June Athlete of The Month || Tony Campos

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 June Athlete of the Month is Tony Campos!  Tony started his journey with us in January, but he’s no stranger to CrossFit! You’ll either find him strolling into the 8:30 am class with our “coffee crew” or sweating it out with the noon class. He works extremely hard, but you’d never know how much effort he’s putting in, because he always has a smile on his face! (Who smiles during thrusters?!?!) 😉 . He pushes himself to be better every day is always there to cheer on those who are working with him. We’re so happy to have Tony as our June Athlete of the Month and as an awesome part of this community. Congratulations Tony!

 

State your Name and/or Nickname please:tony1
Tony Campos or big tones or the hispanic titanic (lol thanks Daniel) or Dr. Campos if you’re one of my students…I guess I have a few nicknames.

Words to live by?
Anything in life worth doing is worth over-doing. Moderation is for cowards.

What is your fitness background?
I played football growing up, so the gym life was ingrained in me at an early age.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
I’ve been CrossFitting for a little over a year now. I took a break for awhile when I moved back to Austin from Minneapolis.

Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel? How do you compare it to workouts today?
My first day CrossFitting was with Jason Prudhom and Vinh Huynh at Mash Mafia Minnesota. We did 5 rounds of 5 push-ups 10 sit-ups and 15 squats in the fundamentals course. I thought I died. If I compare that workout to some of the regular CFA metcons, it’s a fairly straightforward workout, but it was really difficult when I first tried it. I have a long way to go to reach my fitness goals, but I’ve come a long way.

What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?
The Coaches!!!! I think I’ve taken a class from almost every coach and y’all are amazing! The one coach I haven’t taken a class with is Zach. I’m sure he’s a great coach but let’s be honest here…I would be too busy staring at him because he’s just too darn good-looking.

Current Training Goals/PRs?
I want to be able to snatch 225 lbs and clean and jerk 315 lbs. I’m not anywhere close to those numbers right now, so I have my work cut-out for me.IMG_0314

What advice do you have for folks just starting out in CrossFit?
Stay the course! The majority of us are terrible at CrossFit when we first start and I think that’s kind of the point. The workouts seem impossible your first month. You’ll end up scaling the workout and struggle through it. You’ll be sore in places that you didn’t think you could be sore. And eventually, you end up doing the workouts as written and you’ll surprise yourself with what you can do. Moral of the story: if you show up a few times a week for the CrossFit classes, you end up doing workouts that you didn’t think you would ever be able to do.

What is your cheat meal go to?
I really want to say pizza, but that’s way too easy. Pizza is like the universal cheat meal. Bread, tomato sauce, cheese, more cheese, pepperoni, mushrooms, sausage. My goodness, pizza is delicious. After describing pizza, I think I’ve convinced myself that pizza is my favorite cheat meal.

Tell us about a moment you felt most proud of yourself during a workout. Workout? What workout!?! I really want a slice of pizza right now. Just kidding. Anytime we have a workout with running, I’m proud of myself if I can get through the run without walking. I’m hoping one day, I’ll look at a workout with running and not want to curl up in a ball and lay on the floor to try to find a happy place.

If you could create a WOD and name it for yourself, what would it be?
21-15-9 heavy deadlifts (275) and hand release push-ups, run 400 meters between sets.

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?
I really like bar trivia. I went every Wednesday for about 3 years during graduate school. I like drinking beer, hanging out with friends, and answering pop-culture trivia questions. That’s not weird, right?

Tell us something we don’t know about you…
I read books about math in my free time. If you’re a dork like me, I recommend Fermat’s Enigma by Simon Singh. It’s a good read and you don’t need a math background to get13043386_10153705865323315_8608801543732281198_n through it.

Longhorns or Aggies?
Longhorns! I graduated from UT and teach Analytical Chemistry there! Sorry not sorry, Wes.

Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words…
Thank you all for letting me be apart of the CFA community! I have enjoyed meeting all of the members and the coaches. If I haven’t met you yet, I look forward to meeting you!

 

February Athlete of The Month: Lee Perry!

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 February Athlete of the Month is Lee Perry! Lee is celebrating his 1 Year Anniversary with CrossFit Austin today! He’s now training under the CFA competition programming so you’ll most likely catch him in the evenings. Lee is one of the most giving people we’ve ever met and he’s always there to help anyone who needs it. He works hard and is always focused on his goals, but tell him yours and he’ll help you get there too!  Outside of the gym, Lee is always along for the ride at our social events and is part of the “Unofficial CFA Welcoming Committee.” We’re so happy to have Lee in our community and proud to announce him as this month’s Athlete of the Month. Congratulations Lee and thanks for all you do!

 

State your Name and/or Nickname please:
Leelee1

Words to live by?
BE AGGRESSIVE AND THEN BE MORE AGGRESSIVE. NEVER SETTLE.

What is your fitness background?
Played football, baseball, lacrosse, soccer and wrestled through High School. While in the Army we stayed fit. Furthermore, I coached all levels of various athletics (team sports) through 2013. Though while coaching… my personal fitness was a fail. I have a USA Weightlifting Sports Performance Certification.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
First day in a CrossFit Box was July 1, 2013. (2 ½ years)

Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel?
Embarrassed, nervous, ridiculous and mad as F*@k that I allowed myself to be in such bad shape… both physically and emotionally.

PLEASE NOTE: All of those feelings rapidly faded as I tried to find my breath after the “warm-up” for elements class.  Nothing else mattered but trying to find air at that point. It was horrible, but at the same time it was a reminder of why I needed to be there. Seriously opened my eyes, but not my lungs, in fact I’m pretty sure my lungs collapsed that day.  I could not breathe. Needless to say, the next day I could not move either. I had no choice but to love it.

How do you compare it to workouts today?
Today I crave and look forward to getting into the gym as much as possible. So much so that I built one in my garage so that I can train any time I’d like. I enjoy lifting and volume the most. Now if I cannot breathe or I become sore, I know I am doing something good for myself.

What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?
Community… Though for me that is a combination of athletes, coaches, staff, programming and equipment. Frankly, one does not go without the other.  CFA checks all the boxes!

