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 Ryan Vonier! Ryan joined the CFA Family just over a year ago, but he was no stranger to CrossFit when he came on board! Ryan jumped right in with the 5:30 am Power Hour (aka Cash Out) Crew! He knows what it takes to stay consistent and he’s gotten the whole fambam moving and grooving with CFA. We love seeing his wife and 3 daughters (wow, a little outnumbered there aren’t ya Ryan?? 😉) in the gym growing together. We’ve loved being part of the journey with Ryan and celebrating the wins along the way! Ryan, we are honored to have you as our February Athlete of the Month and as an awesome part of this team. 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:
Words to live by?
Go big or go home..
What is your fitness background?
I’ve played sports my entire life (football, baseball, basketball, track&field, etc) When I was in JR high, I started taking fitness pretty seriously. I begged my dad for a weight bench for months and finally got one for my birthday and I lived on that thing for many years. Almost exclusively to Bench Press
How long have you been CrossFitting?
Signed up for a 6-week Crossfit challenge in April of 2019 – I’ve been hooked ever since.
Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel? How do you compare it to workouts today?
I was definitely intrigued, but I was pretty suspect of the whole scene. 5 minutes into the warmup, I knew that this was what I needed to be doing with my life. My first workout was FIGHT GONE BAD and although it kicked my ass, I absolutely loved it. I’ve completed that workout a few times since and its cool to look back out my old scores and how much progress I’ve actually made.
What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?
I think the programming is awesome! I really enjoy the strength and skill cycles along with the scaleup and cashout options. I’m also a huge fan of all the members and coaches! Its been a great transition for myself and my family moving to Austin last year.
Current Training Goals/PRs?
Consistent BMU’s, Consistent DU’s, and somewhere in the not so distant future, handstand walks and pistols
What advice do you have for folks just starting out in CrossFit?
Load it up and go unbroken
How do you balance staying focused in your training when life gets busy?
Not easy, getting myself in the habit of waking up at 4:45am everyday and get some training in at 530am has been such a huge benefit for me. This allows me to to get a good workout in and go about the rest of my day as I normally would. I hate when I’m unable to workout first thing in the morning – I just feel lethargic and gross.
What is your cheat meal go-to?
I would have to say pizza, beer, and cereal..
How do you use your fitness outside of the gym?
Playing with my 3 active daughters and keeping up with them. I also still enjoy playing recreational sports. Shout out to the CFA volleyball team! I played competitive softball for several years, but haven’t played in a couple years now, looking at getting back into it. So if anyone is looking for a token old man pitcher with some pretty serious pop in his bat…just let me know
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your fitness journey?
Not being able to perform all movements. When I first started crossfit, it was pretty discouraging, but I was confident that I would pick everything up in the first few months…WRONG! I still struggle with many movements, but I’ve come a very long way. My aspirations to be a Masters athlete have faded, but I still have plenty goals I look forward to hitting, no matter how long it takes.
Tell us about a moment you felt most proud of yourself during a workout.
There are actually several, but my favorite/proud moment to date was at my previous Crossfit box. Long story short: I was about 1 year into crossfit, and we had a new young guy drop-in (all sorts of fitness experience and in real good shape but he had never done a WOD before). We had an instant rapport, as he was very competitive and into sports, etc. He was also talking all sorts of friendly smack before the workout ( 5 rds: 400m run, KB swings, and goblet squats) The first 3 rounds he kept up with me, but on the 4th run I pulled away, and when I went out for the 5th run, I found him on the backside of the bldg. keeled over and throwing up. He was physically ok, so I kept going – after the workout though, it was great to see how humble he was and his new found respect for crossfit athletes. We had a good laugh about it, and he actually ended up joining the gym.
If you could create a WOD and name it for yourself, what would it be?
(buy in 30 burpees)
5 rope climbs
10 bench press (205, 135)
20 wall balls (30, 20)
(buy out 30 burpees)
*scale up – weighted vest (20, 15)
What keeps you going on the days you don’t feel like it?
Knowing how crappy I’ll feel if don’t put in the work. I’ve done it once or twice and I’ve regretted it every time. My body doesn’t respond well to rest..
What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?
Big sports fan – not as invested as I used to be but my mood is still affected whether my teams win/lose (Raiders, Detroit Tigers, and Ohio State). I still enjoy playing any sport or game. Mostly, I enjoy spending time with my wife and kids – which usually revolves around playing sports and games.
Tell us something we don’t know about you…
I may come off as super tough, rugged, barrel-chested man HAHA, but I’m honestly a pretty big softy, I cry way too often watching movies or watching my daughters succeed..
Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words…
Take a deep breath and go unbroken.. 😉