May Athlete of the Month || Morgan Adams!

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 2024 May Athlete of the Month is Morgan Adams! Dubbed “Captain Morgan” by this year’s CFA IMO winners, Cool Rummings, our AOM may be a little quieter, a little less chatty than her fellow 5:30am regulars, but her work never goes unnoticed. If anything, she’s been a great example of fitness maturity and virtuous movement, always scaling movements as needed and performing them with solid technique. With ample CrossFit experience and having an L1 background herself, she’s both receptive and coachable, which is a dream for *any* coach. And, when we needed someone to step up to the plate as an IMO Captain (known equally as “herder of cats and keeper of sanity”), she not only stepped up, but she kept her team motivated, organized and delivered a truly epic music video for “Ice Ice Baby.” Congrats, Morgan! This is overdue but certainly well deserved!

 

State your Name and/or Nickname please:

Morgan

Words to live by?

Do your best and forget the rest.

What is your fitness background?

I danced competitively until I went to college. I also did cheerleading, track, and cross country. Throughout my adult life, I have gone through phases of running, yoga, and other workout programs before finding CrossFit.

How long have you been CrossFitting?

I started CrossFitting in 2017. My Husband and I did Gold’s Fit for a few years before. When we moved across town, he was the one who suggested we try CrossFit. I did the CF-L1 in 2019.

Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel? How do you compare it to workouts today?

I was nervous. My husband really talked it up that it was some crazy workout. The first box I went to was down a gravel road that looked kind of shady. When I walked in, it felt very chaotic. I didn’t know what to expect, or where to stand, and I had never picked up a barbell. I didn’t know where any of the equipment was. I’m sure there was very loud metal music playing.

The owner of the gym made my husband and I do a “foundations” class first. I remember thinking I felt kind of silly as he studied my squat.

Now I know what to expect. I don’t get nervous. I might have dread when it’s a running workout or a lot of burpees, but I’m not nervous. I know how to scale, when to scale, and when I can do better. After taking multiple oly classes I finally learned how to hold a barbell.

What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?

The programming. I like the strength cycles. And while I don’t say a lot at 5:30 in the morning, I think the people are funny.

Current Training Goals/PRs?

I really want to get back to my pre-baby weight. I think once I do that it will be easier for me to get handstand pushups again and strict pull ups for the first time.

What advice do you have for folks just starting out in CrossFit?

If you want to see progress, you have to get your diet under control.

How do you balance staying focused in your training when life gets busy?

I’ve just made training part of my lifestyle. I get myself in bed so I can get to class. I meal prep so I don’t eat like trash. If anyone needs help with this, I suggest Atomic Habits by James Clear.

What is your “cheat meal” go-to?

Chips and queso or nachos.

How do you use your fitness outside of the gym?

I use it to keep up with my toddler. She loves to be chased and picked up. This is kind of silly, but everyone at the office asks me to change the water on the water cooler.

What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your fitness journey?

The biggest challenge I have faced recently is my daughter started waking up multiple times a night. There have been a few times I’ve canceled my reservation in the middle of the night (or early morning) after a rough night. But then I’m mad at myself the next day for not going. So unless she is up at 5am, I try to push myself to go.

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

I was happy that I was able to finish the open workouts.

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

3 rounds for time of 12 dumbbell deadlifts, 10 dumbbell snatches, and 8 push presses.

What keeps you going on the days you don’t feel like it?

I remind myself that I want to live a long, active life for my daughter.

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

I love Kentucky basketball (my husband is from Kentucky, I am not). I’m active in my church. I enjoy doing projects around the house. We like hosting game nights and playing Catan or poker. And honestly, I love my job.

Tell us something we don’t know about you…

I have traveled a lot, but maybe the most interesting is that I went to Uganda for 3 months and surveyed 500 households in remote villages for my graduate thesis which was on the impact of borehole wells on childhood diarrhea. I know a lot about water and sanitation in developing countries. And no, this has absolutely nothing to do with what I do now.

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

Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April Athlete of the Month || Michael Habib!!

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 2024 March Athlete of the Month is Michael Habib! Michael has been putting in the work for years, prior to joining our family in early 2023. He is now a regular in both CFA’s Weightlifting and CrossFit programs. Michael came in really strong with his background and has made major improvements in weightlifting and gymnastics. Simply put, he is a beast! Aside from being a great athlete, Michael is a great person. He always comes to class with a willingness to learn and is extremely coachable.  Congratulations Michael, as it’s been a long time coming and so well deserved! Thank you for letting us share in your journey!

