I have been working with Heather for over 4 years now and I am always inspired by her determination, dedication and positive attitude. She is able to juggle school, internships, social life and never misses her training sessions. She is a true role model when it comes to work-life balance!
- You just received your doctorate in physical therapy, what made you decide to pursue that profession?
I got interested in PT when I was rehabbing my own injuries–I tore my left and right ACL in quick succession and had a really great relationship with my PT, and appreciated all the help she gave me to be able to return to the playing field. I think the profession is a great combination of things I love: people, teaching, athletics/being active, and helping.
- You had a very demanding school schedule, how did you prioritize and balance school and your own health and fitness?
I told myself when I began grad school that 2 things would not be sacrificed: sleep and exercise. For me to be successful in graduate school, I need my sleep and I need to be active, otherwise I’d be really unhappy and I’m sure my schoolwork would suffer. I was not going to pull an all-nighter or skip a workout just to get maybe 2-3% more questions right on a test. Balance is really important!
- What is your favorite exercise or activity?
This one is really hard! There are so many things I love doing. Ultimate frisbee was my life for about 16 years, an amazing sport. Now, I’m about running, cycling, rock climbing, Zumba, and just trying to get as strong as possible. I have a LOT of fun at Zumba since I do it with my friends, but I probably feel strongest when I climb since I have to use what I’ve got to get my body up the wall/rock. And usually better technique than those who just muscle everything (ahem, men).
- Least favorite exercise or activity?
Hmmmm, tricky one. Least favorite of the things I do??? I mean, I just can’t get into golf, it’s too slow and classist and a waste of space/land. Yoga and pilates are also a little slow, but I have more respect for those activities. The strength/flexibility of people is insane. Of the things you, Tiffany, make me do, I might have to go with burpees. I mean, they are a great workout, but I actually dislike the up-and-down part, it always disorients me!
- What song pumps you up?
This answer changes probably monthly. Since I’ve been so into Zumba lately, I have a Zumba playlist where every single song fires me up. And there are certain songs I sing in my head when I’m running, especially long distances that don’t pump me up, but motivate me to keep going. I will give you my current favorite Zumba song, which is “Madre Tierra (Oye)” by Chayanne. It’s in Spanish so I have no idea what the words are (I hope they’re appropriate), but it is just such a HAPPY song.
- Who is your favorite athlete and why?
I love so many athletes, but I will go with the first athlete I loved–Jackie Joyner-Kersee. She was fast, she could jump, she was strong, and she had asthma (I had exercise-induced asthma as a child). She was also really well-spoken and positive in any interviews I would watch/read. And I’ll give a small shout out to my boy Andre Iguodala–I want biceps like his!
- Favorite mantra or quote?
I’m not much for mantras/quotes when it comes to sports stuff…I have a line from a favorite poem tattooed on my foot: “There’s love all day.” That keeps things in perspective.
- If you could give advice or a ti to someone who is just starting out on their fitness journey, or someone who is just getting back into a routine, what would that advice be?
It’s one day/step/task at a time. That’s all anyone can do, and thinking about how far you might have to go is overwhelming. If you start with just walking to the end of the driveway and back, that’s something. Next time, go a little farther. Then again. And before you know it, 3 years have passed and you’re a Doctor of Physical Therapy or you’ve run a marathon or (insert goal here). It can be done!
~ Tiffany G.