003 || Diaries of a Coach – HALLOWEEN EDITION!

Erica’s Complete Guide to Halloween Costuming


If you’re like me, you’ve procrastinated the inevitable decision that comes around every Halloween. The dreaded costume choice. Ugh, I loathe deciding on a Halloween costume. Now, I get that there are those of you that get excited by spending money on a costume you’ll never wear again. That get excited by trying to personify someone or something that you’re not. That get excited about attention and judgment from others based on your costume creativity, originality and execution. Makes sense, I’m just not one of those people.


So in honor of this stressful for some, delightful for others time of year, and the commitment to let you in on my ‘diary’, here’s your complete guide to costuming this Halloween based on my own highly informed decisions from years past.

1) Let your alter ego take over.

This option produces not only a great costume but, lets be honest, some self satisfaction we’ve all been looking for. Who wouldn’t want to live, for just one day, in the fantasy of who you could be. Maybe it’s the opposite of who you really are, maybe it’s your dark side. But this Halloween, embrace it and share it with the world!


2) Be the ULTIMATE you.
What do you love? What do you love to do? This year, go all out. Like basketball? Go as your favorite NBA player. Love CrossFit? Go as your favorite games athlete (or Coach 😉 ). Really smart? Nerd it up! Love aerobics? Grab those leg warmers! (These should obvi make a comeback!)


3) Embrace the season.
Those of you that are lacking the creativity or courage to step into a fantasy you or an ultimate you, go with a tried and true seasonal object, persona or fictional character. You can’t go wrong with these. Options include but are not limited to: ghosts, witches, Frankenstein, pumpkins, pilgrims or even Santa (just don’t be surprised if people insist on copious amounts of lap sitting, or maybe that’s your thing…).


4) Get in touch with your spirit animal.
This is my favorite option. Maybe we should all do this one, together. A spirit animal represents the traits and characteristics you possess, in animal form. This might require some soul searching, but figure out the loudest parts of you and your personality and be the animal you were meant to be!


Alright friends, hopefully this guide gave you some solid inspiration (if not maybe a good laugh or two?). So get out there, get that costume ready, and I’ll see you THIS Saturday for the long awaited, 3rd annual Halloween WOD and BOO-runch…aka come look silly, workout and then let’s eat and DRANK it up! Sign up today!
-Coach E

Night Of Champions || November 10

Night of Champions 
Are you a champion? Show us your stuff!

Teams of 2 – Male/Male or Female/Female
Rx & Scaled Divisions available!
Night of Champions will consist of 2 WODs
WOD 1 – A Lifting Event
WOD 2 – A Partner WOD
Details to come!
6:30 pm – Athlete Check-In
7:00 pm – WOD 1 Start Time

$50 per Team (includes registration for both team mates) Only 20 spots available!

(Only 1 registration per team – We’ll send an email to get division and partner name)

***Proceeds from Night of Champions will go toward new equipment for the gym!***



002 || Diaries of a Coach

Ok I don’t know about you but here’s how my “rest” days go, on the reg.
Me: “I’m not going to workout today. I’m pretty sore. I’m going to listen to my body and rest.”
Me (to me): “Maybe just go to the gym, work on mobility.”
Me: “Well that’s a good idea. I’ll do that!”
Me (to me again): “But there are push jerks in the workout, you know you love push jerks.”
Me: “No, I just need to rest.”
Me (an hour later, with ripped hands): “Nailed that workout. ‘PR’ed my butterfly pull ups. Freaking crushed those push jerks.”
Let’s just say I have a really hard time resting. So every so often I have to sit down, with myself, and remind myself why rest is so important.
Did you know that the body can sustain itself longer without food than it can without rest?
Did you know that recovery is the key to making consistent progress?
Did you know that when you’re tired, you don’t operate at full capacity, potentially risking poor form that could lead to injury and low performance that could lead to a drop in overall confidence in work capability?
In an article from the CrossFit Journal, Bill Starr explains, “When an athlete goes through a hard training session, he has, in fact, damaged his body by stressing his muscular, respiratory, circulatory, skeletal and endocrine systems. These systems must have time to be repaired or the body will not respond as it should. That means supplying the various cells with nutrients and, even more importantly, getting enough rest to allow the body to recuperate fully. If that doesn’t happen, the athlete will not be ready for the next workout.”
In fact, the optimal training template designed specifically for CrossFit follows a three days on, one day off pattern, because of the high intensity at the heart of CrossFit’s methodology and the rest needed to recover in order to maintain these high levels of intensity. Scientifically, by the fourth day of training, neuromuscular function and anatomy are affected in such a way that requires a reduction in intensity.
So why do we have such a hard time with rest? My impulse is to blame the culture. I don’t think anyone would argue that we live in a culture that values doing. We are busy people, of our own doing, going from one thing to the next. Getting consistent workouts done make us feel accomplished, and that’s great. But the progress that we miss out on when we refuse to let our bodies rest and recover, that accomplishment, that progress, we sacrifice.
But more than that. When I really dig deep into my battle against rest, I’ve found that there is also a mental and emotional cause for my resistance. Somewhere along the way I’ve associated rest with weakness and worse than that, progress, even maintenance, with constant work. Not only is this an error scientifically, but it fails to cultivate a healthy training mindset spurred on toward consistent progress and gains (which it actually hinders).
So today, I just wanted to tell you that not only is it ok to rest, but that you should rest, regularly and intentionally. (Hey, if you see me, could you tell me too, especially if there’s A LOT of running in the workout?) Find something that you enjoy doing, that allows you to rest both physically and mentally. Maybe it’s getting extra sleep or maybe it’s retreating to your favorite spot and reading a book. Whatever it is, PR your rest day! Deal? And then get back to CFA and say hello to progress!
Coach E

