Name: Jeanine Silversmith
Hometown: Pomona, NY (if you mean where I grew up) or Wakefield, RI (if you mean now)
Age: 44
Occupation: Project Manager, Rhode Island Environmental Education Association
When did you first start CrossFitting?: September of 2012
Favorite WOD: Anything that has lots of different moves, especially with some cardio like box jumps and running – basically anything that feels frenetic.
Least Favorite WOD: Grace. It’s just boring and I can’t put a lot over my head at all.
Three words to describe you:  determined, enthusiastic, organized
Tell us about your fitness background: I ran track and played soccer in high school, not that well but I loved it. During college I ran on my own and found my true love: hiking. I tried traditional gyms here and there but I always hated them. They were boring and smelly and I hated how people stood around sizing everyone else up. In my twenties and early thirties, I hiked all over the country and ran as much as I could. I did do one marathon (very slowly) when I was 30, but I don’t think my body is cut out for long distance running. I’m injury prone!
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What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit? Hiking, camping, going to music festivals, and being with my family. I’m also active with a number of non-profit organizations, especially those working to protect and improve the environment, because I truly believe the meaning of life is to try to make the world a better place.
How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? I knew Coach Lisa and Coach Dave from before they were CF coaches and when they opened up the box, I was curious so I tried it out.
Take us back to your first WOD… what was it, and how did it feel? I don’t know exactly what it was but I remember it had box jumps and Sumo Deadlift High Pulls in it and it totally kicked my ass. I had never done anything like that before and, even though I was sore before I got home that morning (I’m not exaggerating), I knew I was hooked!
What changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CF? Nothing has improved my running like CrossFit. I’ve run many races in the last 5 years and set PRs in every distance. I’m so much stronger than I ever was and I feel like I can push myself harder and achieve more than I ever thought I could. I also don’t have any more lower back pain, something I suffered from for about 10 years before I started CF.
What changes in your life have you experienced since starting CrossFit that were totally unexpected? I didn’t expect how much it would help me with stress management. I always used running to clear my head and as a sort of moving meditation, but CF has helped me in a much deeper way. I also didn’t know how fun it would be!
Please share with us any favorite CFSK moments: On July 4 a few years ago there was this insane workout that had a time cap of 40 minutes. At 38 minutes into it, I had almost nothing left and figured I just wouldn’t finish. That’s when everyone else – who were all done at that point – started cheering me on. One of the other athletes even did the last 20 or so air squats with me to keep me going and I almost cried with gratitude. I finished a few seconds before 40 minutes and felt like I was on a team that just won its championship. None of those people who helped me through that WOD cared how much weight I was lifting or how slowly I was going. They just all wanted me to give my all and leave it all out there. I have felt that sense of family and support many times throughout the years and I know it’s one of the main reasons that I stay at CFSK.
Any advice for people just getting started? Come drink the Kool-Aid! 😀 Seriously though, don’t be afraid to scale and modify the WODs. (I still do and I’m 5 years into this.) The point is to push yourself enough to challenge yourself and improve, but not so much to injure yourself. Ask the coaches and other athletes for help as much as you need to, especially when it comes to good form for the lifts. And drink a LOT of water and go for walks on your rest days to help with soreness. Maybe even take a hike.