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!
50 walking lunges
15 strict pull-ups
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!