HOW WE BECAME CROSSFIT JANE
We are Brent Smith and Jaime Pollard-Smith, married for almost twelve years and parents to Jude (8) and Lila (6). We live in Charlotte, NC, where we have been doing CrossFit in our garage for almost three years. It is impossible to tell our CrossFit story without telling a bit of our family story.
Our story begins in Fort Collins, Colorado on July 12, 2010. “I’m sorry I could not save your wife,” were the words the surgeon breathed to Brent’s father as he lay in a pool of blood and broken bones. Brent’s parents were out visiting us on vacation when they were struck head-on by a vehicle while traveling on I-25. Jane Smith was dead and Barry Smith would undergo surgery and months of painful recovery. Our lives would be forever changed.
We returned to North Carolina with Brent’s dad and made the decision to relocate our family to Charlotte, NC. It was during this time of healing and transition that Brent decided to drag Jaime with him to try CrossFit. Like many people before CrossFit, we thought we knew what healthy, fit and well were. After all, we had just run a marathon together! We had recently heard of CrossFit, and Brent had read a little online, not much in the way of defining it or the ideas that CrossFit was founded on, but just what an intense and difficult regimen it was. Our first WOD involved box jumps and burpees, nothing crazy. Jaime was shocked to run out mid-WOD to throw up. It was humbling and terrifying, but we were completely hooked.
After a couple of weeks dragging the kids twenty minutes each way and paying for childcare, we decided we would try this thing at home, on our own. Slowly, piece by piece, we built our home gym. We used Main Site WODs and videos from YouTube to teach ourselves the movements. It was a time of growth and coming together as a couple. We faced each new physical challenge with determination because nothing could be as hard as the loss we were experiencing in real life “outside the box.” Soon after relocating to North Carolina, Jaime’s mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and immediately began a quick and heart breaking descent into memory loss. Our sense of loss and frustration fueled our workouts and helped us cope with the pain.
Soon neighbors began to take notice. Who was this strange new pair carrying each other up and down the street and dropping barbells in their garage? And strangest of all, they ate like cavemen! What do you mean a peanut is a legume? We became the neighborhood weirdos, but we were getting fit and taking new charge of our lives and happiness.
As our kids watched on, we developed as athletes and decided the next natural progression would be to become coaches. Brent completed his Level 1 training in July of 2012. He left that weekend with a renewed understanding of CrossFit and challenged by ideas presented by the CrossFit L1 Trainer Team. In March 2013 Jaime completed her CrossFit Level 1 training and started coaching. As a full-time college writing instructor, Jaime was invigorated by the chance to educate others about her newfound passion for health, nutrition and family fitness.
So here we are today as CrossFit affiliate owners. How could we not? CrossFit has changed our perception of health and given us a new outlook on life. The neighbors who once thought we might be crazy, now hop in WODs with us on a regular basis. As William Butler Yeats stated, “Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that but simply growth, We are happy when we are growing.” We strive for growth and progress in every area of our lives, and we want to share that with neighbors, friends, family and our children. We are here for everyday people, families young and old who want to come together to live longer, better, healthier lives. We believe in helping people become better versions of themselves and improving their quality of life.
From Jane’s death in 2010, a need to heal and grow was born. This need has been answered with an incredible family journey of growth through health, nutrition and personal discovery. As we continue to write our family’s story, we hope you will join us at CrossFit Jane.