Current Training Goals/PRs?
It’s always to become stronger across the board. There is no substitute for strength in my opinion.  Though to become stronger functionally there are many areas that need to be addressed besides just slinging weight. For example form on the lifts and gymnastic skills. I’d like to pull a 585# Deadlift this year (currently @ 520#).

What advice do you have for folks just starting out in CrossFit? lee2
JUST KEEP GOING! Trust the process, it is proven. It does work. If you want testimony of that come find me and we can talk.

What is your cheat meal go to?
Let me dazzle you with my creativity here, PIZZA!

Tell us about a moment you felt most proud of yourself during a workout.
Anytime I see improvement. Proud that I have competed in CrossFit numerous times (love that) and ran a Super Spartan.

If you could create a WOD and name it for yourself, what would it be?
You can call it “Lee” if you want, but I call it “Dead Row”

EMOM for 30 Minutes
Even Minute: 2 Deadlifts @ 405 (30 reps total)
Odd Minute: 10 Cal Row (150 calories total)

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?
I’ll try just about anything. To relax I draw horribly. I truly enjoy coaching others as well.

Tell us something we don’t know about you…
I weighed 450+ lbs when I began CrossFit 2 ½ years ago.

Longhorns or Aggies?
HORNS! Sorry Wes. HOOK’EM!

Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words…Lee3
Help the new or the struggling. It was you once, and you will struggle at some point.

As necessary I try to help the new athlete. I cannot express in words exactly what it feels like to be new in a CrossFit Box without any experience.  It just sucks and feels awkward. So any assistance I received early on was always welcomed.  It’s the simple things that baffle the newer folks… like how to put wrist wraps on, turning on a rower, where are the damn bar clips, what are all those damn acronyms etc…

Because I felt like I was new for a really long time (still do at times), I try to ensure my fellow (new) athletes are relaxed and can enjoy what they are doing for themselves. That’s not say that I won’t assist the seasoned vets (who likely need the most help). It’s just that “my goal” is to get as many people moving as possible. Ensuring the new folks are comfortable goes a long way in their sustainability in the gym.

Lastly, I have stolen this from another CFA Athlete, but it’s a good one… “Be kind to yourself.”

December Athlete of The Month: Christina Gustavson!

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 December Athlete of the Month is Christina Gustavson! Christina chooses to end her days with us, typically hitting the 6:30 or 7:30 pm classes. She joined CrossFit Austin back in July of 2014 and is definitely one of our #badassbabes. She is full of drive, continuously working toward her goals and taking all the right steps to get there. In addition to all the hard work she puts into class, she’s recently added 1-on-1 sessions with Coach Tim to her training schedule to lock down her goals. She’s an awesome person to hang out with in and outside of the gym. Come hang out with her and you’ll see why she’s our AOM! Congratulations Christina! We are thrilled to have you as this month’s Athlete of the Month.

State your Name and/or Nickname please:cg1
Christina (I’m too cool for a nickname) 🙂

Words to live by?
“Be stubborn about your goals, but flexible about your methods.”

What is your fitness background?
I played high school sports, floundered at globo gyms for many years, found CrossFit, and haven’t looked back since.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
3-ish years.

Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel? How do you compare it to workouts today?
Murph was my first CrossFit workout. I felt nothing because I died.

I love looking back to that day because I can clearly see the progress I’ve made. I thought the athletes who did Murph unscaled were super-human. I’m not yet strapping on a 20lb vest, but the journey to doing unscaled, high-volume pull ups and push ups has been both challenging and glorious.

What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?
CFA has a good balance of fun, and serious but sustainable programming. (The people are pretty awesome, too).cg2

Current Training Goals/PRs?
To get a damn muscle-up.

What advice do you have for folks just starting out in CrossFit?
Look to other athletes for inspiration, but not comparison. Your journey is your own. Leave your ego at home and celebrate the small victories.

What is your cheat meal go to?
Pizza. All day.

Tell us about a moment you felt most proud of yourself during a workout.
Probably the first workout with pull ups where I didn’t have to use a band

cg3If you could create a WOD and name it for yourself, what would it be?
I love the most hated movements

Synonymously, I would call it The B*tch:

25 min AMRAP
200m run
15 Wall balls
15 Thrusters
15 Burpees
15 double unders

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?

I don’t discriminate and enjoy doing just about anything physically or mentally active.

Tell us something we don’t know about you…
I can teach you a lot of profane phrases in Vietnamese. 😉

Longhorns or Aggies?
**crickets**

Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words…
It’s a slow process. Don’t make it slower by quitting.

 

October Athlete of The Month: Janet Harris!

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 Janet Harris! Janet bounces between the later morning classes, and the noon and 4:30 classes. She joined us back in March of 2012 and has consistently improved in her time here. She may be quiet in class, but she’ll sneak up and crush you in a workout. She’s always surprising us and we love to see each little win she has in class. She’s always got a great attitude and no matter what is on the board, she’s just happy to be here. Come hang out with her and you’ll see why she’s our AOM! Congratulations Janet! We are thrilled to have you as this month’s Athlete of the Month.

State your Name and/or Nickname please:janet1
Janet

Words to live by?
“Know better, do better.”
“Work hard, stay humble.”
“To laugh at yourself is to love yourself.” -Mickey Mouse

What is your fitness background?
I have always LOVED being active. I dabbled in a bunch of different sports throughout the years (field hockey, softball, lacrosse, soccer, basketball*the best*, cross-country, track & field, crew) but I’m not a very competitive person so being on sports teams was always fun but nothing really ‘stuck.’ When I wasn’t on a sports team I loved taking classes at the gym (spinning, kickboxing, yoga) or doing my mom’s old aerobics tapes, and jogging has always been a constant love.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
On and off for a few years.

Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel? How do you compare it to workouts today?
My friend’s friend was training him out of his garage and he brought me one time. The workout included a bunch of air dyne sprints at the end. During the workout I remember thinking “this is fun” but then I felt pretty nauseous after and wondered if I was crazy for ever finding it fun, but once that wore off I realized that I wasn’t crazy, and indeed that WAS a ton of fun, and I wanted more. I thankfully found Crossfit Austin shortly after. Today I fully welcome the fun-crazy-fun cycle, but instead of feeling crazy I just feel like I worked as hard as I should have worked.

