As a growing CrossFit box, we are all getting to know each other and building that tight community we always envisioned. Each month, we profile a CrossFit Grail Athlete that is interesting and inspirational. A person that demonstrates a positive attitude, shows up every day and puts their heart and soul into their workout, never gives up, crushes their goals, cheers everyone on and is passionate about the CrossFit Grail Community. And someone who is pretty cool! Although we think everyone has these qualities, we can only pick one.
September 2018 Athlete Spotlight: Heather Rusch
Why we chose Heather:
What do cheerleading, dredging, South Korea, teaching English and ball room dancing all have in common? Our Athlete Spotlight for September is what! Heather Rusch is one of the most consistent athletes in the gym. Rain or shine, Heather has consistently made the Committed Club. Heather is a petite powerhouse with an infectious laugh. She not only met her initial fitness goals, but far exceeded them, losing 10% body fat & gaining nearly 3# of muscle in 6 months. And now she needs a new wardrobe! Check out her story and interesting background and make sure you watch her video interview!
Check out Heather’s video interview here
Tell us a little about yourself:
I was born in Colorado and grew up in the bustling town of Lyons. For those of you unfamiliar, it’s the town that you drive through to get to Estes Park. I went to college in Oregon (SOU) and then had some really fun jobs for a few years after that (dredging, teaching English in South Korea, ballroom dancing, commercial printing) before I finally got in with Kaiser Permanente. I’ve been with them for 7 years now, the majority of the time as an IT Project Manager on the National Telehealth/Virtual Care team.
Most of you probably know my husband Matt, who also works out at Grail. We got married in 2013 and now have two boys: Blake (4 ½) and Luke (1 ½). With little kids, we spend most of our time with them – going to the park, pool, reservoir, or the zoo. I also like to eat sushi, watch movies, and drink too much coffee. I’ve even been known to make some delicious pies and, of course, do CrossFit!
How long have you been doing CrossFit and what got you started?
Just passed my 6 month anniversary! I had thought about trying CrossFit before but was always kind of intimidated. Matt started CrossFit in December of last year and in just two months, I saw how much progress he had made and figured I’d stop being such a wuss and give it a try since what I was doing wasn’t getting me to where I wanted to be.
What did you do for your fitness before CrossFit?
I was always active when I was younger playing volleyball, cheerleading, and dancing, but after having kids, I just couldn’t find the time to get into organized sports again. I tried some classes at one of the big-box gyms in the area and liked them well enough, but couldn’t keep motivated to make it consistent. I ended up mostly just running on my own because it was easiest to fit into my schedule.
What do you like most about CrossFit?
One of the best things for me is that workouts are convenient. I don’t have to show up early to claim equipment/make sure there’s space in a class, get frustrated trying to put together a workout routine myself knowing that I’m totally just making it up, or spend hours on a treadmill. I just have to show up and do the best I can for an hour. I’ve seen huge results and I can fit it into my daily schedule.
How has doing CrossFit changed your life outside of the Box?
All of the above! The two most significant areas for me would be energy/attitude and physical improvements. Going to CrossFit most mornings helps me burn off any negative energy and puts me in a good mood for the rest of the day (that’s science!). It’s also helped me stay on track with my nutrition which in turn has helped me with physical goals that I’ve never been able to reach in the past.
What motivates you to keep WOD-ing?
When I first started, I told Michelle that I just wanted to lose some weight and become a little healthier. In the six months I’ve been at Grail, the clothes that I wanted to fit into that were once too small are now too big and I feel like I’m not only keeping up during work outs, but am sometimes even able to compete with other athletes. The feeling of having exceeded my own expectations is rewarding and trying to figure out the limits of what I can do keeps me motivated. Plus, I definitely don’t want to have to go back to the beginning so I might as well just keep going.
What are your 3 favorite CrossFit movements?
I like most everything except rowing and wall balls! Three favorites are probably:
2. Box Jumps, and
3. Kettlebell Swings
What is YOUR QUEST?
This month: Explore Germany!
This year: Get my first pull up & reach my goal weight/body fat %
This lifetime: Retire as early as possible and then play golf everyday
Check out Heather’s video interview here