Tasty Tuesday || Portobello Mushroom Tacos

Happy Tuesday! I hope everyone’s week is off to a great start and that your meal prep game is on point 😉 I have been prepping my meals for the week on Sundays for a few years now. When I first started, I kept it simple and pretty much ate the same thing (or a variation of the same thing) every week…. until I got so dang sick of chicken breast I couldn’t stand it!

So, this past year especially, I’ve gotten braver and more creative with my meal prep dishes and it’s been awesome! In an effort to keep you from eating boring food, I wanted to share one of my favorite go-tos that is great for weekly prep, but also perfect for a quick weeknight meal. I’ve made this one several times and the nice thing is, you can really dress these however you like! They are super easy, super fresh, and super delicious. Without further adieu, let’s get into this lovely recipe for Portobello Mushroom tacos.

(I also love the name of this blog – Gimme some oven? Come on!)

-Coach Gen


Don’t judge my plating… I don’t have anyone to impress 😉

These Roasted Portobello Tacos are quick and easy to make, naturally vegetarian, and so hearty and delicious!

Roasted Portobello Taco Ingredients:

  • 3 large portobello caps, stems removed
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 batch corn salsa (see below)
  • 1 Package tortillas (I like whole wheat or the always tasty almond flour tortillas from our friends at Siete Foods!)
  • 1 large ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • ½ cup crumbled cotija cheese

Corn Salsa Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups whole-kernel corn
  • ⅓ cup finely-diced red onion
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely-diced
  • juice of one lime (about 2 tablespoons)


How To Make The Roasted Portobello Tacos:

  1. Heat oven to 400°F.  Line a large baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Slice the portobello mushroom caps into long, thin strips.  Place in a medium mixing bowl along with the olive oil, and gently toss until the mushrooms are evenly coated with the oil.  Lay the mushroom strips out in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet, and sprinkle evenly with a few generous pinches of salt and pepper.  Bake for 12 minutes, until the mushrooms are cooked through and soft.  (If you would like them more firm, you can bake for less time.)  Remove and set aside.
  3. Rinse out the mixing bowl, then prepare the corn salsa in it as directed below.  Set aside.
  4. If you would like to toast your tortillas, heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat until hot.  Then place a single tortilla flat in the pan and let it cook for 10-20 seconds per side, or until the tortilla begins to brown and bubble.  Immediately transfer the tortilla to a separate plate, and repeat with the remaining tortillas.
  5. To assemble the tacos, place 2-3 mushroom slices in the center of a tortilla, followed by 1-2 slices of avocado, a large spoonful of corn salsa, then sprinkle with fresh cilantro and cheese.  Serve immediately.

How To Make The Corn Salsa:

  1. Toss all ingredients together until combined.  Use immediately.

001 || Diaries of a Coach

Oh, hello.Image may contain: 1 person, smiling


Welcome to… (queue drumroll)


Diaries of a Coach!


Erica here, hopefully I have met most of you but those I haven’t, nice to meet you and welcome to my diary! I have to say, I am incredibly excited about this opportunity. Writing has been an outlet for me for awhile now and when this idea was thrown out, I knew in my gut I needed to say yes. (Ever get that oh-crap-I-know-I’m-supposed-to-do-this-but-I’m-HELLA-nervous feeling? That.)


Anyways, this is the new place to be. Right here, on my public diary! My hope is simply this: I want to make you laugh, bring a smile to your face. I want to tell you some stories, let you in on the life of a coach. I want to be real. I don’t know about you, but a big ol’ dose of realness in my day is always good for the soul. While my life and experience will be far from perfect, let’s connect over the struggles, the pains, the joys, the laughs, the highs and the lows that we all experience in this crazy CrossFit world we share.