State your Name and/or Nickname please:

Michael Habib

 

Words to live by?

Live according to nature, follow her laws, respect her will, appreciate her balance.

 

What is your fitness background?

I usually say soccer and gym, but I’ll get a little more detailed. So, for the most part, until I was about 14, it was only soccer. I sometimes joined my sister at her gymnastics / tumbling classes, but that was just a couple of times. At 14, I decided to get a gym membership and started doing more strength training there. Halfway through high school, my best friend, who was the wrestling team captain, asked me to join them for summer training and tournaments. So I did that, along with some MMA and Jiu-Jitsu training with him. Toward the end of high school, I was dating someone on the cheer team, so I spent a good chunk of time in those gyms doing more tumbling-type things. Fast forward a little, things got really interesting when some random guy at the gym asked me to work out with his calisthenics group at Santa Monica Pier. It turns out that this group was led by Chuck Gaylord, who was a pretty up there gymnast. He is also the brother and former coach of Mitch Gaylord, who was on the 84 Olympics gymnastics team and would sometimes stop by. Even more random, Tony Horton (P90X guy), who was friends with Chuck, would sometimes come by and lead the core exercises. That lasted about a year and a half until I started college. In college, I met and became friends with a lot of bodybuilders. So bodybuilding became my main focus for the one too many years I was there. If you are ever in SoCal, check out the Gold’s Gym in Venice; it’s a cool experience being there. I also did do Jui-Jitsu again, but that didn’t last too long, maybe a year or so. After college, things got pretty boring. I didn’t really workout anymore and was mostly off until about two years ago. And finally, last January, I joined CFA!

 

How long have you been CrossFitting?

It’ll be a year and just about 4 months now.

 

Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel? How do you compare it to workouts today?

I remember feeling really excited to be there. I love learning/trying new things, so it was fun to scratch that itch with CrossFit/Weightlifting. I also remember feeling humbled cuz I barely did “fitness” level and still got my ass kicked. Compared to today, I’m definitely a lot more comfortable and stronger than I was, so that’s nice.

 

 

What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?

The people. Coaching staff and members. The coaches always impress me with their care and desire to see you succeed. And everyone is generally so friendly and nice. Which is something my wife and I are still getting used to coming from LA/Boston.

 

Current Training Goals/PRs?

So kinda looks like this in my head:
Year 1: Technique

Year 2: Endurance

Year 3: Putting it together

Year 4: Start wiping the floor with some of the ppl I look up to at the gym 🙂

Year 5+: repeat the above at much smaller cycles

What advice do you have for folks just starting out in CrossFit?

Couple things:
1. Be a good student, leave your ego at home, listen to your coaches, and focus.

  1. You can’t cheat time, going 2-3 times a day will not get you to your goals 2-3 times faster.
  2. Be patient, go to work, and don’t lift your head up too often. Things take time.
  3. Have fun but don’t waste your time. 

 

How do you balance staying focused in your training when life gets busy?

Fitness/Health is non-negotiable for me. I’ll find the time to go, even if that means doing an open gym or even going to another gym if the timing doesn’t work out.

What is your cheat meal go-to?

I don’t really have a cheat meal, but when I “cheat”, it usually means I eat a crazy amount of food—like having pounds of BBQ to myself, for example.

 

How do you use your fitness outside of the gym?

Mostly, it’s to carry my son in one arm and all the groceries in the other. We used to live on the third floor of an apartment, so that was fun, but I’m glad that’s over.

 

What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your fitness journey?

I’d say my injuries, particularly when I tore my tricep in the middle of 2022. But after that, I  changed so many things about my fitness to focus on mobility, sustainability, etc., so it ended up being something good in the long run.

 

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

I always feel proud when I can get a PR on my weightlifting lifts. Recently, I’ve also felt proud to be able to go through a Hyrox workout without feeling too dead.

 

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

Everybody Wanna Be a BodyBuilder:

3 RFT

15 Back squats 315/225

15 Bent over row 225/155

15 Military Press 135/95

15 Deadlifts 315/225

50M Farmer Carry 110/55

 

 

What keeps you going on the days you don’t feel like it?

