“I remember everything about my last meet,” remembers Jamie Scarlett, a 40-year-old mother of three and former URI Division 1 Gymnast. “Beam was my last event and when I stuck my landing, I just started balling. It hit me like a ton of bricks because it was over and there’s no afterwards in this sport.” Lucky for Jamie, however, she’d discover CrossFit and be pretty good at that, too.
Jamie’s entire life revolved around gymnastics, from the time she made team around nine years old to that final meet at Ohio State. Growing up, she was never the star of the team but realized at a young age how important it was to work hard and never give up. “I was always the middle of the pack. I never stood out but I was known as the hardest worker,” says Jamie.
After working hard during her college career, which featured some URI-records in Vault, Bars and All-Around, Jamie went on to UPenn grad school where she not only met her husband but was introduced to Bodybuilding. She and her husband Richard met during the Mr. and Ms. Penn Bodybuilding competition. Jamie was getting bored of going to the gym without any specific goals, so when she heard about the competition, she thought she’d give the 6-week program a try. “It was such a fun atmosphere and opened my eyes to other things I could work towards even though my gymnastics career was over,” she says.
After marrying Richard, Jamie continued doing competitions, focusing on competing in amateur figure competitions in various organizations. Being able to set and achieve competitive goals helped keep her motivated. She took a break from training while she and Richard grew their family—having two daughters and one son—but she got right back into competing in figure competitions when her youngest daughter turned one year old. She eventually earned her WNBF Pro Card in 2012 in the Fit Body Division. Although Jamie looked great, she wanted to try something new to supplement her training and to start focusing on fitness instead of aesthetics. With her gymnastics background, she thought CrossFit might be a good fit.
Jamie started at Yankee CrossFit in the summer of 2014, the same time she received her second WNBF Pro Card in Figure. Just like her gymnastics days, she found she had to work hard to get better at the sport, but loved the challenge. Although she had a great foundation with gymnastics, there were many things she struggled with, double unders being a big hurdle, but she kept after it.
After just two years, Jamie is now one of YCF’s top Master’s athletes, placing 4th in her first individual competition in January and then getting a ring muscle up one month later. She also had a solid performance during this year’s Open, the highlight being an impressive 90th place finish in the world in the 40-44 age group on 16.4. With more competitive goals on the horizon, Brendan is also doing individualized programming for her. “He knows my strengths and weaknesses as an athlete, so his programming lets me hone in on areas that need improvement as well as continuing to build on my strengths.”
And it’s that drive to constantly get better and set goals that keeps Jamie coming back for more. “I’m a mom of three children, and my life revolves around them, so CrossFit is just a hobby,” she says. “But it’s a great hobby because I love the performance component and the fact that you always need to strive to become a better, more well-rounded athlete. These qualities are not just an important component of CrossFit, but an important component of life as well. By participating in CrossFit, I hope that I’m teaching my children the importance of remaining committed to your goals, the value of hard work and persistence and perhaps, most importantly, that I’m teaching them that you’re never too old to stop setting goals or trying to get better.”