Jess Altman

Member of the Month: Jess Altman


Jess Altman 




I was born and raised in the Finger Lakes area of New York in a small farming town in the middle of some amazing wine country.

Member Since:

July 2020


What do you do when you're not at CFA?

When I’m not at CFA, I’m still at CFA thanks to Josh and Kate allowing me to practice massage therapy in the box. Outside of that you can find me hanging out at home with Jay, two of our sons, and the best doggo a girl could ask for.

What led you to Crossfit and CFA specifically?

I was introduced to Crossfit and CFA specifically by Debra Zeinstra. I Shipt shopped for her regularly and when the pandemic hit she shared with me how she was staying fit and how much she missed working out with her CFA family. My husband, Jay took the first steps into the gym and I followed a week later. Thank you from the bottom of my heart Deb Z.!!

When did you realize that CrossFit is right for you?

When I went to the basic elements classes, I seriously questioned my own sanity just because it was hard from the word go. I realized it was right for me when despite how difficult it was, I found myself looking forward to showing up. I don’t know the exact moment but I’m sure it was probably after pushing myself in a workout and feeling that sense of accomplishment and comradery at the end.

Do you remember your first WOD?

I don’t remember the WOD but the S/S was bench press. There weren’t enough benches and Melissa volunteered to share with me even though she didn’t know me and had to change the weight each round to accommodate my lack of strength. She was incredibly welcoming and so was the rest of the 7am crew. That I DO remember! 


What movement do you despise over everything and why?

I don’t feel like I despise any movement in particular. I try to look at the movements that I don’t like as ones that I need more of. I will say that I’m afraid of box jumps after biffing one really bad lol 


What has been your all-time favorite moment at CFA? 

One of my all time favorite moments at CFA (because seriously, how do you pick just one?!), has to be the first time I experienced Turkish Get Ups in a workout. The back and forth that ensued between Ruby and Kate had me rolling through the entire class. It showed me that just because something is hard, doesn’t mean it can’t be funny and fun all rolled into one.

What motivates you during a tough workout?

The people around me! I try to find someone to “chase” in every WOD. If that fails I try to think about my “why”. I want to be able to live independently for as long as I possibly can. Even if I have to go into assisted living in my old age, I want to be able to get up off of the toilet on my own. 


If you could write your own workout for a day, what would it be?

It would definitely be a partner WOD because those are my favorite. I would want it to include farmers carries, sled pushes, and 400m runs.


What are your goals going forward and what do you think will help you achieve them? 

My goals going forward involve continuing to improve all around. Specific movements that I want to achieve in the near future are my first kick up on the wall and getting my mile time below 9 minutes. 


What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health, and fitness or just day to day life since starting CrossFit (before/after?) 

CrossFit and CFA specifically has changed my entire life. I have always struggled with body image, self confidence, and anxiety. The amazing thing about CFA is that it’s truly a safe place to be yourself while you work on becoming a better version of that self. Doing nutrition with Kate taught me to look at food as fuel as opposed to the enemy. Working out consistently has taught me to focus on what my body is capable of, not what it looks like! I’ve gained friends, family, and an inner courage that I didn’t know I had. My weight hasn’t changed much, but my entire outlook on life has! 

What would you recommend to someone who is just starting out with CrossFit or is too 

I was terrified to walk in those doors too, but having someone you know go with you makes it less scary. If you can just make it inside, the coaches will take care of the rest and you will be surrounded by the most non-judgemental, uplifting community that I’ve ever experienced. Dare to believe in yourself and just keep showing up! 

If you could have one skill or characteristic of another member at CFA what and from whom would it be? Or which other CFA member are you the most motivated by? 

I’m motivated by every person who shows up. Wether it’s the courage of someone stepping into their first regular class, or the most seasoned members killing every workout and cheering everyone else on. 

If I had to pick one characteristic, it would be the grit of Morgan and Brian McKeiver. They never give up and they never give in.

Quick Questions

Favorite Cheat Meal: Pizza! If I was stuck on a deserted island with one food for the rest of my life, pizza would be it! 

Favorite workout song: Go Getta by Young Jeezy

Favorite place you have traveled: Egypt 

Favorite Tv Show: The Handmaid’s Tale

Favorite CrossFit Athlete (if any): Kristi Eramo O’Connell


Coach's comment:

It’s hard to think of somebody who embodies CFA more than Jess. Hardworking, friendly and ultra consistent. We are very thankful that she found her way into the gym last year and are proud of all her hard work since. Not only has she gotten fit & made a bunch of new friends but she also started her own business inside CFA. Thanks for being awesome Jess, keep up the hard work! We know you will.

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5241 Edgeway Dr. Suite F

Allendale, MI 49424