That’s an interesting question for me because I feel my emotions are completely irrelevant when it comes to matters I label as duty, such as fitness, health, family, and so on. So, I guess to answer the question, my sense of duty.

 

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

I don’t really have hobbies, But I love going out to eat with the fam, watch music/comedy/shows, party/dance a little with my wife. I’m also pretty much always on my computer. I love learning and messing around with most things related to software. Back when we had the Triib app, there were only two weightlifting sessions for the week, so whenever the window to RSVP opened, you’d have all these people with alarms on their phones taking up the spots. That annoyed me, so I built a bot that RSVPed to those classes for me within milliseconds. So, by the time people even got to their phones, I already had a spot in the class. I enjoy doing little projects like that etc.

 

Tell us something we don’t know about you…

I was born in Mexico and just got my citizenship last year. Thanks babe!

 

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

The beautiful thing about this game of life is that you tend to get what you give. So, no matter your circumstances, never stop giving.

March Athlete of the Month || Katie Lever

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 2024 March Athlete of the Month is Katie Lever! Katie has been putting in the work for years, joining our family in 2021 to really focus on her olympic lifts. Fast forward a few years later, she is now a regular in both CFA’s weightlifting and CrossFit programs. She is one of the strongest in the weightlifting center and typically finishes with one of the top scores on the CrossFit side. Simply put, she is a beast! Aside from being a great athlete, Katie is a great person. She always comes to class with a smile on her face and the willingness to be very coachable.  Congratulations Katie, as it’s been a long time coming and so well deserved! Thank you for letting us share in your journey!

 

 

 

State your Name and/or Nickname please:
Katie Lever

Words to live by?
If you don’t choose to take days off, your body will choose those days for you. Fitness is important but rest is not an option!

What is your fitness background?
I’m a former D1 distance runner turned crossfitter turned Olympic weightlifter.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
7 years

Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel? How do you compare it to workouts today?
I was terrified because I never really lifted weights before and CrossFit gyms can be kind of intimidating from the outside! Luckily for me, my first WOD had plenty of running, which was my main form of exercise at the time. Now, it’s the opposite. I really look forward to heavy lifting days and love feeling strong!

What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?
The weightlifting group. I look forward to weightlifting workouts so much because we work hard, lift heavy shit, and have fun!

Current Training Goals/PRs?
Clean/jerk 75 kilos and snatch my body weight.

What advice do you have for folks just starting out in CrossFit?
It’s important for newcomers to understand that CrossFit (and working out in general) is for EVERYONE. Conventional gyms can be terrible places to those new to fitness because gym goers can be very judgmental and rude, but at CrossFit gyms, we all remember where we started and tend to be very inclusive, supportive, and accepting because we love the sport and bringing new people in. My advice is to work hard on adjusting the mindset of who “belongs” in a gym. That’s the first real step for newcomers to really commit and push themselves.

I also love Coach Tim’s advice: work out with the body you have today. Not every workout is going to be full send and you won’t feel 100% every day and that’s okay! Adjusting your expectations and listening to your body are important parts of making fitness sustainable and enjoyable.

How do you balance staying focused in your training when life gets busy?
I don’t really have a choice because fitness is so important to my mental health. I’m much happier, calmer, nicer, and more productive when I make time for working out even when I’m busy so I tend to prioritize it by default. I stayed consistent with training throughout grad school and I wouldn’t have made it through my programs without the gym.

What is your cheat meal go-to?
Pizza, ice cream, and bourbon!

How do you use your fitness outside of the gym?
I’ve heard people say that if exercise could be bottled and sold as a medication, it would be the most commonly prescribed medicine in the world and I fully believe that! Fitness makes literally every part of life easier so it’s hard to say where I use it the most. But I like that I can go for long walks/hikes without getting winded and carry all of my groceries inside in one trip. Being a strong woman is also an excellent way to weed out intimidated men on the dating scene so it’s come in handy for me there, too! The first time I texted my now-boyfriend about a big deadlift PR when we first started dating, I thought “ok, this is the moment of truth,” and he was so encouraging about it so I knew then and there that he was a keeper!

What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your fitness journey?
Overcoming injuries, chronic health issues, and eating disorders and finding the right gym/life balance after being a competitive athlete for over a decade. I’m still working on the last one!

