Jess Bellette works as a Police Officer here on the Coffs Coast, and also trains and competes in CrossFit. She shows a huge amount of dedication to her job and also to her fitness training, and the two seem to complement each other perfectly. Jess says after a day on the job, CrossFit training keeps her feeling strong and alleviates stress.
Hi Jess. Tell us how you came to be on the Coffs Coast?
I moved to the Coffs Coast in September 2016, after transferring in the Police Force from Surry Hills in Sydney to Nambucca Heads. After winning the position, my partner and I came up to check out the area and immediately fell in love with Sawtell. The trendy cafés and restaurants reminded us of the places we loved to visit in Sydney. After spending time on the beautiful beaches, we were sold!
How long have you been a part of the Police Force?
I joined the Police Force in May 2009, so this year will be my 10th anniversary. It has been a great 10 years, and I have my colleagues to thank for that. Time has flown by! I was first posted in Sydney’s inner-city suburb of Newtown. This was a great place to work, as it was quite a busy social hub. I then joined a specialist unit and undertook some plain clothes work, before transferring to Nambucca Heads in late 2016.
What made you decide to become a Police Officer?
I was always drawn to the emergency services. There was something about the uniform and serving something bigger than yourself that drew me in. I’ve always been active and could never imagine myself sitting behind a desk working the standard 9 to 5 job. I love the variety of work you get being a Police Officer, as no two days are the same.
You compete in CrossFit; how did you first get in to that?
I started CrossFit in 2013, when my partner introduced me to it. I immediately fell in love with the community and the physical challenges presented to me every day. I began taking on extra practice and noticed the gains quite quickly, which fuelled my competitive fire. I enjoy being competitive, and a great thing about CrossFit is that you don’t necessarily need to be competitive with anyone else. You can be competitive with yourself, as there is always a personal benchmark to beat.
Can you tell us what a CrossFit competition is and what’s involved?
I have competed in a number of competitions as an individual and as part of a team. These have ranged from events held locally to online national or worldwide completions. Each year I participate in the “Open”. The Open is an online competition where one workout is released every week for five weeks. You have a certain amount of days to complete the workout, film it, and submit your score. This is a worldwide event, so it’s pretty cool to see where you stack up. Anyone from any skill level can participate in the Open, with the top 40 men and top 40 women from each country progressing to the next level of competition.
How often do you train, and what sort of preparation do you do before a competition?
I train most days, with a rest day sprinkled in when I feel like I need it. This may seem like a lot, but I’m not doing crazy workouts every single day. A lot of my training is skill practice and learning technique to improve my conditioning and strength in the long run. I really enjoy training. I guess you could call it my hobby. Working out is a way to clear my mind and let go of all the day’s stress, particularly working as a Police Officer.
What do you love most about the sport?
The thing I love most about CrossFit is the community. Doing a workout amongst a group of friends and likeminded individuals is way more motivating. Heading into the gym is not a chore for me; it’s actually the best part of my day. It’s where my friends are, and it’s where I can blow off some steam and leave feeling great. I also love being constantly challenged. Like I said before, there is always a new number to hit in my lifts or faster times to chase down. Everything is recorded, so it’s great to look back over the years and see the progress.
Have you always been into fitness and training/sport?
I’ve always been active and into sport. As a kid, I loved athletics and soccer. The 100 m sprint was my event of choice, but as a kid I struggled with the pressure I would place on myself competing as an individual. I then found soccer and flourished in a team environment.
Between the Police Force and CrossFit training, you must keep pretty busy! What else do you like to do in your spare time?
Balancing work, training and family life is something I am constantly working at. My partner gave birth to our beautiful baby girl 10 months ago. Becoming a mother is the best thing in the world, and it has certainly changed my priorities. Training is still important to me, and I’ve made it a goal of mine to continue to train hard and improve. This just means I’ve had to be flexible with my training time, and I often have to train on my own in our garage gym.