Athlete of the Month - Heather Wakefield

This month’s featured athlete is Heather Wakefield! Heather has been an Early Bird mainstay for several years and recently had her first child. Read more to hear about how she manages parenting, a career and her training.

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What made you decide to try CrossFit? What about CrossFit DelVal has kept you coming back?

I’ve been at DelVal since 2014. At the time I had just finished grad school and had no idea what to do with my free time. Back then, beginner athletes had to work out in the Dungeon with Larry during Elements class (shout out to Mimi and Peggy, my first CFDV friends!) I remember walking in on my first day and seeing people literally throwing barbells around! It was so loud and chaotic and I wanted so badly to be a part of whatever was happening. Sometimes life (mainly work) gets in the way and I can’t dedicate the time I’d like to DelVal but I could never give it up. I love the sense of community, and knowing I’m not alone when the workout makes me want to cry!  

What are some of your favorite workouts or experiences with CrossFit DelVal? Do you have a least favorite workout/movement?

What initially drew me to CrossFit were the barbell movements.  I love workouts like ‘Grace’ and ‘DT’. One of my favorite accomplishments was RX’ing ‘Grace’. I just did ‘Jumanji’ so I am going to say that is probably my least favorite workout: thrusters and burpees - NO.  I also enjoy any workout that involves a rower. I’m tall so it’s one of the few CrossFit movements that works for me!

You recently had your first child. How has this impacted your training?

Actually I think I get to the gym more often now than I did pre-baby! I was really sad to give up working out with the 6:30 crew, and at first I was a little intimidated to try a different class because most of my friends were Early Birds. But I started showing up to as many evening classes as I could and when I realized that wasn’t enough (and with a lot of encouragement from Jacki) I started working out on my own. Overall it probably took me about eight months to find a good balance that works for me and my family.  Now that I’m settled in to my new routine, I’m really enjoying CrossFit again and feeling like myself before I got pregnant.

What are some things that you keep you consistent, even with a new baby? Or other things you do to stay on track with fitness?

Making sure I get to the AM Open Gym has made a huge difference for me. Jacki introduced me to the WOD Roulette app – I love it! I’ll try to find workouts based on the amount of time I have in the morning so even if I only have 15-20 minutes I can still do something. And when all else fails, I have a toddler to chase!

You recently started our Amplify! Nutrition program. How has that impacted your training? How has it impacted other aspects of your life? What are some foods you rely on the most?

Baby weight is no joke and Amplify really helped me reset my eating patterns. After Hadley was born I lived on Uncrustables (don’t judge) and hot dogs for a good three to four months. I knew I needed some accountability to get me back on track so at first I signed up for the Fall Nutrition Challenge and then kept it going because I wanted to continue making progress.  The accountability piece is by far the best part of Amplify for me. Right now Jacki is holding me to a 30 day No Sugar challenge. If I fail she gets to make a terrible workout for me. It’s working so far!

I don’t always have the time to meal prep but I try my best to make better decisions based on what Jacki has taught me. I want my daughter to have better eating habits than I did growing up so that also motivates me to make better choices. Oh and Jacki’s Protein Applesauce snack is a new favorite of mine!

What are somethings that you enjoy doing outside of CrossFit? What’s a fun facts people might not know about you?

I’m from Jersey! I moved to PA a few years ago because I was working in King of Prussia. So that’s definitely another plus about being part of DelVal. I didn’t really know a lot of people in this area until I joined the gym, and I’ve met a lot of really amazing people through CrossFit.

My family is everything to me.  My daughter is turning one soon and I’m just trying to soak in every possible second with her. Time goes by SO quickly!

If you could be an animal for a whole day, what animal would you choose to be?

My dog for sure.  If I could just get one of his naps in right now I’d be in heaven.  I REALLY miss naps!