So post numero uno commences… Right. Now.


A few months ago, Coach Jared and I did a video on our “why”. If you haven’t seen that, you should probably check it out (What’s your why)! If you watched that video, a huge part of the reason I train and am so passionate about coaching others comes from my own experience, growing up immersed in a lifestyle that very minimally valued proper nutrition and adequate movement, if at all. As I got older and realized the unhealthy and deeply rooted habits I had adopted, it became clear to me that I was to change a very prominent generational pattern in my family, or else I was headed down a slippery slope toward countless health risks and limitations.


Fast forward to the present, living in a city where health and fitness are cultural norms, working in an industry that is inundating me with new training methodologies daily and being borderline addicted to my own training and progress, people from my past stepping into this world might not even recognize me. So when my family came to visit last week, this was in many ways the case. My life is centered around something that lives on the very outskirts of theirs at best. So over the course of the last week, I found myself asking, “How do I encourage those around me to move, to take ownership of what and how and why they eat, to care about their health with the decisions they make daily?”


Odds are, if you’re reading this, you are engaged in a training program, hopefully here at CFA with me. (If not, holla at ya girl! erica@crossfitaustin.com) So more than likely I don’t need to encourage you to move consistently. But maybe, like me, you care deeply about someone, or multiple someones, that haven’t tasted the goodness of pushing physical limits, of eating a meal with the sole purpose of fueling the body for work, of gaining confidence from achieving a long term goal in the gym. This is my heart for most of my family. I want them to not only live long and healthy lives, I want them to have the ability to do the things they love, I want them to live pain free, and I want them to accomplish things they never thought possible.


Here’s what I would say after a week of contemplating all of this, of encouraging and sometimes violently pushing the people I care most about (let’s be honest, sometimes we all need a loving but violent push). Keep loving what you do, who you are and how you feel when you finish a workout every day. Aren’t you so glad to have a community of people in it with you?  But let’s also invite people in. Let’s talk about it like we adore it, because we really do. It gives us life, literally. So many haven’t found something that keeps them going, that challenges them, that provokes healthy change both physically and mentally, and people to do it with. Maybe it’s simply initiating a conversation about the struggles of fitness and nutrition, or inviting someone on a walk, or bringing them to CFA (shameless plug, nailed it). How can you, today, share your fitness? Y’all, someone’s life might depend on it!

-Coach E

October Athlete of The Month – Illianna Degollado!

Each month we spotlight a different CFA athlete who stands out and shows just how awesome they are. What is it that makes up an Athlete of the Month? It may not be the person that finishes the fastest, Rx’s every WOD, or gets a PR every time they walk in the gym. Although we love and celebrate when those things happen, the Athlete of the Month is made up of much more than physical ability. This person shows up, gives their best every time, and then gives a little more. They are hungry to learn and always ready to do the work. They support their fellow classmates and encourage them to reach their goals. This athlete embodies what we believe the CrossFit Austin Community should be about.

Our October Athlete of the Month is Illianna Degollado! I remember the day this gal came to the gym! She walked in wearing a shirt that said “Dope” and I knew she’d fit in. Illianna joined us a couple years ago with a solid group of folks led under Coach Ben. Over the years she’s progressed into an impressive little athlete! She’s always looking to improve and seeks out the guidance and tools to make that happen. She has a solid drive and a hardworking attitude to match. Illianna is a key part of the community aspect at CFA too! If there’s a social event, you better believe she’s there and the life of the party! Illianna, the CFA Team is proud to honor you as our October Athlete of the Month and as an awesome part of this community. Thanks for your all your hard work and we look forward to seeing all you accomplish in the years to come! Congratulations!


State your Name and/or Nickname please:Illianna Maria Degollado
Nickname: ILLI or ILL


Words to live by?
“There is no FORCE more POWERFUL than a WOMAN determined to SUCCEED”

What is your fitness background?
Track, Basketball, and Cheerleading


How long have you been CrossFitting?
2 ½ years

Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel? How do you compare it to workouts today?
It was a warm Saturday morning in July, at approximately 8:45 a.m. I entered CFA a nervous wreck. CFA had a community WOD going on, and I met my friend Chelsea at the gym. Leigh was coaching at the time, and if you know Leigh, she is the definition of a CrossFit Coach; she’s strong, athletic, and confident. Chelsea and I looked at each other and just stared into each other’s souls like, “Why did we think this was a good idea?” Leigh asked us to group up and then the fun began. The workout consisted of wall balls, burpees, and goblet squats, if I remember correctly. When we had to burpee over each other…. I was in a group with Chelsea and Becca, and I’m sure we looked like nerds trying to jump over each other. Leigh kindly instructed us through that part of the WOD, and prevented us from hurting each other. Long story short, I never sweated and hurt so much in my life, that’s when I fell in love with this sport.

