Firstly, I don’t plan to dribble about myself every article, but wanted to get this one out there given I think about it quite often. I started gymnastics at the age of six and shortly after was selected into the Western Australian Institute of Sport in 1987. This was my home for the next nine years, training up to 38 hours per week. I qualified and competed in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, which of course made all the sacrifices and injuries along the way worth it. I was often asked (or told), “you must love it?”, to which I always responded, “yes”, because it was the easiest answer and really the only one that made sense. Did I love it? No. But it became my ‘job’. I was good at it and I had gone too far to give up. Bottom line, my sporting goals, or maybe fear of failure/regret kept me in the daily lycra grind. 

I made a successful comeback to International competition at the age of 18, but unfortunately missed my second Olympics due to injury at the trials. It was at this time that I completely cut ties with gymnastics. No coaching, no judging, no interest. I got into competitive boxing, I completed my PhD and I bounced around in various jobs for a few years. I was then introduced to CrossFit in 2011, and it was then that I found my love for gymnastics. You know the kind I’m talking about too… a bunch of grown humans getting upside down and swinging around like little kids. I love doing it, I love coaching it, I love learning new skills (yes I was a female gymnast… I never touched a set of rings throughout my entire gymnastics career… they’re bloody hard!!!) I am truly honoured and constantly inspired to be a part of the CrossFit Gymnastics team, and it has brought a sense of closure to be able to honestly say, “I love gymnastics”.

Jen Smith
CrossFit Gymnastics Lead Coach
Owner of Niche CrossFit in Perth Australia