PARAMUS, N.J. — New Jersey State Trooper Dana Wilcomes says people view her a bit differently than her male counterparts.
Still, the 27-year-old Paramus native was held to the same standard as the guys in the police academy. She had to run the same number of miles, do the same number of sit-ups and complete just as many pull-ups.
Last month, Wilcomes gave members of her own gender a run for their money in the 2016 International CrossFit Open, finishing first in the New Jersey Female Law Enforcement division of the five-week program.
“It’s not all physical,” the 2008 Paramus High School graduate said. “I have a lot more confidence in myself and my abilities. It’s next-level confidence — knowing you can go out and do something.”
Wilcomes got into CrossFit just after graduating from college at the suggestion of her cousin.
She figured she’d complete the 20-minute workout and go for a run after she returned home.
Moments into the “Cindy” workout, Wilcomes realized that she had largely underestimated the intensity of the training session.
“It just crushed me — it was incredible,” said the former basketball player and track runner. “I remember thinking that it was all body weight and simple movements. It was something I just had to do.”
Three years after joining Guerrilla Fitness in Paramus, Wilcomes “dragged” her father, David Wilcomes, 65, to a Father’s Day session. He, too, was hooked.
The father-daughter duo has continued to train together as the elder Wilcomes endures chemotherapy treatments.
Training together has made the Wilcomes pair stronger in more ways than one, but that wouldn't have been possible without their Guerrilla “family.”
“A lot of it comes down to community,” said the younger Wilcomes, who can't see herself ever training in a traditional gym again. “Whenever you do a workout, you’re being encouraged by the coaches and the other members.
“Everybody should do some type of fitness and it’s going to be different for everybody. For me, it’s CrossFit,” she said.