ST. LOUIS — It’s hard to find anyone who’s motor matches Bellefontaine Neighbors’ Heather Gurnow.
Five days a week, you can see her working long hours as an Emergency Vet Tech.
“It fulfills me so much, ” Heather said. “I love animals. I love to see them treated properly and cared for.”

However, Heather also wakes up at 3:00 a.m. every day to train for her favorite hobby, powerlifting. Heather picked up powerlifting after experiencing some tragedy in her life.

“Seven years ago, my mom passed away from health-related issues,” Heather said. “I was teetering on 300 pounds. I wasn’t taking care of my health as I should have. So, when my mom passed away from something completely avoidable, I decided that I was going to make a change. I started to watch what I was eating. I found strength training. Then I found powerlifting, and I never looked back.

The 40-year-old has loved the sport so much that this past winter, she began participating in powerlifting competitions. In her debut event, the 2022 USA Powerlifting Missouri River Open, Heather dominated the competition, setting five state records.

“It was an incredible feeling,” Heather said. “When they announced I was doing a state record attempt for my second squat, I had butterflies in my stomach. But, I was still amped up and when I cleared that squat, racked that weight, and saw the three white lights, the rest of the competition was amazing.”

Motivated to be healthier after her mother’s tragic passing, Heather has lost 100 pounds.

“I know that if I put my mind to it, I can achieve whatever I want,” Heather said. “(I want to show that you can) set a goal and attain it, show people that you can be strong and be intelligent, and you can tell the world how great all of this is. I think (my mom and dad) would be proud of their little girl.”