Athlete Profile - Jessica Hoffman: Going strong since the beginning!

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When we opened the doors at WildFire CrossFit for the first time on Friday, August 31st, 2012, I’m not sure we completely realized the type of community we were creating. Sure, we had spent months planning out all the details, from class schedules and structure to t-shirt ideas and color schemes. Once we opened the doors, it was game time, and we knew the possibilities were endless and we were ready for the challenge. We had 2 days to get the gym ready for our first workout that we only invited close friends and family to.

Almost 6 ½ years later, and we could not be more thrilled with the community that has evolved since that first workout on Labor Day, 2012. Some of the people who were there for that very first workout are still part of the WildFire Family today, and many more who got started in the first year that we opened our doors. It’s been awesome to see them grow and evolve as athletes and be a part of making WildFire what it is today.

Jessica Hoffman joined WildFire just over 6 months after we opened with a friend, and consistently attended the 6am or 7am class. With a dance background it was easy to see how coordinated and graceful she was and how well she picked up many of the exercises. I remember in those first few months, not being sure if she was really into the training, or if she was just being a good friend. Over 6 years later and she is extremely consistent.

“Born and raised in Sunny Phoenix, AZ”, Jessica has always had a great attitude and is always welcoming to new members she meets, often offering to partner up with people who are new. She’s traveled all over the world, even visiting the Philippines, where her mother is from, 3 different times. After receiving a finance degree from the W.P. Carey School of Business at ASU, she spent the next 10 years in banking. Then, after having her first child, Jessica explained, she “wanted something more flexible and became a part time Realtor. Now, [her] husband has recently joined [her] team and [they] are happily selling homes across the Valley”, and have 2 beautiful little girls.

Before she found CrossFit, Jessica was on a performance Salsa/Mambo dance team traveling to Salsa Festivals to perform and dance all night. She also did yoga, and had a gym membership, participating in “mundane” classes like kick boxing, step, and even cycle. She said she “never really loved any of the classes and was always looking at the clock” to see when the class would end.

Her team director encouraged her to “do other activities outside of rehearsals and practices to improve balance, strength, and endurance”. When I asked Jessica what the main reason was for joining CrossFit, she told me, “one of the core dancers on the team had an awesome physique and she said she was doing CrossFit. I decided that’s what I wanted to do as well”. Even though she was pregnant at the time, Jessica “found a friend and a local box” and, almost 6 years later, she’s still rocking it!

Jessica explained that she “really likes how the coaches would help [her] to modify the workouts to fit [her] needs and [she] could still get a great workout in”. In almost 6 years, Jessica has completed hundreds of different workouts. She told me “the first time I did the Baseline, my quads were on fire and I thought I was going to die”. Yet, she stuck with it and continued to improve.

Another great workout memory was “Air Force”, a workout from the Regional competition at the Arnold Classic the year before the first Open. She did the workout with her husband who “thought [she] was crazy” for doing it while she was pregnant. Everything turned out great though 😊! Then, there was one of the most challenging workouts we have ever programmed at WildFire, “Bull”. Everything, including the run, was with a plate, and even though she was pregnant for this one too, she modified the workout accordingly, and crushed it! “Bull” consisted of an 800m Run, 50 Burpees, 50 Walking Lunges, 50 Thrusters, 50 Walking Lunges, 50 Burpees, and another 800m Run. That’s right, she’s a bad @$$!!

Even though she’s “not a competitor”, Jessica participated in the Summer Swolestice at WildFire CrossFit over the Summer. She explained that “the energy and adrenaline was awesome and, to [her] surprise, [she] had a lot of fun”. So, when Coach Tiffany kept “politely” encouraging her to do the CrossFit Games Open in the weeks leading up to it, even though she doesn’t “really love competing and the scrutiny of being judged,” she decided to partake and she even said she’s “glad she did and can even see [herself] doing it next year as well”.  According to Jessica, “I love the atmosphere and cheering each other on. Everyone is so positive and encouraging, pushing each other to be their best. It’s so much fun and really not as bad as I envisioned it would be. Thanks Tiff!!”

In addition to some of her best memories, I asked Jessica what her favorite and least favorite CrossFit exercises are, and she explained, “I like the Bear Complex in the strength portion, but not in a WOD! I really like clean and jerks and box jumps. Snatches are hard, but I want to get better with the technique, so eventually I might start to like them. Of course, burpees are the worst and I’m not a fan of rowing.”

While we have watched Jessica grow as an athlete and as a part of the WildFire Family, over the last year, she has really kicked it up a notch. She continues to push the envelope, adding more weight to her lifts and challenging herself at more complex and skill-based exercises. It’s no surprise her goal as an athlete is to “continue to grow and get stronger and more defined”. She wants “to be able to do more Rx workouts” and she is “currently working on pull ups”. The best part, and this says a lot about her character and who Jessica is, she wants “to inspire other people to do CrossFit, or at least find a fitness regimen that they enjoy and want to do on a consistent basis”.

Finally, we asked Jessica what advice she would give to someone who is just getting started and why she would recommend WildFire and here’s what she had to say because I couldn’t have said it better myself:
“Always listen to the coaches and your body. If you need to modify anything, do it, but also make sure to push yourself. You’d be surprised at what you can accomplish. Be consistent and set clear goals, so you know what you need to do to get to the next level. And of course, have fun.
[WildFire is] just a great place to work out.
There will be things you love and things you hate, but you will grow consistently as an athlete. The workouts will always be varied and challenging, and you will learn to enjoy working out and to not look at the clock. You will get stronger and your body will feel good and you will make some great friends along the way.”

Thanks Jessica, for being such an awesome part of the WildFire Community for almost 6 years. You ARE an inspiration to so many and your continued perseverance will make all your goals become a reality before you know it. Great job with the Open through week 3, Team Purple is lucky to have you!

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