Tell us about a moment you felt most proud of yourself during a workout.
During my last strength cycle with the weightlifting group, I hit PRs almost every week and felt great about it. I was also bulking for the first time so the cycle was also a mental challenge that forced me to love my body for what it could do, not for how it looked. I was just as proud of that mindset shift as I was lifting the heaviest lifts I ever had. 5-10 years ago, I would have been a mental wreck over the weight on my scale and completely ignored the weight on my barbell so that was a huge moment of growth for me, physically and mentally. I was exhausted by the end of it but so proud.

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

The Katie:
4 RFT:
400m run
10 clean and jerks
200m row
10 push ups
100m bike
3 rope climbs

What keeps you going on the days you don’t feel like it?
Keeping workouts on my calendar—like anything else, if it’s on my schedule, I’ll get it done! I also think of fitness like a bank account and like making daily deposits. Thinking about workouts as investments helps me stay consistent.

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?
I’m an award-winning novelist, a freelance sportswriter, and I love decorating cookies, hosting parties, and watching sports (especially women’s sports).

Tell us something we don’t know about you…
Most of the weightlifting crew knows this, but the crossfitters might not know that I finished my Ph. D last May! I decided to forgo academia to pursue my dream of becoming a full time sportswriter (I’m an editor for now, but getting there!)

Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words…
I just want to thank CFA for giving me such a great community. I started here a couple years ago just weightlifting on the weekends so I really didn’t get plugged in until this past fall. I’ve been to some phenomenal gyms in the past, but none have offered me the community CFA has. I’m super grateful for the warm welcome now that I’m here full-time! It makes hard work so much more enjoyable and fun. 🙂

February Athlete of the Month || Jesus Jimenez!!

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 2024 February Athlete of the Month is Jesus Jimenez! Jesus has been putting in the work for years, joining our family in August of 2020 after completing Fundamentals to learn the ropes. Coming from a lengthy athletic background, he took to CrossFit rather quickly but stayed modest with his progressions and weights to stay well for his favorite sport, soccer. A few sports-related injuries and one gnarly rattlesnake bite benched him for brief periods over the years, but he always returns to 5:30am with a smile on his face. He’s known by his fellow 5:30ers as the one who will encourage you and tease you equally often (just ask Fernando and Jack), but it’s his consistency, coachability, friendliness, and helpfulness that make him a standout in our community. Congratulations Jesus, as it’s been a long time coming and so well deserved! You would have gotten this a long time ago if it weren’t for that darned snake! All jokes aside, thank you for letting us share in your journey!

 

State your Name and/or Nickname please:

  • Jesus Jimenez, some people call me JJ.

Words to live by?

  • One day at a time

What is your fitness background?

  • I have always been involved in sports. Between the age of 6 to around 11 I just to swim and I competed in the Junior Olympics in Florida. I also completed a few triathlons, but Futbol has been my passion.

How long have you been CrossFitting?

  • I joined CFA during the pandemic when the gym started to open back up. Before that 0 CrossFit experience.

Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel? How do you compare it to workouts

today?

  • I thought it was going to be easy but I notice quickly that I was in for a ride. I was tired and swore. Working out now feels smooth and good since I have paid a little more attention to my form and weight selection.

What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?

  • The 5:30 crew make you feel like family. It’s always a healthy competitive crew that will keep you on your toes! Also, the environment and the coaches. It makes you feel comfortable and like you have been there for years.

Current Training Goals/PRs?

  • In the gym just trying to incorporate more performance workouts. Outside of the gym working on a full marathon and a trifecta for the spartan race series, it consists of 5k,10k and 21k.

What advice do you have for folks just starting out in CrossFit?

  • Listen to your body and work hard, the results will follow. Work on your form. Oh, and don’t forget to stretch/mobility after class, coach Heidi is always watching

How do you balance staying focused in your training when life gets busy?

  • Starting the day by working out just makes my day easier. It helps me clear out my mind and distress from the day to day by showing the baby weights who’s boss

What is your cheat meal go-to?

  • I really don’t have one, I will eat anything at any time.

How do you use your fitness outside of the gym?

  • It helps me stay healthy and focused on my day to day.

What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your fitness journey?

  • I will have to say muscle injuries by not listening to my body. The latest challenge was last year in September when I got bitten by a baby rattlesnake on my foot. I thought I was going to be in the sideline for a bit, but luckily, I was just out for about a month.

