Janesville firefighter competing in CrossFit event
JANESVILLE—One of the top female CrossFit competitors in the world is a Janesville firefighter, and she'll soon see if she can claim the title of fittest female firefighter.
On Saturday, Jennifer Prochnow is flying to Los Angeles to compete in the World Police and Fire Games. She qualified for the competition in January by placing well in The Open, an online CrossFit competition.
Prochnow will go toe-to-toe Monday and Tuesday with nine other women—all of them police officers or firefighters—in hopes of placing at least third.
"I would like to make the podium," she said.
Prochnow has been doing CrossFit for about four years. CrossFit.com defines the fitness regimen as "constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity." It includes weightlifting, gymnastics and rope climbing.
"I like working out anyways, but this (CrossFit) just gives me something to focus on. You go in the gym, and it's not the same every day. There's always something different to do or get better at or learn." Prochnow said.
Her goal in January when competing in the The Open was to make the top 50 in the world. Making the top 20 would have qualified her for the CrossFit Games, Prochnow said.
"That's the big thing. It's kind of like the Olympics of CrossFit. That's the end goal," she said.
She was named 62nd best in the world in January and got first place in the state, both for her gender and age group.
"My goal was to get first in Wisconsin of anybody," she said. "So in the 40- to 44-year-olds, I'm fittest in Wisconsin."
She also got fourth in the world as a firefighter for her gender and age group. That accomplishment is what got her invited to the World Police and Fire Games.
"Every year I keep getting better," she said.
Despite the stakes, Prochnow isn't anxious—not yet, anyway.
"I only get nervous, maybe, right before the first event," she said.
Her mother and boyfriend will travel with her to the games and take in the sights after the competition.
"I think it'll be fun, and I've never been out to L.A., so I'm going to take a vacation when I'm done," she said.
Prochnow is no stranger to CrossFit competitions. She's faced some of the same competitors she expects to see in L.A. For the third year in a row, Prochnow has qualified for the Kill Cliff Granite Games that will be held in September in St. Cloud, Minnesota, she said.
"I put in a lot of work, and it's fun," Prochnow said of competing.
In the meantime, Prochnow continues training. She's been doing CrossFit for more than four years and puts in two to four hours of work six days a week, she said.
Despite how she places in the World Police and Fire Games, Prochnow continues to focus on making it to the CrossFit games.
"I'm hoping next year to make a good run for it," she said.