The female winner of the Under Armour Test of Will 2017 tells us why she’s so in love with Crossfit. By Estelle Low
Jemima Djatmiko is the female champion of the Under Armour Test of Will 2017 competition. Photo: Courtesy of Jemima Djatmiko
ABOUT JEMIMA DJATMIKO
Jemima 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.
Jemima Djatmiko moving a 30kg slam ball over her shoulder at the Under Armour Test of Will 2017 finals. Photo: Under Armour Singapore
How did you get started in fitness?
I was chubby since young, all through my freshman year. At my heaviest, I was 76kg. When I was 19, I started running to lose weight. Later, 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. Plus, I fractured that same ankle after falling from a rope climb last year.
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.
Jemima did 14 weighted pull-ups at the Under Armour Test of Will 2017 finals. “The vest was quite heavy, so I had to break this exercise into sets of twos,” she says. Photo: Under Armour Singapore
What’s the toughest thing you’ve done?
Not many people know this, but I 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 do you look out for in a life partner?
To be honest, it’s not easy to find one. It’s not about finding someone to complete you (like what others say “your other half”), but finding someone who complements you, improves you and makes you a better person.
I want my partner to share my love for Crossfit, strength athletics and functional fitness. I want someone who pushes me to think strategically about my training programme, my approach to prepare for competitions, and how to tackle the workouts.
Jemima pulling a 1.5-ton (1,360kg) car at the Under Armour Test of Will 2017 finals. “The hardest part is the first pull,” she says. Photo: Under Armour Singapore
Do men get intimidated when they learn about your fitness achievements?
I’m sure some of them are. [Laughs] They like to mention my personal record for weights to their male friends and intimidate them about the fact that I’m a woman but I can lift more weight than them.
I know that they respect and appreciate the fact that I am where I am because of the hard work I’ve put in.
Has your active lifestyle influenced people around you?
Mums and teenage girls often ask me how to be fit and get to where I am. I’m glad to be an inspiration and living testimony that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.
My two boys work out with me. I write WODs (“workout of the day” in Crossfit speak) for them. Sometimes, they come up with their own.
Jemima doing a sandbag lunge walk, the last challenge at the Under Armour Test of Will 2017 finals. She says: “My legs and lungs were screaming by then. But I told myself to keep going and not to drop the sandbag,” Photo: Under Armour Singapore
What are the most important things to do to look good and stay healthy?
1. Take care of your body. Exercise regularly and eat nourishing food. You’ll live longer, prevent illnesses and diseases, and look younger with that healthy glow!
2. Do what you love passionately. Be it teaching, cooking, designing, or even taking care of your kids, do it with a full heart. It will give you a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.
3. Enjoy life without stress. Stress takes years away from you. Meditate and reflect often. Find that peace within you despite all the situations you face in life.
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.
Jemima poses with her medal, next to the Under Armour Test of Will 2017 male champion Michael Mogard of Brunei. Photo: Under Armour Singapore
What’s your fitness mantra?
It is this quote from the Bible: “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”
Follow Jemima on Instagram (@jemimajobe) for more fitspiration.
This article is brought to you by Under Armour Singapore.