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August Member Spotlight: Kelly Jakes

Kelly Jakes has been a member of the CFJI family since June 2019. She has shown great determination and eagerness to learn and improve every day. Alongside her husband, Cutter Tews, Kelly has been an active member of the community, participating in last winter's Life Challenge, where she lost 4.1% body fat, and was awarded the Most Improved Award at the Annual Christmas Party. We are so thankful to have her as a member and friend! Check out her interview below.

Tell us a little about yourself and what got you on the path to CrossFit…

I'd been working out on my own for years and wasn't planning on joining CFJI until my husband, Cutter, convinced me to give it a try last July. We had just moved from Detroit and both of us were looking for a way to meet people here in Charleston, so the community aspect of the gym really appealed to me.

What keeps you coming back each day?

Besides my vanity?

Half-truths aside, my time at the gym has become my favorite hour of the day. I love the feeling of getting better at physical challenges and learning new skills. And I adore the fact that I don't have to plan my own workouts; it's really nice to get to be a student again and show up for a class that someone else is running. But what really keeps me coming back are the people, both the athletes and the coaches. The sense of community at CFJI has meant a lot to me, especially over the last few months as we've all had to stay at home more and adapt to life with the coronavirus.

How has your lifestyle changed since starting at CFJI?

My diet has always been pretty good, but it's gotten even cleaner. I was amazed at how good I felt on the Life Challenge a few months ago, so I've tried to keep my nutrition up, though it's probably time to redraw some boundaries around sugar and alcohol. I've also started keeping a gratitude journal and meditating. Overall, I'd say I'm just paying better attention to my mental and physical health.

What is your favorite at-home exercise to do?

When I work out from home, I like to go on runs. There's something about listening to loud music and running that helps me turn my brain off.

If you had to do 100 reps of one movement (not running), what would it be?

100 is a lot of reps. Maybe lunges? Air squats? It all sounds bad at 100 reps.

What are 1-2 of your goals for 2020? Have you accomplished any of these yet?

I set three goals in January: double unders, a strict pull up, and toes to bar. I can now do all three, but I'm still working on adding numbers and stringing movements together.

Favorite Lift?

I learned to love single arm dumbbell snatches during the early days of the pandemic.

Least favorite Crossfit movement?

It's currently a tie between overhead squats and box step overs.


Oxford, NC

Favorite Charleston Restaurant?


If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be?

Wine buyer/importer. I know nothing about that job, but my fantasy of it is pretty rich.

What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?

Don't worry so much.

If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you meet?

I'd meet Brandi Carlile, my favorite singer. I think she'd love me. Right?

One thing about me people would be surprised to know?

My first life ambition was to become an opera singer. One of my undergraduate majors was music.

If the CFJI coaches came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare?

I'd roast a couple whole chickens and some veggies, buy some delicious bread from Normandy Farm Bakery, and make a chocolate pie for dessert

What’s the most ridiculous fact you know?

Clear soft drinks like ginger ale settle an upset stomach by introducing a bit more acid into an already too-acidic stomach. Your body responds to the added acidity by producing more base, which balances the PH in your stomach and makes you feel better. (Dark sodas aren't good for this because they have too much acidity and your system can't produce enough base to neutralize it!)

Give us a “Question of the Day” to use in class.

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life (at no cost to your health), what would it be?

Is there anything else we need to know about you?

I've said too much already. ;)

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