Marissa Hein Seeks Rebound at Team Universe

Figure competitor Marissa Hein

Like many competitors, winning a pro card is important to Marissa Hein. Even the title of her blog, Road to the Pro Card, a spontaneous chronicle of her journey this season, exists as a constant reminder of her goal to reach the IFBB.

The 30-year-old from Oregon, a former collegiate fast-pitch softball player turned national level figure athlete, realizes that there’s little margin for error at this level. “Every single person looks great at nationals and it really is about catching the eye of the judges and making sure that everything is right on point,” she wrote after competing at Jr. Nationals, the latest stop in 2012, her third year competing.

Marissa finished out of contention in class D, the largest and probably toughest of the show. Afterward, her disappointment was tempered by the knowledge that she has a chance to turn things around in a hurry—that chance arrives Friday at Team Universe in Teaneck, New Jersey.

Marissa’s finish at Jr. Nationals left her resisting hints that she switch to the physique division. But she remains committed, at least for now, to making her mark in figure. “The feedback I received is that I have too much muscle and some suggested that I look toward the physique class,” she wrote. “I am determined to make the changes necessary to continue to compete in figure this year and I have taken the last week to refine and focus more.”

Posing during shoot at Jr. Nats

How’s this for focus? Marissa, who works as an elementary school teacher, traveled to Texas to spend part of summer vacation working with—and actually living with—her trainers, IFBB figure pro Catherine Holland and Jason Phillips. “I am so excited to be in that environment,” she said. “No distractions, no work and complete focus.”

You’ll get to see a sample of Marissa’s gym intensity and power in a workout segment featured in her debut shoot. Among her athletic achievements, the Western Oregon University graduate is a distance runner and once qualified for the Boston Marathon. She looks back over her background in sports and fitness with pride. “I am an athlete through and through. I have grown up playing sports, played softball in college, coached softball, fell in love with running and marathons, found and fell in love with lifting weights. I love to workout.”

On her current look, Marissa cites upper body as a positive but hopes streamlined legs and improved conditioning will be there by showtime. She’ll need to win her class or place second to earn the coveted card. “I know that in these three short weeks between Jr. Nationals and Team Universe I will bring a better package, but when I step on that stage all I can do is hope that it is enough.”

Hopefully this time she’ll catch the judges’ eyes.

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~ by Dean Sucich on June 30, 2012.

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