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

  • Every work out i get to beat the grandpas from 5:30 am  (you guys know who you are)

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

JJ Special (13 for my DOB)

3 rounds for time

400 m

13 Power Cleans

400 M

13 Push ups

What keeps you going on the days you don’t feel like it?

  • Discipline to accomplish a goal, you can always rest after.

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

  • If im not playing Futbol, im BBQ at home with the family or friends. also taking my dog chase for a walk.

Tell us something we don’t know about you…

  •  I can’t go a day without Nutella

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

  • Thank you for the love and encouragement daily, it doesn’t go unnoticed.

Introducing your 2023 Iron Buffalo Recipients!!

Every year, we’ve chosen a male and female that stood out to us and exemplified the things that we look for in members of our community. We call this award The Iron Buffalo. The athletes chosen were not limited to physical ability alone, although both of these athletes are quite talented in their individual areas. The award also encompasses their ability to connect with their fellow CFA members, their continuous drive, and their commitment not only to this community, but to their own longevity, health, and overall being.

As we were considering the elements of this award, Tim turned to his own family and his own history. The Buffalo has been a symbol in his family for many years. From family homesteading a ranch in Buffalo, Texas where he and his brother made many childhood memories, to his hometown in Bartlesville, OK where Buffalo statues line the intersections of the city. Even the company formed to purchase the gym, The Buffalo Collective, uses the symbol.

The Buffalo, in Native American culture symbolizes a spirit of abundance and friendship. As a totem it symbolizes earth-centeredness, selflessness, and the power of a team unit. The buffalo itself is a symbol of power. It has the strength the carry heavy burdens, not just physically, but in all aspects. We find all of these qualities to be what we looked for in our athletes of the year and could not be more proud to call them the Iron Buffalo recipients.

These athletes exemplify all of these amazing qualities and more. They lead by example. They work hard. Their family and friends are a priority in their lives and they uplift and encourage those around them. We are so honored to share the interviews of our 2023 Iron Buffalo recipients, Melissa Barker and Matt Cleaver. Congratulations you two! We’re grateful to have you as a part of this team and this family.

 

 

MELISSA BARKER

When did you join the CFA community?
September 2020

What is one of your most memorable moments from your early days at CFA? Any ‘newbie’ stories you’d like to share?
I joined the Thirsty Thursday crew during my early days at CFA and got to make new friends in a social setting after the 6 PM class.

What is it about CFA that you love or that is different from other sports/programs you’ve tried?
The coaches are the best, and the onboarding program with a Coach For Life (shout out to Dylan!) is unique and a great way to start at the gym.

 

What advice would you give yourself if you could go back in time to when you first started CrossFit?
Don’t focus on what everyone else is doing around you. It is most important to learn technique and move well before you start adding weight to lifts and progressing in gymnastics movements.

What was your initial reason for starting (your ‘why’)? How has that ‘Why’ changed?
I started doing CrossFit because I wanted to get stronger and that is still my goal – there is also something new to chase.

How did you create long term fitness/CrossFit success for yourself?
I have been consistent in my training and I try to always make time for workouts in my days. It is so good for both my physical and mental health.

What makes you come in and train on days when you don’t want to?
I know that I will always feel better after I have finished a workout. I also look forward to coming in to see friends and catching up on our days.

Recent PRs?
I recently PRed my clean and jerk as well as my snatch. That was really exciting after being stuck at some numbers for a long time.

Current training goals?
I’m trying to focus on my technique and moving well. I have been spending more time with the Olympic weightlifting classes and have started to see that pay off.

Tell us about an obstacle you have had to work through in your training. How did you work through it?
I have had a few injuries that forced me to take some time off or modify movements and workouts. It is really hard for me to take time away from the gym, but I have learned how important it is to listen to my body especially for longevity.

 

 

 

What is your cheat meal go to?
Definitely Taco Bell and champagne

What does the Iron Buffalo title mean to you?
The CFA community is unlike any other that I have been a part of, and winning the title this year is so special. It is such a great crew to be included with.

Thoughts upon winning the title?
I was surprised and truly honored to be recognized as the 2023 Iron Buffalo. Tim almost made me cry with that speech!

How will you use your new found Buffalo Strength?
I will continue to be consistent in the gym and help to welcome new people to the community. I hope that everyone feels connected whether it is during class time or at the social outings – always come say hi to me!