What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?
Everything! I love the programming and could not choose a more genuinely supportive/encouraging/awesome group of coaches and people to take on those workouts with.

Current Training Goals/PRs?
Nothing specific–every workout I just try to push my body and challenge myself, but also listen to my body and appreciate whatever it allows me to do each day. I’m motivated to workout because I think the workouts are fun and I love the effect is has on my mood and my energy for the day and getting stronger/faster/learning new skills are just awesome and totally appreciated side effects of the workouts.

What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned so far in your training with us?
Definitely the importance of stretching, mobility, and having proper form.

Tell us about a moment you felt most proud of yourself during a workout.
I don’t know. I rarely make it to the Saturday morning workouts so I’m pretty happy whenever I do, or if I make a lift after I missed it a few times that always feels super awesome.

If you could create a WOD and name it for yourself, what would it be?
I like being surprised by the workouts and just showing up and doing whatever is on the board that day too much to ever want to create a WOD. That being said, I prefer to see a lot of barbell work/walls balls/running and prefer not to see push-ups.

You’re a CFA vet at this point. What has kept you here?
I guess it just makes me feel too good to ever think about stopping.

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?
I love doing ANYTHING OUTSIDE, going to concerts, dancing, basketball season, turning everything into a drinking game, traveling & exploring, and everything with family and friends.

Tell us something we don’t know about you…
Before I moved to Austin I spent about 6 months traveling around the backcountry of Chile (NOLS: Patagonia) and my two best friends that I met down there and I have pretty much been dreaming about when we call all go back down there and explore again ever since.

Longhorns or Aggies?
HOOK ‘EM FOR LIFE!

Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words…
Thank you to everyone who works/works out at CFA for helping make it the awesome place I know and love–I appreciate you all! And when in doubt, sweat it out 🙂

September Athlete of The Month: Paul Patek!

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 September Athlete of the Month is Paul Patek! Paul isn’t strictly a group class guy. He hits classes, open gym, and regularly trains 1-on-1 with Coach Tim.  He joined us a little over a year ago and has made so much progress in his time here. This guy comes in and puts in all the hard work necessary to meet his goals. If you need a laugh, find Paul. His quick wit and great sense of humor will have you smiling in no time. Come hang out with him and you’ll see why he’s our AOM! Congratulations Paul! We are thrilled to have you as this month’s Athlete of the Month.

 

paul1

State your Name and/or Nickname please:
The name is Paul people also call me Buck.  I know there is another Buck at CFA so you can call me BuckBuck #2.

Words to live by?
You can tell a lot about a person by working hard with them. So show up, give it all you can, be genuine and smile through the hard times because the pain means your living hard!

What is your fitness background?
I have always enjoyed working out and never shied away from hard work over the years.  I love being outside sweating whether it’s hauling hay, fixing fence, filling feeders, or just mowing the yard.  I played every sport (I should say had to play) in school since I went to a small school in Shiner that needed every person available to field a team. My passion was rooted in football.  I tried to play in college but my shoulder said otherwise. Outside of that, I used to be meathead in the gym but slowly realized that’s not how to stay fit.  I tried boot camps and liked it for a short time because it was too much play and not enough serious workouts.  I started CrossFit a year ago and I am here to stay. 

How long have you been CrossFitting?
I think it’s been a year and I have to say I am in love with it. I have been curios about the sport for years but stayed away because I heard it was riddled with injury and I was afraid to hurt my busted up shoulder, knees, and bum foot.  Boy was I missing out and misinformed.  The coaches at CFA have brought back a greater range of motion in shoulder, strength, and more importantly, hope to get it working better. 

Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel? How do you compare it to workouts today?
I was feeling a wide range of emotions. Inside the noggin I was thinking…. HOLY BAT SHIT! Do I belong here?  Am I ever going to be able to get that bar over my head? This is complicated. Am I doing this right?  This does not feel normal.  OUCH!

Comparing that first day to now? My body has learned to adapt to the workouts and the pain is gone.  My thoughts now consist of “OK, one more. You got this. Quit being a girly man. I’m so glad I am here.”
paul3

What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?
There is no one thing for me.  It’s the mix of the coaches, people, the intensity of the work outs, the challenge, the program, and the unairconditioned gym. Sometimes I just want to come to the gym to get away from it all and watch the workouts.  I learn so much from watching everyone work out and get inspired by their successes.  The gym is my safe place.  J

Current Training Goals/PRs?
My current goal is to get a 45lb bar over my head in a snatch with great form. I know, I’m an over achiever….LOL As for my PR, it is and continues to be the process of getting greater range of motion and strength in the ole’ shoulder.  Since I have started, it has drastically increased….special thanks to Tim!  😉

 

What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned so far in your training with us?
Patience, form, humility, and the RIGHT way to train. 

Tell us about a moment you felt most proud of yourself during a workout.
It was the first time I was able to get my hands in the right position at the top of a power clean. :-/

If you could create a WOD and name it for yourself, what would it be?
I would call it The Grind.  Drag a weighted tire for 100 meters, farmers walk 50 meters, push a weighted sled 50 meters, 10 – 12 power cleans….AMRAP for 30 minutes.

Recovery would consist of an ice cold IPA in front of the fan. AMBAP for as long as you want. 

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?paul2
Let’s see, I love to visit other countries and experience their culture and everyday way of life, working on the deer lease, hunting, BBQ’ing, golf, mountain biking, taking some difficult hikes up mountains, and I absolutely love trying new micro brews…. IPAs are my kryptonite.       

Tell us something we don’t know about you…
My astoundingly supportive wife and I lived in Prague, Czech Republic for two years while I went to school not too long ago.  I have to confess that I gained 15 to 20 lbs drinking the beer.  It was sooooo good.  The whole experience made me realize how lucky we are to be born and raised in the US.  It also humbled me because it showed me that different cultures do things in so many different ways and are OK with it.

Longhorns or Aggies?
I’m both….my wife is an Aggie and I found myself supporting her team as the years passed.  If I have to pick a side, I would say my heart is with the Horns.  I hope Charlie Strong turns this team into men instead of a bunch of spoiled brats from years past.

Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words…
A huge thank you goes out to each and every one of the coaches and members for being the kind and supportive examples for me to aspire to.  Without those of you who have encouraged me during a workout or taken the time to show a better way of doing things, I would have left.  You are all rock stars in my book, I am grateful, and I got yo back.  😉

August Athlete of The Month: JoAnna Brand!

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 August Athlete of the Month is JoAnna Brand! JoAnna is typically an evening gal, mixing it up between 4:30 pm, 5:30 pm, and 6:30 pm.  She joined us a little over a year ago and has established herself as one of the #badassbabes of CFA. She comes in with the goal to always better herself and learn something new every day. She’s always got a fun community shindig happening whether it’s a group trail run or tailgating in the CFA parking lot. Come hang out with her and you’ll see why she’s our AOM! Congratulations JoAnna! We are thrilled to have you as this month’s Athlete of the Month.


State your Name and/or Nickname please:

JoAnna, but will answer to Jo, JoJo, and Jody (Dad gave me the nickname, no idea how/why he came up with it, but OK)jo1

Words to live by?
The cure for anything is salt water- sweat, tears, or the sea.  ~Isak Dinesen

What is your fitness background?
I’ve always been an outside kid.  Climbing trees, hiking, biking… later, volleyball, softball, eventually running and rollerblading.  Got into trail running in late 2007/early 2008, never looked back. CrossFit became part of my routine in 2009.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
Since ’09

Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel? How do you compare it to workouts today?
Like I was home.  But with lots of work to do!!  I’m stronger now, but still have LOTS of work to do…

What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?
That’s an easy one: the people, first off, and the programming, secondly.  Both are key.  I really felt like I was home when I came to this box.

Current Training Goals/PRs? To master the snatch, in form (weight is less important to me), increase my clean PR, 300# deadlift (50# to go!!), get more comfortable in my heavy back squats, and heavier… and yes, to someday get a muscle up.

If you could pick a Pandora station to always play, what would it be?
I like so many different kinds of music, that would be hard to narrow down.  Would have to include Foo Fighters, LZ, Rage Against the Machine, Willie, Waylon, & The Boys (including Johnny Cash, George Jones, Don Williams) with some of the Girls (Patsy Cline, Tammy Wynette, Dolly, etc), Metallica, Hank Williams, Sr., Third Eye Blind, Matchbox Twenty, Kid Rock…  Weezer…  Louis Armstrong… Billie Holiday… Jimmy Reed, Wilson Pickett, John Lee Hooker… KISS.  Shit.  Music is one of my FAVORITE things.  Pandora would explode if I tried to plug in all the music that is essential to my mental well-being.  I could go on and on…  Really.

Tell us about a moment you felt most proud of yourself during a workout.
I don’t know.  Any time I do multiple pull ups or T2B and don’t rip my hands…?  I also felt pretty proud to finish Murph the last two years Rx and feel OK the next day on both occasions.

If you could create a WOD and name it for yourself, what would it be?
A chipper, for sure… some compilation of Cindy/Angie/Murph/Grace.  Have to have pull ups, push ups, overhead squats, and some heavier power cleans…  NO DOUBLE UNDERS or pistols.  😉  So many options…joanna

You’ve started a little Thursday evening tradition. Tell us a little about how Tailgate Thursday came to be and what it’s about!
I think it will just be a warm-weather tradition, when the days are long, but… I usually (during the long days, not after time change) run on Wednesdays after CF, with my other tribe (of trail runners), and my cooler is usually stocked with cold beer for post-run…  too much trouble to clean it out b/t Wed and Thursday, and with the (wonderful) heat we’ve been having, and fun WODs on Thursdays, the call of the Yeti could not be ignored!  It was a spontaneous event one week, and then Tim cemented the event the following week…  Any excuse to enjoy a frosty recovery beverage with quality folks, I’m IN.  Great opportunity for everybody to get to know one another on a different level.

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?
Besides trail running and climbing trees, I am a voracious reader.  And enjoy spending time with my folks and family and friends who are like family.  Eating good food and drinking good wine/beer also a top priority. 

Tell us something we don’t know about you…
Hmm.  I’m adopted.  And kind of won the parent lottery, if you ask me. Could also have any number of my friends vouch for that… 

Longhorns or Aggies?
Cowboys. 😉  (and the Longhorns)

Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words…
Life is short, no one gets out of here alive, so treat every day as a gift, and remember that every time you see a friend or family member might be the LAST time, so try to leave on a positive note.  Make sure you take time to LIVE. Oh, and laughter really IS the best medicine. 

July Athlete Of The Month: Mitch Tabera!!

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 July Athlete of the Month is Mitch Tabera! Mitch joined CrossFit Austin back in 2012. He is always the first to volunteer to help us out, he’s a great classmate, and he’s one of the most badass guys we know! Mitch is also part of the chicken o’clock crew, knocking out his workout during the 5:30 am class. Come join Mitch for an early WOD and then maybe he’ll take you for a spin in his 58′ Belair! Congratulations Mitch! We are thrilled to have you as this month’s Athlete of the Month.

State your Name and/or Nickname please:
My name is Mitch Tabera, no cool nickname to share, but I have been referred to as a “Badass” by some of my 5:30 am class CFers’.  It is possible, they are just being nice since I am the elder in the class!

Words to live by?mitch2
Treat people the way you want to be treated.

What is your fitness background?
Since my employment in law enforcement began I have tried to stay fit.  I have only had to chase someone once in my career and I was wearing cowboy boots at the time.  I caught him!  I have done 5k’s, 10k’s, a Marathon, and several sprint triathlons beginning in my late 30’s.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
 I started Crossfit in Hawaii at Crossfit Oahu in December 2008.  I use to drive by it almost daily when we would take suspects to jail and decided to give it a try.  I obviously was hooked on day one.  I remember being extremely sore for almost a month.  I literally would crawl up the stairs at our house because my quads were so torn up.  I always have been an early bird so the 530am class works best for me.

What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?
Like everyone else who joins a box, I enjoy the welcoming supportive “family” atmosphere.  Since 2008, I have been to lots of different Crossfit gyms as a drop-in, or member, and this is the common denominator. 

Current Training Goals/PRs?
Crossfit goal is to just keep getting stronger and faster.

