The fe­male win­ner of the Un­der Ar­mour Test of Will 2017 shares how this sport helped her over­come dif­fi­cult times.

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Jemima Djat­miko re­cently won the women’s cham­pi­onship at the Un­der Ar­mour Test of Will 2017 fit­ness com­pe­ti­tion. She clocked a stun­ning 130 points dur­ing the heats by do­ing 26 burpees, 51 dumb­bell thrusters, 31 TRX rows and 22 sand­bag throws in four min­utes.

At the fi­nals, she rep­re­sented In­done­sia to face off the best fe­male per­form­ers from Sin­ga­pore, Malaysia, Brunei, Thai­land and the Philip­pines in gritty chal­lenges, in­clud­ing ver­ti­cal leaps, hur­dling, box jump burpees, weighted pull-ups, and pulling a 1.5-tonne (1,500kg) car.

Jemima is a fit­ness coach, ath­lete and busi­ness owner. She has two sons, aged 13 and 11. She trains seven to 14 times a week, av­er­ag­ing three hours a day. Her work­outs vary across Crossfit, weightlift­ing and run­ning.

How did you get started in fit­ness?

I was chubby since young, all through my fresh­man year at univer­sity. At my heav­i­est, I was 76kg. When I was 19, I started run­ning to lose weight. Later on, I did body­build­ing to get toned. Af­ter four years, I got bored from do­ing the same ex­er­cises. When I found out about Crossfit, I tried it and have been in love with it ever since. I’ve been fo­cus­ing on weightlift­ing since 2016. It’s one of the fun­da­men­tal move­ments in Crossfit.

What were the most chal­leng­ing ex­er­cises dur­ing the Un­der Ar­mour Test of Will fi­nals?

I was ner­vous about all the jump­ing move­ments, such as the ver­ti­cal leaps, hur­dling and box jump burpees as I had twisted my an­kle a week be­fore the com­pe­ti­tion. It was bruised and swollen.

What’s your proud­est fit­ness achieve­ment so far?

I have been par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Crossfit Games Open since 2013. I won the Fittest Woman in In­done­sia ti­tle in 2015 and 2017. I’m also very proud to be the over­all fe­male cham­pion of the Un­der Ar­mour Test of Will 2017.

What’s the tough­est thing you’ve done?

Not many peo­ple know this, but I have bat­tled de­pres­sion. First, when I was 22 and my first se­ri­ous re­la­tion­ship didn’t work out, and again when I was go­ing through my di­vorce four years ago. It was quite bad.

How did you over­come those tough pe­ri­ods?

My re­li­gion, as well as Crossfit, was a big part of the heal­ing process. Crossfit helped me chan­nel the pain I felt to the phys­i­cal pain of work­ing out. The Crossfit peo­ple don’t just work out with you; they talk to you, spend time with you, and are there when­ever you need help.

What are five ex­er­cises all women should do?

My ad­vice is to stick to the ba­sics. Many women get drawn into try­ing to tar­get a spe­cific area, but that isn’t an ef­fi­cient or ef­fec­tive ap­proach. 1. Squat. It tones the legs and butt, and en­gages sev­eral large mus­cle groups to burn big calo­ries. 2. Push-up. It’s ba­sic, but do it well and of­ten enough. 3. Plank. It builds a sta­ble core to sup­port other ex­er­cises, and helps to trim the tummy. 4. Pull-up. If you can’t do one, do the lat pull­down to work to­wards a pull-up. 5. Run­ning. This is great to im­prove your con­di­tion­ing and lose weight. For those who are get­ting started and car­ry­ing some ex­tra weight, go with a low-im­pact op­tion like row­ing or cy­cling to avoid joint pain.

What’s your fit­ness mantra?

It is this quote from the Bi­ble: “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”


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