 

 

What are you most excited about in the upcoming year? Gym related and/or personally?
Personally, I’m looking forward to plenty of travel this year and getting to visit new places. Also more pool parties this summer!

Leave the fine folks of CFA with some parting wisdom.
Call your mom…

 

 

 

 

 

MATT CLEAVER

When did you join the CFA community?
March 2020…yeah….perfect time to join a new gym with Covid looming.

What is one of your most memorable moments from your early days at CFA? Any ‘newbie’ stories you’d like to share?
During quarantine, our entire athlete congregation met virtually to workout in our home gyms, or patio’s. Watching coach Dylan’s face dug into the camera to watch people’s form through a 1 ½ inch screen is one for memory book.

 

 

What is it about CFA that you love or that is different from other sports/programs you’ve tried?
It’s a tad cliché to say, but it holds true – our community. The coaches have cultivated a contagious culture that excites me to come every day. We have such an eclectic group of athletes that makes it differentiated from other gyms. Additionally, each athlete and coach genuinely wants others to grow, and obtain feats that they never thought possible.

What advice would you give yourself if you could go back in time to when you first started CrossFit?
Do more weightlifting with Coach Dylan, and Gus. There’s more to the gym than just CrossFit. They will get you dialed in with technique.

 

 

What was your initial reason for starting (your ‘why’)? How has that ‘Why’ changed?
I’ve been involved with athletics my entire life, but I wanted to become a “well-rounded” athlete. Admittedly, aesthetics played a huge roleinto my “why,” but as I am getting older and growing my family, I want to be an example to my kids of the importance of health and exercise.


How did you create long term fitness/CrossFit success for yourself?
Again, athletics have been a huge part of me. I wouldn’t go as far to say it’s my identity, but it’s definitely engrained in my lifestyle. Additionally, it’s just plain fun to get a PR or just a good workout in and walk away feeling “yeah…I freakin’ crushed that WOD today, and I beat Ryan.” 

 

What makes you come in and train on days when you don’t want to?
This circles back to my “why” – I’m setting an example for my family. I have to give a lot of credit to my wife. She routinely encourages me and supports my love for the sport.

Recent PRs?2023, 215# clean and jerk. Also, I had my inaugural HYROX race in 2023. I highly encourage everyone to check it out, and Coach Tim is a heck of a coach for it.

Current training goals?
With baby #2 on the way, my goals for 2024 are simply to stay healthy and prevent getting a dad bod! I’m also still chasing BW snatch.

 

 

Tell us about an obstacle you have had to work through in your training. How did you work through it?
As athletes, we are imminently going to encounter injuries. I will encounter the typical lower back and/or shoulder injuries from time-to-time. When this occurs, I simply scale back weight and movements and work on the grueling resistance bands to ensure I gain the strength and mobility back. And shout out to Coach Heidi for her recovery techniques and massages!

What is your cheat meal go to?
Oh man….my routine cheat meal is Raising Canes. Gosh I love their sauce. I’ll also add I’m a sucker for chips and queso, and copious amounts of margaritas. Don’t forget to add the umbrella.

 

 

 

What does the Iron Buffalo title mean to you?
I am beyond honored to be the recipient of the Iron Buffalo award. It’s a reflection of the hard, consistent work I have put in, but I have to give genuine credit to my wife, and my CFA community. They make it a true joy to join them in gym and push beyond our limits. It’s the community and competitiveness that drives us beyond what we think we are capable of.

Thoughts upon winning the title?
I honestly was surprised, but again am very honored to receive it. There are several athletes I can name that are deserving of this award. My hope is that we as a community can all strive for that recognition and have 2024 be saturated with PR’s and excelling in not only the workouts, but supporting each other.

How will you use your new found Buffalo Strength?
I simply want it to encourage others. It’s a true honor to be recognized, and my hope is that encourage others to excel in their results, and grow as a community.

What are you most excited about in the upcoming year? Gym related and/or personally?
I’m excited to witness the folks training for the HYROX races coming in 2024. I know Josiah, Kyle, and Lynn are putting in some great work and am excited to see their hard work come to fruition in their upcoming races. It’s an unbelievable feat, but well worth the finish. Personally, I am mostly excited for the birth of our son due in April. I can’t wait to have another workout buddy.

