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.