March 22, 2012
Learning From the Best: Jolaine Bloom
By Vera Ilnyckyj

This 40-year-old rookie competitor beat Angie Pye and Alicia Connors on 12.3 with over 14 rounds.


Jolaine Bloom is fiercely determined to succeed this Games season. Over the last four weeks, Bloom has woken up early each Sunday morning to check the Leaderboard. If Angie Pye or Alicia Connors' scores have passed her own, Bloom will go back to the box and redo the week's Open Workout.

So far, chasing the best competitors in the region has worked for her. Two weeks ago Bloom didn't just come close to Pye and Connors, she passed them. With 14 rounds and 5 box jumps on 12.3, Bloom took 1st in Canada West and 6th in the world.

“I love push presses so my strategy was to do those unbroken and I wasn’t worried about the [20-inch] box jumps because we train with 24-inch boxes,” Bloom says. 

On her first attempt, Bloom got 12 rounds, 15 box jumps, 12 push presses, and 3 toes-to-bar (462 reps). The performance earned her 24th in the world, but Bloom knew she could do better. When reviewing her performance, she learned she had piked the toes-to-bar, and she knew the inefficient form had cost her time and reps. She decided to try kipping the toes-to-bar in her second attempt. “Kipping them made all the difference,” she says. 

Bloom says she thinks of the Open as a chance to learn from the best. She gives the workout her all, learns where she fell short of the best competitors, and then refines her technique and approach. Pye and Connors may be her peers on the Canada West Leaderboard, but they are also her teachers.

After each Open Workout attempt, Bloom analyzes her performance. To avoid spinning into unproductive self-criticism, Bloom focuses on what she can change. “I say to myself, what did you learn and what are you going to do about it?’”

The answer is usually simple: get into the box and start practicing.

To improve her technique and efficiency, Bloom watches videos of the top competitors and copies their form.

To improve her performance on her second attempt, Bloom visualizes herself doing every step of the workout. “I believe in the power of it”, she says. “I’m striving to get to the Regionals, but right now it’s only about the Open and doing the best I can.”

At 40 years old, Bloom is inspired by Games competitors who are in their late thirties and early 40s, including Angie Pye, Cheryl Brost, and Amanda Allen. “I’m stronger than I’ve ever been so I can’t think about age and view it as a weakness. With CrossFit, it doesn’t matter how old you are, you can still become stronger,” Bloom says.