Our first Athlete of the Month for the new year has been with us for over a year. He has been committed to attending class and getting better despite his busy schedule outside of the gym. You can typically find him in a 6:15am group class or dancing at a 7:15am private session with his fiancé. He loves to travel and work on his upper body strength. Not much stands in his way when it comes to accomplishing his goals. The Athlete of the Month for January 2023 is:
1. Where are you from originally? Marietta Georgia
2. If not from Pittsburgh, what brought you to Pittsburgh? My fiancé (Brenden) is from Westmoreland County originally. Once we were able to take our NYC jobs fully remote, we moved to Pittsburgh to be closer to family.
3. Where do you work? HUNTER – an integrated communications agency based in NYC. Basically I do a lot of strategic planning, communications, pitching stories, social media management, etc.
4. What is your favorite hobby? Good question – and a hard one to answer with just one… I’m a big fan of all things Broadway and musical theater. I also love to try new restaurants and introduce friends to some of my favorite spots. Last but not least, I’m an undercover fan of RPGs (video games). As you can see, all of these involve lots of sitting and/or calorie intake, so I am grateful that I found this CrossFit community!
5. How did you discover CrossFit? I have heard good things about CrossFit from several relatives over the years. We were living in the North Side in 2021 and Brenden found Industrial Athletics online. Then it was just a matter of walking in the door!
6. When did you start CrossFit? September 2021
7. Why did you start CrossFit? I was doing literally nothing at all in the way of exercise and since I was quickly approaching my *cough* mid-to-late 30s, I was eager to start establishing some good habits as part of the move to Pittsburgh. I was hoping to find something motivating, but challenging. Plus, I needed a place where someone would help set me up for success and then hold me accountable. I’ve paid for gyms in the past where I stopped by 2-3 times a month, picked up something heavy, ran on a treadmill for 10 minutes and then eventually just stopped going. I’m glad to have found a spot where I look forward to going consistently! Something I never thought I’d say about ANYTHING workout-related…
8. What is your favorite thing to do in CrossFit? Learning and slowly improving at barbell lifts that I never thought I’d be able to do in my wildest dreams. When I first walked in the door, I could hardly lift the barbell alone (without any weight), so what I’m doing in class just a little over a year later seems unreal.
9. What is your least favorite thing to do in CrossFit? Hands down the Assault Bike. ‘Assault’ is definitely how I would describe the experience of riding it… BUT, when I first started, burpees would have definitely been my answer – and those have gotten much easier for me. So I now see the bike as my next challenge to master.
10. What is the number 1 thing you want to get better at? I recognize that this is a very basic answer, but…pull-ups. I think it goes back to middle school gym class when I thought to myself “can anyone actually do this or are our teachers just torturing us?” I also love that it involves so many different parts of the body and progress is easy to see. I might also throw grip strength in there as a close second since it’s a big part of pull-ups.
11. What is your favorite part about coming to CrossFit at Industrial Athletics? The people for sure. The coaches and the participants in class can make or break the experience at any gym. Fortunately, the crowd at Industrial Athletics is very encouraging and supportive of one another. Seeing people at all different levels grow together is really special – and getting to know everyone at the community events is even better!
12. What is your favorite CrossFit WOD? I feel like this is another popular answer, but – Cindy. It’s not terrifying to see it written on the board (very basic movements), but I love moving quickly to see how many rounds I can crank out and you feel very accomplished at the end. If I had my way, I’d throw a few sit-ups in each round too!