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Athlete of the Month for September 2020

The Athlete of the Month is back!  For the first Athlete of the Month after our COVID Quarantine, we picked someone who has continuously shown progress through her hard work.  During the shutdown, she regularly attended online classes.  She didn’t give up on her Coach’s Corner goals, but simply modified them.  She was able to make progress toward her overall fitness goals with things she could do at home.  When we moved outside, she was there almost every day with a smile on her face and a positive attitude.  The Athlete of the Month for September 2020 is:


1. Where are you from originally?
I am a fourth generation Pittsburgher. I grew up here, went to school here, and am so
happy I get to work here. This city is in my blood. I hope I never have to leave it.

2. If not from Pittsburgh, what brought you to Pittsburgh?

3. Where do you work?
I am a Presbyterian pastor. I work at two churches- Mt. Nebo United Presbyterian Church and Glenshaw Valley Presbyterian Church.

4. What is your favorite hobby?
I learned how to crochet so that I could hang out with the little old ladies at my church. I started making scarves, advanced to blankets, and am now learning how to make prayer shawls. During quarantine, I adopted a cat named River. So, my new favorite hobby is teaching River to stay out of my yarn basket.

5. How did you discover CrossFit?
My friend Charissa Howe invited me to come to a community workout at IA. I had never heard of CrossFit before. I remember we did 3 Rounds for Time: 1 min kettlebell swings (I swung a .25), 1 min of box jumps (I stepped on the short box) and 1 min of rowing. I thought I was dying. It was my first time seriously working out in years. It’s fun now to look back on that first workout and see how far I’ve come!

6. When did you start CrossFit?
I started CrossFit in October of 2018.

7. Why did you start CrossFit?
I was at a crossroads in my life. I was in my late 20s and was trying to come to terms with the fact that I probably already was who I was going to be when I grew up. I had a really stressful job and I was managing that stress with take-out and Netflix binges. I was also looking for a community to be a part of outside of my work. A community that wouldn’t stop swearing when I entered the room. CrossFit and IA entered my life at a time when I was looking to invest in my health and a community.

8. What is your favorite thing to do in CrossFit?
I love a heavy lifting day. Clean and Jerks are my favorite lift because lifting heavy weight above my head makes me feel like a badass. Coach Matt and I are working on my hip mobility. I’m learning to focus on form when squatting with lighter weights. One of my goals for 2020 is to squat below parallel. If you see me after class doing a weird hip stretch, that’s why.

9. What is your least favorite thing to do in CrossFit?
Running. I was in class one day where it started down pouring as we were to do 400m runs. We got to do 15cals on the assault bike instead. It was the happiest day of my life.

10. What is the number 1 thing you want to get better at?
This month in Coach’s Corner I’m working on my hanging leg raises. I want to be able to do three unbroken. I need to work on my grip and my core strength.

11. What is your favorite part about coming to CrossFit at Industrial Athletics?
I am so appreciative that Coach Matt and Coach Jen have figured out how to get us back in the gym during COVID. Since I’m mostly working from home, the hour that I spend at IA is the only time I see other humans during the day. Also, I noticed during quarantine that I tend to sandbag my at-home workouts. I need that push from the other athletes and my coaches to choose a heavier dumbbell or run the longer distance.

12. What is your favorite CrossFit WOD?
I really loved Open 20.4 (scaled):
30 20-in box step ups (holding a 14lb med ball)
15 clean and jerks (35 lbs)
30 20-in box step ups (holding a 14lb med ball)
15 clean and jerks (55lbs)
30 20-in box step ups (holding a 14lb med ball)
10 clean and jerks (75lbs)
30 20-in box step ups (holding a 14lb med ball)
10 clean and jerks (95 lbs)
30 20-in box step ups (holding a 14lb med ball)
5 clean and jerks (115 lbs)
30 20-in box step ups (holding a 14lb med ball)
5 clean and jerks (135 lbs)
20 minute time cap