1210 McGee St.
Norman, OK 73069
This is the story of the wit, wisdom, and follies of Bess Jackson from Bess Jackson:
My athletic career began when I was five – I played t-ball and was the only female on the team. I was one of the bros, if you will. After a year of kicking butt and taking names, my parents decided it was time to get me into a “girl” sport. As a tomboy this was devastating, but I gave my new sport a chance. For the next twelve years, I played soccer and ultimately learned to love it. My mom always jokes around about how I used to randomly sit down and start hysterically crying during my first couple years of playing, but I eventually figured out how to stay on my feet and to quit the waterworks. After a broken nose, more strains/sprains than I can count, and a state championship my sophomore year, I decided that after high school I would no longer pursue playing soccer. I loved soccer and still do, but I’m glad I made that decision.
Once I got to college, I took up running to try to stay in shape. Up until I started CrossFit, that’s literally all I did. My best-friend, Calli Cooper, went to Koda CrossFit in OKC and had been saying that I should try it for a while. After watching her compete at Battle Over Redlands 2013, I figured if all of these girls could do it, so could I.
I was in grad school at the time and my schedule wasn’t super great, but I could go to the 5:30 a.m. endurance class at Koda HQ (since I was running marathons and all, this worked out perfectly). I had creeped on the website and saw that Ryan Doonkeen was typically the coach for that class, but when I showed up? Chad Hamilton. He scared the living daylights out of me with his serious (or so I thought) demeanor and just about killed me with his warm up (that would never change). For the next three months following that day I was incredibly sore, but I wouldn’t have traded my start at Koda for the world.
My funniest memory from Koda Norman is a spike ball game with Kevin and Casey. I can’t tell you why the neurons in my brain were firing the way that they were, but I kept yelling out “wiener” anytime I was nervous that somebody was going to make a play or not. To this day I cannot explain what happened.
Some words of wisdom for those of you out there trying to get your first muscle up: I could not for the life of me transition from the kip to the dip. Finally, one day, my buddy Bart Terrell said, “just get up there.” Next try, I got up there.
It’s one piece of advice that I still love to hate.
My favorite thing to do outside Koda CrossFit (yes, I do things outside of KXN) is to be with my dogs. I LOVE DOGS. My second favorite thing is the time I get to spend with Yager (whom I met at KXN) – we drink all the craft beers, eat all the yummy food, and enjoy all the good company. It’s the best. My goal for my fifth year at Koda would be getting washboard abs but I love beer too much.
I typically go to the 5:30 p.m. class. I really like that because my workout buddy (Hannah) is pretty consistent about going to that class as well, so it’s that much more fun when we get to make gains together. I am proud of myself for continuing to improve at this sport even four years into it. There is always something to work on or to improve, and I feel as I have continued to develop into a better athlete. I’m proud of myself for not getting complacent and comfortable, but instead continuing to push myself beyond what I could have ever imagined when I first started.
I know I’m not going to say everything that I want about Koda, but Koda is my second favorite place other than my bed. Just like I look forward to sleeping every day, I look forward to going to Koda to workout. It’s such a positive environment that I know when I leave, I have improved myself in some way. Whether it’s physically or mentally, I am challenged there on a daily basis, and over the years that has led to so much growth for me. I am thankful for that. Not to sound like a total cheese ball, but I like and accept myself more now than I did before Koda was a part of my life. Some of that was just growing up, but I know that being a part of the Koda family helped to facilitate that.
What can possibly be added except that we love you, Bess, and the joy you bring to Koda Norman. Happy 4 Years and here’s to many more!