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Our athlete of the year was voted by her fellow athlete of the month recipients to represent the gym with a killer workout to close the year. This athlete is a demonstration of resilience as she has overcome adversity inside and out of the gym. She is a team player and a role model to her classmates and her children. Our Athlete of the Year is:

Heather Grew

1. How do you manage to balance your commitment to Industrial Athletics with your personal and professional life?

IA has become a non-negotiable for my mental health above everything else.  I go in the morning before my family is up – it’s the best way to start the day!

2. Beyond fitness goals, what motivates you in your everyday life, and how does this motivation translate into your workouts?  

My kids!  I workout to keep myself sane (haha) and to show them that sports are fun and rewarding.  I want to show them that feeling healthy, strong, and confident is more important than looking a certain way.

3. Can you share how your friends, family, or significant other support your fitness journey, and how important this support is to you?  

My husband, Jason, is my biggest supporter.  He knows how important my mental and physical health is to me and helps me by getting the kids ready in the morning while I go to the gym.  He also cooks healthy (mostly – haha) and goes to the grocery store for our family.  He’s pretty much the best.

4. Aside from CrossFit, what other healthy habits do you incorporate into your daily routine to maintain overall well-being?  

I try to eat healthy, but food is the challenging part for me!  I’ve been working on eating mindfully and having a better relationship with food.  I try not to obsess over the scale and look for non-scale victories – it’s hard though.  

5. How has the mental toughness developed through CrossFit positively impacted other areas of your life, and how do you handle setbacks?  

CrossFit has helped me to remember to just show up and to just keep going.  Every little bit helps and everything counts.

6. What’s your guilty pleasure or favorite indulgence when it comes to diet, and how do you balance it with your fitness goals?  

Hard to pick just one – haha. Chips, guac, and margaritas are my happy place.  It is on the menu less frequently, but I definitely enjoy it 100% when it is in front of me!

7. Are there any athletes or fitness personalities who inspire you, and how do they influence your approach to training and life?  

Annie Thorisdottir because she is the coolest and baddest mama.  And Simone Biles – she’s incredibly amazing and is doing great things to promote mental health and self-advocacy.  She’s also showing the world that gymnastics careers do not need to expire at the age of 18.

8. What are your favorite non-fitness-related hobbies, and how do they complement or contribute to your overall lifestyle?  

Before kids, I used to do a lot of glassblowing – I would love to come back to it at some point.  It’s similar to crossfit in that it’s very intense and involves technical skill.  When you’re working, there is no space in your brain to think about anything but the present.

9. Do you have a fitness-related bucket list goal, and how do you plan to work toward achieving it?  

Masters CrossFit Games?  Haha.  Kidding, but I would really like to be able to compete Rx in some Pittsburgh competitions.  I would also really like to be able to do a muscle-up someday.

10. Reflecting on your personal life, what accomplishment outside of the gym are you most proud of, and how does it contribute to your overall sense of fulfillment?  

Having and raising two babies while having a career.  It’s incredibly difficult and I’m always tired (with a coffee cup in hand), but I wouldn’t change a thing.  I’m proud of the fact that I’ve come back stronger than pre-kid me!