What keeps you getting up for that 5:30 am class?
The 530am class allows me to stay consistent.  My workday is too unpredictable so getting it done early gets the day started right. mitch

If you could choose one Pandora station to always play, what would it be?
I always use AC/DC Pandora for my home WODS.  I have a concept rower, pull up rig,  rings, and free weights in my garage gym.

Tell us about a moment you felt most proud of yourself during a workout.
In Aug 2011, I did 20 rounds of Cindy.  My best effort for this WOD.

If you could create a WOD and name it for yourself, what would it be?
How about  a quick 21, 15, 9 of Burpees and thrusters for time with 95/65, and 75 for “MASTERS”.

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?
Hobbies include working on the home landscape, finding the tastiest BBQ, and keeping my 58 Chevy Belair running.  I have had this car since I was 15 years old and it has traveled with us to CA, WA, HI, and now Texas.

Tell us something we don’t know about you…
My wife and I have five kids and 11 grandchildren.  Two of the oldest grandchildren just started college.

Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words…
For  those of you starting out in Crossfit showing up for class is just half the effort.  Don’t give up.  Know your limitations.  Crossfit is a lot like golf in that you really are only competing against yourself. Don’t be discouraged if the person next to you can lift more or run faster than you. You will get there!

 

 

June Athlete Of The Month: Kim Scott!

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 June Athlete of the Month is Kim Scott! Kim came to us a little over a year ago (I think her hair was pink at the time!) Kim has always been a positive voice in the gym, even through the suck. She is part of the chicken o’clock crew, getting her work done with the 5:30 am class. She and her fiance’ Jeremy completed the Spartan race in May and she’ll be competing in June in the AFM Fittest. Come join Kim for and early WOD and then maybe snag some breakfast tacos after! Congratulations Kim! We are thrilled to have you as this month’s Athlete of the Month.

 

State your Name and/or Nickname please:kim
Kim Scott, doesn’t get any simpler than that!

Words to live by?
Work hard, train hard, sleep harder.

What is your fitness background?
I danced for 18ish years of my life, and was a cheerleader in junior high and freshman year in high school. I also attempted to play all sports in junior high, but realized the only thing I was mildly good at was dancing, so I stuck with that.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
I started doing the movements about 2 years ago with my trainer turned friend, Ken Beck, but joined CFA in April 2014!

Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel? How do you compare it to workouts today?
Ummmm Fran. April 7th, 2014, I met her. I scaled, in every sense of the word, and I was watching everyone else in the 6:30pm class just MURDER it. I thought I may not come back again because I was SO intimidated. I mean, everyone had their damn shirts off for goodness sake … I came again 2 days later.  Now, the workout s suck just as much, but everyone else is “embracing the suck” with me.

kim2What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?
The friggin’ people!  I absolutely love the feeling of community we have at CFA, and I have made some really great friends too. You guys are so amazing, constantly pushing me to be better, stronger and faster.

Current Training Goals/PRs?
Right now I have been slacking little at CFA, but that’s because I am training for AFM Fittest, which is now on June 13th. Anyone who wants to come watch me die is welcome!  I need all the cheerleaders I can get. 🙂

As far as a crossfit goal, I am working on getting that 200# back squat, and not bailing!  And, eventually getting a muscle up, but one thing at a time!

What keeps you getting up for that 5:30 am class?
The people!  Coach Erica and Coach Ben, and the few who I can count on to be there half asleep with me – Mitch, Ivan and Jeremy too!

I mean, we are the only group of people crazy enough to not only get up and workout at that hour, but do grueling workouts at that hour, and then go to work. I personally like to get it done so I can get on with my day, and not have to worry about trying to squeeze it in later.

What is your cheat meal go to? (We already know about Jeremy’s pretzel bowl 😉 )
Wait, cheat “meal” as in there is only supposed to be one? Just kidding! I love pizza. Like, I’m obsessed with pizza, and breakfast tacos too.

For the record, I had nothing to do with that weird pretzel, peanut butter, cereal and milk thing!

Tell us about a moment you felt most proud of yourself during a workout.
When I was complaining about not being able to do double unders, and literally as I was whining about it to Coach Erica and Cody, I just started doing them, and stringing them together. I thought I would never get them.

If you could create a WOD and name it for yourself, what would it be?
“Killer Pizza”

500M Row
30 Wall Balls 20/14
25 TTB
10 DUs
5 Burpees

Immediately followed by pizza, wine, and a day off!

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?kim3
I mostly just enjoy hanging out with my dog and Jeremy, drinking some beers or wine.
I LOVE binge watching murder mystery shows – IDTV is my jam.
I have a pretty rad sneaker collection.
I’m trying to pick up sewing as a hobby, but I have only taken the machine out of the box once since December, so I don’t think that’s working for me.

Tell us something we don’t know about you…
I’m an over-sharer, to a fault!
Other than that, something a lot of people don’t know would be that I have been in and on the cover of multiple tattoo magazines.

Longhorns or Aggies?
Forty Niners. 🙂

Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words…
I’m so very honored to have been chosen to be Athlete of the Month. Thank you!
Thank you again to the coaches who constantly encourage me, push me and congratulate wins (even small ones), and thank you to the entire CFA community, you’re all the reason I love this place!

February Athlete of the Month: LaShea Itz!!

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 February Athlete of the Month is LaShea Itz! She’s an early bird and can be found sweating it out in the 5:30 or 6:30 am hours. We’ve watched this girl work hard from day one and make some amazing progress in her time with us. Get to know Lashea a little more in her interview below. If you can crawl out of bed in the wee hours of the morning, come meet this hard-working gal for yourself. Congratulations LaShea! We are thrilled to have you as this month’s Athlete of the Month.

 

State your Name and/or Nickname please:lashea1
LaShea Itz or lashitz…. (Thank you coaches!)

Words to live by?
Count your blessings not your worries 🙂

What is your fitness background?
My fitness background… I was a Cheerleader, Basketball player (seemed more like football at times), and Hurdler all four years of high school!

How long have you been CrossFitting?
I had my one year anniversary January 8 of this year 🙂 it was super special!! Was gifted with a workout that made me want to throw up…

Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel? How do you compare it to workouts today?
Ha, my first day… I remember Dayna Lowke busting out her burpee box jumps like it was nothing. SUPER INTIMIDATING. And Jillian English dancing in a random corner… Nothing has changed!