What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?
The community. The community is the heart and soul of any CrossFit gym. I know we all say that, but it truly is. It is why we ALL endure these insane workouts, and push each other every day. This is my second family, and even though some of us leave, there are friendships made here that become long lasting friendships.

Current Training Goals/PRs?
Right now, I’m part of the Oly crew and working with our awesome Weightlifting Coach, Dylan. He’s going to get me to a solid 200lb back squat and 100lb+ snatch. Now, just overall getting stronger and being proficient on my weightlifting technique, but a 100+ snatch would be chill too.  

What advice do you have for folks just starting out in CrossFit?
We all started somewhere, and everything you see around the gym took years to learn, well for me at least. Don’t psych yourself out because you’re not good at one movement or a skill; come in everyday and make small goals to work on. Either way you came in and did your part, you’re stronger today then you were before.

What is your cheat meal go to?
OMG…. I LOVE breakfast! I could eat it all day, with that said, pancakes, bacon, eggs, hash browns, biscuits and gravy, and to wash it all down with a mimosa or bloody mary. Mmmmm, just all the carbs!

How do you use your fitness outside of the gym?
I have a Boxer puppy, so she has an infinite amount of energy and makes the best running partner. We run for about a mile, and then I’ll do some body weight movements like air squats and push-ups. If I’m feeling ambitious, I’ll put a weight vest on throughout all of that.


Tell us about a moment you felt most proud of yourself during a workout.
During the OPEN last year, Dave Castro announced 17.5, and my first thought was, “Crap, double unders.” At the time I was living in Houston, and I was going to a CrossFit gym there called Urban Animal. I was going to scale it because I really didn’t have my double unders, well maybe like a good five and then I would have to go back to singles. After a week of pure pressure from my friends at the gym, I decided to do it RX. The week leading up to Friday I worked so hard on them, and I got 10 in one day and then 15. When Friday came, I knew I wanted to do well, so I took my time on the thrusters, and collected myself before starting my double unders. The first two rounds were just me feeling it out, and pacing myself for this 10-round madness that I signed up for. I tripped up every now and then, but I completed 17.5 RX!!! I was beyond proud of myself, and there’s nothing more satisfying than getting a consistent 30 dubs under your belt.



If you could create a WOD and name it for yourself, what would it be?
“Time to Get ILL” cue Beastie Boys song!

For Time
800m Run
50 walking lunges
25 snatches
15 strict pull-ups
800m Run

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?
I like volunteering for events in Austin. I’m from this city, so I love giving back to it.

Tell us something we don’t know about you…
I have my own personal CrossFit Coach that lives with me and goes to CFA too!

Longhorns or Aggies?
“Eat’em up Cats”



Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words…
Today we’re setting the foundation for…… our bar muscle ups, PR snatches, walking handstands, strict pull-ups, and everything else. You’re one day stronger than you were yesterday, keep going!

The Importance of a Youth Strength Program

Image may contain: 6 people, people playing sports and text


Time and time again we have all seen bad lifting habits in youth athletes, especially in a high school weight room. The consistency of these bad habits, most of the time, leads to an unneeded and avoidable injury. Therefore, it is imperative that we instill good habits having to do with form, posture, and technique from a young age. Here at Crossfit Austin we are implementing a youth strength program addressing these issues while also aiming to create a strong and explosive young athlete.

I was blessed to have started the sport of Olympic Weightlifting at age 10 with a great coach. I competed in the sport, while also used the movements to make me a better football player. My coach instilled in me, from the very start, the importance of good posture and using that to lift properly. When high school football rolled around, it was obvious the difference in my lifting habits versus most of the other players. This is where my passion of making athletes explosive, and them looking good doing it, developed. Now since I have left high school, that passion has only increased. I am very thankful for this opportunity at Crossfit Austin to pass on to today’s youth, what my coach instilled in me.

In our program, our youth athletes will properly learn how to do the Olympic lifts while also doing other strength exercises to make them strong and explosive for their respective sport. We will focus on getting explosive through the hips and having a strong core. This will all serve as a proper base for when they reach high school athletics. Whether they are a basketball, volleyball, or softball player, etc., they will encounter exercises such as the power clean, squat, and bench. We want to send them into that setting with the proper knowledge and mechanics of those movements to best be utilized for their sport. Most importantly, we are going to have fun doing it!

The goal is to create good lifting habits, be explosive and strong, and ultimately help our young athletes succeed and have fun. Here at Crossfit Austin, we all share this passion, we are committed to it, and we want to invite y’all to share this lifestyle with us!

-Coach Dylan

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