Mother of four heads to crossfit championships

Jen Schneider's intense training prepares her for Crossfit Olympic Challenge in White Rock.

Jen Schneider takes a break from her training at Vernon Crossfit in preparation for the Second Annual Crossfit Olympic Challenge taking place this weekend in White Rock.

Jen Schneider takes a break from her training at Vernon Crossfit in preparation for the Second Annual Crossfit Olympic Challenge taking place this weekend in White Rock.

Jen Schneider isn’t your typical mother of four, but she’s on a mission to change that status one woman at a time. At first glance, one might see a super svelte, petite redhead and think “Wow, that lady is fit.”  But get past that welcoming smile, the multiple butterfly tattoos and infectious personality and you’ve got one hardcore chick.

Born and raised in Kelowna, Schneider and her husband James have four children: Avery, 12; Noah, 11; Greenley, 10; and Jack, 7. It’s not uncommon for her to hear “You have four kids?” two or three times a day. I think I’ve even been caught saying those words.

You see, Schneider, 32, has the type of  figure and athletic ability we often reserve for the “select few” in society.  But that thinking is exactly what she wants to change.

She’s done this by creating a balance between being a wife, mother, personal trainer and athlete. While training clients at Excel Fitness in Vernon five days a week she also trains as a Crossfit athlete five days a week.

Vernon Crossfit owner Jeremy Meredith, along with Crossfit athletes Garth Cooke and Erica Livett, have pushed Schneider beyond her comfort zone.

“The Second Annual Crossfit Olympic Challenge taking place Saturday in White Rock is something so completely outside my comfort zone,” she said. “Sure I’ve always been athletic, I grew up playing rugby, riding horses, dabbled in BMX racing, but this…this is something bigger than I ever thought possible.

“The bottom line is that I’m finally learning what I’m capable of, I’m learning strength, determination and empowerment, and the team at Crossfit and Excel Fitness has really helped me gain this.”

At just 5-foot-5, 145 pounds of solid muscle, Schneider maintains her incredible athletic figure by eating a fairly strict diet of egg whites, walnuts, chicken breasts, salads and protein shakes. Her favourite cardio is Excel’s Cardio Junkie class, which is full o

f skipping, jump squats, burpees amongst other exercises that leave you dripping with sweat in a matter of minutes.

Her main motivation other than to successfully complete all her lifts at the competition is to be an example for women in her community. With this look of excitement and utter belief, she says, “I wish I would have known when I was younger that looks don’t matter. It’s about what your body is capable of, how hard you can push yourself and what you learn about yourself. That’s what I really want women to understand, is that if I can do this, you can do this too.”

The Second Annual Crossfit Olympic Challenge takes place Saturday at Semiahmoo secondary school in White Rock.