What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?
The people. Everyone that I workout with are so motivating, fun, and down to earth! The coaches, wow YALL ARE INCREDIBLE!! Always so helpful and encouraging! People always ask how I am able to go and workout at 5:30 or 6:30 in the morning every day? And it’s because I’m excited to see everyone!! Having a family like this is so amazing!

Current Training Goals/PRs?
Goals and PRs… To stay healthy and toned! I haven’t felt this in shape in a while… Maybe ever!!

Tell us about a moment you felt most proud of yourself during a workout.

Hm… When I didn’t need my inhaler after wall balls!! Haha

If you could create a WOD and name it for yourself, what would it be?lashea2

For time:
Run to Walmart
Buy a 12 pack of Reeses
Buy a bottle of wine (your choice of wine)
Eat the Reeses
Drink the bottle of wine
Run back to the gym
Name: Cheat day 🙂 

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?
Well.. I am a hairstylist so I LOVE playing with hair and making people feel pretty! Thursday nights I have no life and I’m not ashamed of it! Me and my sister have a date with the TV (Greys Anatomy, Scandal, and How To Get Away With Murder). But I love being outdoors and staying active, what better city to do that in than Austin?!

Upcoming adventure you’re planning?
Going to Orange County, California for the birth of my cousins baby in early April or whenever she is ready to meet the world 🙂

Tell us something we don’t know about you…
Well… I am kind of an open book… When I was 7 my dad told me I needed to go to smiling lessons because apparently I didn’t know how to smile, 11 years later my senior year I was nominated “Best Smile”. Braces are a life changer HA. Thanks dad! (I didn’t go to smiling lessons)

Longhorns or Aggies?
Go Irish?! I’m a Notre Dame fan since my cousin Cam McDaniel played for them the past 4 years and is now working for the next level of football!! Yay Cam! 

Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words…

Embrace the suck 🙂
LOVE MY CROSSFIT FAMILY SO MUCH 🙂

lashea3

Presenting: Push Up Man & Woman of the Year 2014|| Doug Clements & Leigh LeGare

If you missed the CFA Holiday/6th Anniversary Party, you might not have heard about our 2014 Push Up Man and Push Up Woman of the Year! We offer our sincerest congratulations to Leigh LeGare and Doug Clements for their outstanding actions that lead to being the recipients of our Push Up Man and Push Up Woman of the Year awards. We are honored to present to you look into the lives of these two special folks.

“The Push-up Man and Woman of the Year exemplify everything that we love about our athletes, our community, and the human spirit. Not only do these people walk through the doors of CFA day in and day out, and work hard to improve themselves; they go out of their way to lift up everyone around them. They make their friends and families a priority over themselves. They lead and encourage by words, actions, and example. They represent the burning spirit of what makes our little South Austin gym unique and special. We at CrossFit Austin can humbly bestow no greater honor and we give our utmost heartfelt thanks that you both have chosen to make our gym, business, family, and lives a better place!”

 

Push Up Woman of the Year 2014: Leigh LeGare

When did you join the CFA community?
Valentine’s Day 2011. Appropriate considering it’s been the most consistent ‘love’ of my life. I’ll always have a date ‘at the bar.’

What is one of your most memorable moments from your early days at CFA? Any ‘newbie’ stories you’d like to share?
Regionals 2011 in Tomball, TX and the beginning of ‘Team Awkward’…coined for good reasons: leigh2

  • We introduced our neon pink shirts to the world (yes, even the men wore them).
  • We had one shirt for a three day competition and while we washed them every night, the sweat accrued from the 105 degree days and the dirt we laid in between workouts caused yellow stained armpits… we still wear these shirts.
  • Shane and I did a deadlift/box jump workout. I looked like a pooping dog on EVERY deadlift (Shane had perfect form…I struck fear into Wes’ heart)
  • Wes invented the ‘dirty south toes to bar’ which helped us beat Central in a team chipper. The following year, CrossFit HQ banned the ‘dirty south’ standard from use in workouts. #trendsetters
  • We wore baseball gloves on the final day due to the lack of skin on our hands from the use of scorching, hot pull up bars the day before.
  • We had a towel, covered w/ ice cubes on the hot pavement to get through 120 burpees without singeing our chest hairs. Not to mention, a bag of ice water to pour on ourselves mid workout…divas!
  • Wes doing ‘bunny hops’ during overhead squats to prove to the head judge he was reaching FULL EXTENSION!
  • Our members/spectators fed us twizzlers and chocolate covered pomegranate between workouts.
  • Our girls thought it was cool to wear ‘booty shorts’ which equated to see through spandex every time we squatted (apologies for those behind me in the Thruster ladder)
  • We went into it as the underdog and surprised ourselves with a 7th place finish! The phrase: Team Awkward is considered a term of endearment at this point.


What is it about CFA that you love or that is different from other sports/programs you’ve tried?leigh4
Obviously the community! What separates ours is how people act towards each other. Whether you’re new, visiting, or have been a long standing member of CFA, other’s success trumps personal success. We are a humble gym and I love it!

What advice would you give yourself if you could go back in time to when you first started CrossFit?
Less is more. Rest days are a necessity. 150 GHD sit-ups in one workout will give you Rhabdo…and LOTS of swelling in areas that shouldn’t swell (true story).

How did you create long term fitness/CrossFit success for yourself?
I kept coming! 😉

What keeps you motivated?
There’s always something to improve on and always something to gauge improvement.

What makes you come in and train on days when you don’t want to?
The shirtless men! Not what you meant? 😉 I love the people I train with! Working as a team for a common goal (2015 Regionals) always keeps me motivated to do my part. There’s a bit more pressure when training with a team which makes me work harder.leigh1

Recent PRs?
25’ handstand walk…with these long levers, feels like I’ve defied physics and that’s worth celebrating!

Current training goals?
Primary: To help CFA qualify for Regionals via the Open (starts in 7 weeks…who’s with me?!?!)
Secondary: To make the Regionals team for the fifth year in a row
‘Thirdary’: to burn enough calories to justify my chocolate problem.

