Coach Jeannie Barrow

Jeannie Barrow

Journey to crossfit:


As a child and teen, Jeannie was a competitive swimmer, lifeguard, and swim coach. She remained active until college, when she stopped exercising and started studying. After four years of college and three years of law school, she was extremely overweight, tired, and sluggish. For several months she went to the YMCA, began swimming again and moving from machine to machine in the ‘cardio’ room. Several months passed with no results. She saw an advertisement for a Ladies Fitness Bootcamp on a local blog post and the rest is nothing short of a miracle.

Jeannie met Matt in August of 2007 at CrossFit Henderson.

I remember driving drown the gravel drive, opening my car door, looking around, and being so wary of what I was going to do in this random garage with people I did not know. Would they look at me? Would it suck? Why is there no air conditioning? It’s August: why is the garage door open? This is crazy.

After my first workout, which happens to still be the same first introductory workout that we still utilize today, I felt dead. I was only able to complete two rounds. On day two, I made it about half way through the second workout. By day three, I told myself I would not quit again. Since day three, I have never not made it through a workout.

I absolutely hate running. I have from day one. I still do. Matt frequently jokes about the first time I beat him in a running WOD. I weighed 225 pounds when I began CrossFit.

Two months after beginning Crossfit, I became pregnant with my daughter. I went to the gym three days a week for my entire pregnancy. Towards the end, all I could really do was walk along the 400 meter running path, but my Coach walked with me. I gained very little weight during my pregnancy, had a very healthy baby girl, and quickly returned to the gym. The following year, I lost more than 90 pounds upon my return and became stronger than I ever knew was possible.

CrossFit is not a fitness program. It is a way of life. It is about relationships between you as an athlete, your coaches, and your training partners. You do not have to be an elite athlete to walk in the door, but I can promise you that if you stay the course, you will feel like one every day when you leave the box.

Jeannie obtained her Level 1 certificate in September of 2009 at CrossFit Charlotte and began coaching athletes under Matt’s supervision. In December of 2009, she competed at the first Carolina CrossFit Challenge at CrossFit Durham. In 2010, she competed in the NC/SC Sectionals and earned a place in the 2010 Dirty South Regional Event in Jacksonville, Florida. From a garage gym in rural North Carolina, to a Regional Competitor. The same year, Jeannie and Matt completed a three man sprint triathlon at Kerr Lake.

2011 brought a few training injuries and an opportunity of a lifetime. As part of CrossFit Henderson, Matt and Jeannie began offering boot camps out of a box truck in local neighborhoods and meet-up locations in Wake Forest. Matt envisioned opening a CrossFit facility in Wake Forest and when the opportunity became a reality, they partnered together to form CrossFit Wake Forest, The Academy of Fitness.

Jeannie’s passion is lifting weights and having the opportunity to help other people become stronger. Most recently Jeannie has competed in a few local lifting meets. She also completed a Tough Mudder in 2013. Jeannie has attended multiple certifications in an effort to learn more about the sport of fitness, in order to share it with everyone she comes into contact with. Both she and Matt have learned from years of experience what helps people to achieve their individual goals. To that end, they have developed systems and tools that can provide virtually anyone with a genuine sense of accomplishment.

Jeannie’s favorite CrossFit WOD is ‘Grace’ (30 clean and jerks for time), with a PR time of 2:57. Her favorite lifts are deadlift (365) and overhead squat (185).