March 15, 2013
LaBawesome Attitude
By Kevin Daigle

“I'm Jenny LaBaw, the person, not Jenny LaBaw, the athlete. I am not defined by what I do, but by who I am.”

Jenny LaBaw broke her foot, but her nerves are still in one piece.

A two-time Games competitor, LaBaw is not unfamiliar with adversity. Admittedly, the 2012 NorCal Regional champ has had a rough two seasons.

Last week she was in a bicycle accident and broke her foot.

At the 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games, LaBaw withdrew due to injury following the Medball-HSPU event where she aggravated a neck injury she’d been fighting for some time.

She feels this was different stating, “At the Games it wasn’t all of a sudden … there was no time to prepare for this.”

Despite this being the second consecutive year injury has forced her to an early exit from the Games season, she’s staying positive.

“I luckily had a good support group,” the unaffiliated competitor says.

She was personable and in good spirits on a phone interview Wednesday morning, but admits, “I’ve broken down a few times.”

Understandable, as she was poised to make a bid for her third trip to the CrossFit Games this July.

Still, LaBaw is making the most of the situation.

On one leg, she finished 13.1, managing 150 reps. She’s doing what she can to stay fit, like using a skateboard to support the broken foot while doing one-legged rows, an idea she got by watching Josh Bridges after his knee injury.

“My training is (still) very much CrossFit,” she adds.

Her heart sank when Open Workout 13.2 was announced and included box jumps.

“A few tears were shed,” she says.

Now, she’ll have to figure out how to get on top of a 20-inch box without compromising her injured foot.

“I can't put any weight on my foot still, so step-ups aren't an option yet,” she says. “It’s not over ‘til the fat lady sings.” Or, in this case the very lean, fit lady.

LaBaw made her struggle with epilepsy public in an effort to help others fighting the same battle. She’d like to use her struggle with injury as another opportunity.

“I'm Jenny LaBaw, the person, not Jenny LaBaw, the athlete. I am not defined by what I do, but by who I am,” she wrote on her blog.

She asserts her identity is about much more than being a competitor — something many athletes struggle with when injured.

The Colorado native is overwhelmed by the amount of support from the CrossFit community.

“I’m shocked, humbled and honored with what’s happened in the last 48 hours,” LaBaw says of the kindness shown on her blog, Twitter and comments on the video of her 13.1 performance, which has nearly 55,000 views.

As is often the case in CrossFit, the loudest cheers aren’t for the most prolific scores or fastest times, but the performances that show the most heart.