Tell us about an obstacle you have had to work through in your training. How did you work through it?
My size! I’m 5’9 with a short torso and long levers. I’m convinced my hip flexors are disproportionate to the length of my legs which makes any kipping movement hanging from the rings or pull-up bars translate into a dying dolphin! I tried to get shorter, but realized that was much harder than developing the proper strength and ‘body awareness’ to achieve things like chest to bar pull-ups and muscle ups. ‘Gymnasties’ will always be an obstacle for me and I’ve finally accepted that. Now, it’s a matter of enjoying the journey and celebrating the gains…big or small!

What does the Push Up Woman title mean to you?
Enough for me to snot, drool and cry all at once! Translation: humbled/shocked to receive it. I’ve always viewed it as a way to recognize the amazing women of CFA.
Women I’ve respected and admired throughout the years. They are strong, confident women who lead with humility and compassion. Every single one, I’ve gotten to know personally and am honored to be a part of their ‘club.’  I’ve put these women on a pedestal for how awesome they are and even still, don’t think I should be on their level. It may be just a ‘gym’ award but to me, it’s an honor and privilege to be grouped with the past women of this award. They’ve set the bar high and I’m still trying to grab it!

How will you use your new found Push Up Woman glory?
It’s my tagline on Tinder and has caused a ‘swiping right’ epidemic. So many matches! I may or may not sleep with the award, too!
leigh3
What is your cheat meal go to?
BLT’s (bites, licks, and tastes) to be exact. Chocolate, pretzel crisps, mac n cheese, snacks left from clients at CFA, cake pops, cheese plates…I do damage to any spread at a party.

Leave the fine folks of CFA with some parting wisdom.
I’ve finally come to terms with this:
‘Fall in love with the process and the results will come.’

And this pretty much sums it all up:
‘Purpose is the reason you journey. Passion is the fire that lights your way.’

 ___________________________________________________________________________________________

Push Up Man of the Year 2014: Doug Clements

When did you join the CFA community?
February 2012.doug3

What is one of your most memorable moments from your early days at CFA? Any ‘newbie’ stories you’d like to share?
There are a lot.  I remember Walker’s foul mouthed coaching in many of my Level 1 classes, which I loved.  I remember sweating and learning with a lot of faces that are no longer at the gym today, but I remember them often.  But, personally, a story I remember pretty vividly is my first time doing “Fran.”  It was the first time I’d done one of the named workouts, and I’d spent the entire day game-planning my approach and by 6:30 pm I was supremely confident that I would kick Fran’s ass.  I went out of the gate HOT!  Got through the round of 21 in great shape and somewhere around rep 6 or 7 in the round of 15 thrusters, my body completely gave up.  I could barely see, breathe, or move.  I thought my heart might stop.  I sat on the ground as my partner encouraged me to get up and keep moving.  The seconds turned to minutes.  The rest of the class finished, one by one.  Aaron was coaching that day and somewhere around 10 minutes he looked at me and said, “I’m calling it, Doug.”  I didn’t even finish.  In the moment, I was totally demoralized, but looking back it’s one of the most valuable lessons I learned in CrossFit.  Pacing is EVERYTHING. Understanding your body and listening to it is even more important.  Later that week, I would complete “Fran” at a scaled weight of 75 lbs. somewhere in the ballpark of 7 minutes.  It wasn’t Rx.  It wasn’t a time I had envisioned earlier that week.  But I was happy to have finished it and I learned that week that any workout with a name on it is not one to be underestimated.

What is it about CFA that you love or that is different from other sports/programs you’ve tried?
Anyone and everyone that has come through the bay doors at CFA will answer this question the same: the people.  From all walks of life.  In all shapes and sizes.  All ages.  And without exception, everyone is a genuinely good person.  The camaraderie experienced at CFA is the first time since high school athletics that I’ve felt like I was a part of something bigger than myself.  Sure, self-improvement has always been a top priority for me at CFA, but investing even the smallest amount of time in the journeys of those around me has been infinitely more satisfying than any of my own PRs.  Watching everyone grow – together – is what separates CFA from most any other athletic experience I’ve had in my life.

What advice would you give yourself if you could go back in time to when you first started CrossFit?
Slow down, but always go for it.  Admittedly, I was in a big hurry to “grow up” in CrossFit.  In some instances, this was to my detriment.  In many others, it was to my advantage.  After all, you’ll never know if you can do a muscle up or a handstand or a butterfly pull-up until you actually try!  Now, there is a proper progression for all advanced movements that should be followed in order to establish proper movement patterns and understand where your body is in space.  But I’m a firm believer that pushing the envelope a little bit, going for it, trying new things will lead to growth.  Not only in the gym, but within yourself.  Be smart.  Be safe.  But don’t ever be afraid.

doug2
How did you create long term fitness/CrossFit success for yourself?
Showing up.  The biggest hurdle, in my opinion, to achieving long-term fitness success is making the commitment to show up.  The best part about any CrossFit gym, but especially CFA, is that once you’re there the rest is taken care of.  The coaches will warm you up.  Keep you focused on movement quality.  Ask you how you’re feeling to avoid any complications or injuries.  The workout is posted on the board and your fellow classmates will rarely give you a pass to just mail it in or sandbag it.  The hardest part is showing up, and really, when you think about it, it’s the easiest thing you can do (except on those especially terrible days in Austin rush hour traffic!).

What keeps you motivated? What makes you come in and train on days when you don’t want to?
My motivation to show up has evolved quite a bit in my time at CFA.  Initially, it was just making some kind of effort to get back in shape.  As time went on, it shifted towards becoming the very best athlete I could be.  I enjoyed the competitive aspect of CrossFit because it pushed my limits and in doing so my self-esteem and confidence skyrocketed because I was routinely doing things I never, ever imagined myself doing.  Now, my primary motivator is my health and wellness.  I’ve set the competitive aspect aside (for now, at least), and have shifted my focus to maintaining a healthy body and mind.  Don’t get me wrong, when I’m mid-workout and see someone who is neck and neck with me, it’s hard to resist the urge to push it a little bit harder and finish ahead of whoever it is (usually Jillian – although she routinely kicks my ass!).  And I’d be lying if there wasn’t an undercurrent of vanity that drives me from time to time.  Who doesn’t want a washboard stomach and biceps like Ike?  But, ultimately, my primary motivator is my long-term health.

