FitLabPGH Features 5:21 Crystal Brenneman

FitLabPGH is a podcast about movement and movement opportunities in the Pittsburgh, PA area.  Once a week we also highlight a FitLabPGH mover…someone who understands that movement is a lifestyle…not just an activity.  The questions are lightly edited to allow for easy readability.  Click FitLabPGH Features for more info if you want to be featured/know someone who should be featured.

This Week: Crystal Brenneman

Are you a Pittsburgh native? If not, what brought you to the Pittsburgh area? If so, why are you still here? I am from Central PA (near Harrisburg) but went to Temple in Philly for my first year of college then transferred here to go to Pitt for the remainder of my undergrad. I stayed here because I absolutely loved this city. There was a small town feel yet with all the perks of the city.

What are your three favorite movement activities in the Pittsburgh area? Running, cycling, yoga!

Describe the best vacation you’ve ever taken? Where did you go? What movement activities did you include? My boyfriend (now fiancé), his parents, and myself went to Saint Martin. We chilled in the clear water together, stayed at a great house with an infinity pool looking into the Atlantic Ocean. We were carefree and just enjoying each other’s company for 10 days. I was in the middle of marathon training so I got to enjoy many miles of the coastline, the history of the island, and more. We also went snorkeling (my first time!) as a family.

What is your favorite pre- or post-workout snack? I absolutely adore my honey stinger GF waffles before, honey stinger gels or chews during as well as salt tabs, and Nuun.

What is your favorite thing to eat in Pittsburgh? Note: it does not need to be healthy. I am weak to some Condado tacos!

Do you have a movement activity on your “bucket list”? If not, what’s a movement activity/event you’re looking forward to in the next year? I really want to do a 100 miler in my lifetime. I love the idea of a grueling long adventure and spending all those hours and miles experiencing the beauty of the outdoors.

What do you think is the biggest obstacle to getting people to move more? The ability to get out the door or start the workout video. That’s why groups like weight watchers, running groups, etc… are so successful for people – it’s because they have a buddy system that keeps them accountable and gives them the motivation to do the work.

What do you feel is the most adventurous movement activity you’ve ever done? I unfortunately have not been as adventurous. I became a nurse in 2019, and in the beginning of 2020 when my fiancé and I wanted to start adventuring since we finally had the money to do so… the pandemic hit. But I would say that my most adventurous was hiking in New River Gorge.

What is your favorite recovery or self-care practice? I love yoga. I miss a good hot yoga session (I regularly attended South Hills Power Yoga). I have been taking up meditation lately through the Peloton App

What is your favorite spot in Pittsburgh? (Bonus points if it is a “hidden gem”) I wish I had a favorite!! If it’s a hike with my pupper and fiancé, a run with a great friend, or a backyard by the fire with good people, then it’s a favorite to me!

Contact info for Crystal Brenneman: