” he says. “I’m excited about this year’s Regional competition. I know a lot of people competing and we will have a good crowd from Louisiana. I want it to be fun.”