Recent PRs?
Split Jerk @ 245 lbs.  Which I was especially shocked and proud of.  I had been out of the gym for months, and in my first week back was just trying to move and enjoy being off the couch again.  Alex Gale (A-Geezy!) and I were lifting together that day and I tied my old PR of 225 lbs. and decided I’d call it a day.  AG threw 245 on the bar and gave me the old “C’mon man!” and so I gave it a shot and BOOM!  As I said before, the camaraderie and shared successes is one of my favorite parts about CFA.

Current training goals?
For the entirety of my time at CFA, I have kept a journal of all my workouts and running commentary on every workout I did.  After missing several months and returning to the gym, I decided to set the journal down, quit chasing numbers, and just have fun.  While I am a strong advocate of maintaining a journal and tracking your progress – your successes as well as your failures – for me, right now, I’m just enjoying my fitness and trying to express that when I jump up on the pull-up bar or grab the barbell.

Tell us about an obstacle you have had to work through in your training. How did you work through it?
I’ve referenced it loosely a couple times already, but in September of last year I developed the dreaded condition of rhabdomyolysis or “rhabdo,” for short.  If you aren’t familiar with the condition, check it out.  There’s plenty of information out there on it.  It happened at a competition at another local gym who shall remain nameless, because I don’t see the benefit in “calling them out” or shaming them for poor programming.  I don’t believe they did it to me, or that CrossFit did it to me – I did it to myself.  Well, a couple days after the competition I was in the most physical pain I’d ever been in.  After a couple visits to my doctor and several blood tests, it was confirmed that I had a pretty severe case of rhabdo and would need to be admitted to the hospital immediately for treatment.  Treatment consisted of round-the-clock IV fluids and patience.  There was nothing else to be done, but wait for my blood levels and organ function to return to relatively normal ranges.  After a 3-day stay at Seton, I was released to go home, but it would be weeks before my blood work and organ function would return to “normal.” Before I go any further I have to give my public and heartfelt thanks to my loving girlfriend, Jillian, and my good friend, Alex Gold.  Jillian was with me almost the entire time and made sure I never had to eat a single meal from the hospital cafeteria.  One day, Gold spent his own lunch break (and then some) to come see me and bring me reading material, a litany of my favorite snacks, and his unique brand of humor and love.  You both know how I feel about you, but you’ll never know how important your presence was to my morale in that hospital room.  After many weeks and many tests, my blood and organ function returned to normal and I was given the go ahead by my doctor to return to exercise… slowly.  It was mental hell.  I had lost nearly 20 lbs. of muscle and naturally, after weeks of inactivity, my endurance was poor.  However, with the ever-present support of those around me (another special shout out to all my fellow competitors and Dayna Lowke!), I was reminded constantly that things would get better, and they did.  Without question, the experience was one of the most difficult of my life, and I would not have been able to weather the storm as well as I did without the support of my family, Jillian, and everyone at the gym who reached out with kind and supportive words.  Thank you all so much!  And remember what I saiddoug4 earlier: never be afraid!  Listen to your body, stay within yourself, be smart and be safe, and you’ll never have to worry about a visit from the rhabdo monster.

What does the Push Up Man title mean to you?
Words fall short of describing what this award means to me.  It is deeply humbling to be honored in such a way by people whom I so deeply respect and admire.  I would be remiss if I did not mention the guidance, support, and friendship of Miguel Garza.  He’s been a big brother of sorts to me (even though I’m older than he is) in CrossFit and at CFA.  I want to also thank our fearless leader, Wes Kimball, who believed in me and my abilities even when I didn’t believe in them myself.  Shortly after receiving the award, I wrote a special note to all of my former and fellow Competitors, which is my best effort in trying to explain what this honor means to me, and I want to share that with the community now:

“I write this today with sincere thanks and heartfelt gratitude. To be honored with the Pushup Man of the Year award is humbling, to say the least. Having had a couple days to reflect, all I can say is “Thank you!” To each and every one of you. All of you, in your own, unique and special way, have left an indelible mark on my being. Three years ago, I never imagined 1) being physically fit again or 2) having as many friends and people who care about me as I have through CrossFit Austin. We truly are a neighborhood/community/family/whatever you want to call it. While many people see CrossFit from the outside-looking-in and view it with skepticism and loathing, they fail to see through all the sweat and ridiculousness to the true reason we all continue to step through the bay doors every day: Each other. The experience is so meaningful because it is shared. Without that, it’s just exercise. We all know, through our own very intimate experiences at the gym, that it truly is more than just exercise. No single word truly encapsulates what we have and share together, but we know it exists and it is real because we do it together. And so, just as every workout is done together, this award is not mine alone. It is yours, too. Thank you for taking a part in my growth as an athlete, but more importantly, my growth as a friend, a teammate, and as a person. I love you all very much. I mean that. It is often a phrase we neglect to share with those closest to us – whatever the reason may be. But I want to be direct and clear with all of you: I love you.”

How will you use your new found Push Up Man glory?
It is my hope that I can take all of my amazing past experiences at CFA and pay it forward.  If you have a question about fitness, nutrition, mindset, anything PLEASE do not hesitate to ask me.  I have been given more than words can express and I want to share that with our community.

What is your cheat meal go to?doug1
Those who know me best, know that I LOVE a good sandwich.  But I hardly think a Turkey Club or Italian Sub truly qualifies as a “cheat meal.”  When I’m not feeling my day-to-day meals, I drive to the closest Whataburger and order a double cheeseburger with bacon, fries, and a chocolate shake.  Coach Mark knows what I’m talking about!

Leave the fine folks of CFA with some parting wisdom.
You may have already noticed that I can be a little long-winded, at times (my family would tell you I’ve always had a lot to say).  I’m not sure I can add much more to what I’ve already shared, but I’ll leave you with about the extent of my “wisdom.”  Before 2014 started, I set some goals for myself.  Many of which, by the way, I did not reach (not yet, anyway).  To reach those goals, I set forth some guiding principles, or intentions, by and through which I would hope to achieve those goals.  Those four intentions were as follows:

1) Show up.
2) Be positive.
3) Be a good teammate.
4) Do work.

 

 

Congratulations guys! We’re so proud to have you as a part of the CrossFit Austin Community!

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