It is March. That means it is time to announce a new Athlete of the Month. The Athlete of the Month for March 2020 came to us on referral from another fitness coach here in Pittsburgh that new Coach Matt from early days of doing CrossFit at the Sewickley YMCA. She comes bright and early every morning before heading to work for the rest of the day. She’s been a captain in our internal competitions, she attends most of our social events, and she is the captain of our Ragnar trail team. She’s a great example of our core value of humility as she is always ready and willing to learn something new. The Athlete of the Month for March 2020 is:
1. Where are you from originally? I grew up about 90 miles northeast of Pittsburgh in a small town called Knox.
2. If not from Pittsburgh, what brought you to Pittsburgh? I came to Pittsburgh to go to graduate school at Carnegie Mellon. I ended up getting a job back home teaching at the Clarion University but I loved Pittsburgh so much that I stayed in Pittsburgh and just commuted for a few years until I changed careers and got a job here.
3. Where do you work? Highmark. I’ve been there for 19 years and I currently lead Customer Experience for Highmark’s insurance plans and for Allegheny Health Network.
4. What is your favorite hobby? I love to cook, when it’s a slow-paced experience with family and friends (so weekday dinners do NOT count here). I also love watching my son play soccer.
5. How did you discover CrossFit? I was primarily running long distances for a number of years but I occasionally did a CrossFit-like class at my work gym. In 2018 our work gym changed from a class-based experience to basically a self-serve format, and at the same time I was finding myself constantly injured and burned out on running. It made sense to look for something new and one of the trainers I worked out with at work suggested CrossFit, specifically IA.
6. When did you start CrossFit? June 4, 2018
7. Why did you start CrossFit? I knew I needed a change but I was really intimidated by CrossFit. But two things happened: on my intro tour, Coach Brinker introduced himself to me and told me CrossFit would change my life. And then Matt texted me on June 3 and asked if I would be there the next day to start fundamentals. I didn’t have any excuses so I decided to see if Brinker was right because I was really feeling the need for a change. He was. I think I just needed a little push to get started and from day 1, it just felt right.
8. What is your favorite thing to do in CrossFit? I really enjoy pull-ups. They’re very difficult for me—just this week I did my first workout on the green band. But there is something so satisfying for me when I do them.
9. What is your least favorite thing to do in CrossFit? Snatches. Ugh. Just can’t seem to get the hang of them.
10. What is the number 1 thing you want to get better at? I want to be able to do an unassisted pull-up. I’m working on it … October, maybe sooner!
11. What is your favorite part about coming to CrossFit at Industrial Athletics? It’s a hard question to answer when the hour I spend at IA is the best hour of my day. But I love that at IA, anything feels possible and there is a version of CrossFit for everyone. It doesn’t matter if it is day 1 for you or you’ve been here for years, or if you are nursing an injury or have other limitations, everyone is worthy and the coaches and the community support you no matter where you are in your fitness journey. CrossFit is for anyone, especially at IA.
12. What is your favorite CrossFit WOD? I like workouts that have short sets of a few things, like Cindy. And I loved the open workout 20.2 with the jump rope, dumbbell thrusters, and hanging leg raises. Workouts like that go fast even if they’re long.