What do you get when you put together super mom, professional musician, serial reader, and CrossFit? You get the wonderful Jeri Spang! Jeri joins us regularly at 9:30am, and you can also catch her practicing form and foundations in Olympic Lifting. That, along with her hard work, strength, and dedication is why she is able to lift smart, heavy, and fast! She's a great person to partner up with, always executing proper form, encouraging everyone else, and pushing herself to achieve new goals and PR's. I'm not sure they have "Coolest Mom Ever" defined in Webster's (I don't read dictionaries a lot), but if they did - you'd see Jeri's picture next to it for reference. If you haven't gotten a chance, make sure you say hi to Jeri and ask her for her workout playlist!
Thank you so much, Jeri - for taking time to answer our questions and being such a great part of our community!
Hey there! Where are you from?
I was born in Pittsburgh, grew up in Atlanta and West Mifflin, and now I live in Jefferson Hills.
What do you do for a living?
I have a degree in Music Education from Duquesne University and currently teach violin, viola, cello, and piano lessons in my home.
How long have you been doing CrossFit?
I started doing CrossFit about two and a half years ago.
Tell us about your athletic history…
I don't really have one! I never played any sports but always enjoyed running. After I ran the Pittsburgh Half Marathon in 2013, I began looking for a new challenge. While flipping through the channels one day, I caught a women's Crossfit Games event. I was instantly motivated by watching women of various ages and sizes doing such extraordinary things. It took me a while to find the courage, but I eventually made a phone call and attended my first basics class.
What brought you to CrossFit St. Clair?
After my first CrossFit box closed, I spent six months in two different boxes. They were both great, but something was missing. I wasn't progressing. I had heard that my old friends were going to St. Clair and loving it, but I thought the drive would be too long. I've found it's worth the drive to be surrounded by this group of members and coaches. They inspire and motivate me (and make me laugh) every day that I'm here!
What’s your favorite way to sweat?
Heavy lifting (definitely not rowing or AB)
Processed meats (I know they're bad for me.)
A tie between Amadeus and Joe Dirt
This is the hardest of your questions to answer! Reading has always been my favorite hobby/obsession. I can say the two best books I've read in the past five years are probably "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao" by Junot Diaz and " A Thousand Splendid Suns" by Khaled Hosseini. I've enjoyed reading and rereading "The Lord of the Rings" since middle school, especially now that my older daughter is reading it!
Favorite music to work out to?
I prefer metal like Metallica and Tool, but really anything but country works if it's loud. (Sorry HKM!)
When you aren’t working or working out, where can we find you?
You'll find me spending time with my husband and two daughters, trying to keep my house clean, or reading.
How has CrossFit changed you?
When I became a mom, the world suddenly became a very scary place. I found myself too often feeling anxious and incompetent. Building muscle and reaching physical goals in CrossFit has boosted my confidence immeasurably. In short, I think it has made me a better mom and wife.
What do you love most about CrossFit St. Clair?
I got the chance to observe and compete in a few local CrossFit competitions this year. The people representing CrossFit St. Clair always seem to be having the most fun! We seem louder, more positive, and closer than most of the groups from other boxes. I think this is just a nice reflection of what happens at CrossFit St. Clair every day.
What 3 words would people use to describe you?
Aaron Spang's wife
Any mantra, favorite quote, or words to live by?
I often quote Shakespeare while speaking to my students and children, but my favorite fitness quote is from a poem I kept in my violin case through college called "Invictus" by Henley: "I am the master of my fate/I am the captain of my soul." (A close second place is: "You can't have 'no' in your heart." by Joe Dirt)