Leave the fine folks of CFA with some parting wisdom.
There is an opportunity cost with every decision you make – time, money, temporary satisfaction, you name it. However, those sacrifices need to be for something truly meaningful. Find your “why.” This doesn’t need to be gym related. In fact, I encourage it not to be, because there are numerous things larger than it. Your “Why” should be something higher than yourself – God, and your family.

 

The 2024 GORUCK CrossFit Open & CFA Intramural Open

The 2024 GORUCK CrossFit Open & CFA Intramural Open

 

REGISTER HERE

 

We’re already taking some steps to help get you ready. You’ll be seeing more specific skill portions in class, working past Open WODs into the programming, doing some extra PT sessions… all in hopes of preparing for the next Open.

More details will come soon with specifics on teams and game outlines, but for now we just wanted to get the word out because when the time comes, we’re going to have to act fast!

Who:
Open to all CFA members of all skill levels.

What:
The Intramural Open experience is a team format take on the CrossFit Games Open. All participants will be placed into a blind draft (2/24) – see below for more info) and then drafted into different teams managed by your Team Captains.

Points will be earned by things like:

Participating in the Open Workouts
Top performance in the Open Workouts
Team Spirit
Team Outings
Showing up to Friday Night Lights
Other super fun shenanigans

And more… To be determined, but will be established before we begin!

When:
Starting on February 29, one workout will be released from CFHQ each week for 3 weeks on Thursday evenings. We will program the workouts as part of the normally scheduled programming on Fridays  AND we will have an additional schedule that will be the BIG time for teams to gather and have a fun time together on Friday evenings. Special make ups outside of the classes/events may be requested and addressed on a case-by-base basis. The Intramural Open experience will wrap up with the final WOD announced on March 14th and we’ll have our wrap party Friday the 15th!!

Where:
The workouts will be run at the gym as part of the normal class sessions and during a special events schedule Friday evenings. If you are traveling during this time period, you may also find an affiliate to complete the standard workouts with to earn your participation points.

Why:
Because it’s fun and we believe it’ll make you better in more ways that just improving your health and fitness. Cheering each on other on in this environment gives you an experience that you can’t find anywhere else. The Open is a great way to test to see where your current potential is. We encourage everyone to participate because it’s the path that’s going to allow you to pursue your most positive potential and be able to connect with other fellow CFA family members.

For those that want to submit scores via the CFHQ Open, please feel free to do so, make sure you have a judge for your workout, and we will validate your scores via the CFHQ system accordingly. Please note, it is NOT a requirement that you sign up through HQ in order to participate with us. Signing up through HQ will allow you to see how you rank with the rest of the world, but we don’t require it for IMO.

How:
Sign up online through the PushPress Events HERE!! The registration fee is $50. This includes your t-shirt, entry fee, and funding for the finals party and winning team’s prizes

REGISTRATION DEADLINE – Friday, February 23! – The draft happens 2/24 at our February Birthday Social and shirts will be ordered immediately following! 

Again, you DO NOT have to register through CFHQ to register for the intramural open. You ONLY need to register with HQ if you want to submit your scores worldwide.

PRIZES
The top team will earn a GRAND prize. Details released soon!

Our focus is on FUN. We want participation because it will make you fitter, and it will get you high-fives and you’ll be happy and love life more and glow and stuff.

Please don’t hesitate to ask questions or if you have any reservations about any unique challenges, I’m positive we can work it out.

December Athlete of the Month || Rola Hassan!!

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 2023 December Athlete of the Month is Rola Hassan! Rola joined CFA in May of 2023, and her consistent effort over the last several months hasn’t gone unnoticed. Rola devotes 2 hours a day, 5 days a week to working out. She’ll do her accessory programming before class and then still participate full out in noon class. She strives to make improvements in her technique and strength and has always been very coachable. We are excited to see her continued improvements, and we’re proud to call her our December AOM! What a great way to close out 2023! Congratulations Rola, and thank you for letting us share in your journey!

 

State your Name and/or Nickname please:

Rola

Words to live by?

And you Lord is going to give you, and you will be satisfied.

 

What is your fitness background?

I started hitting the gym in 2014.

I used to do spinning, pilates, aerobics, boot camp, and trampoline “unbound”.

 

How long have you been CrossFitting?

I started crossfitting in 2017

 

Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel? How do you compare it to workouts today?

Although I had an idea about CrossFit, I did not expect it to be that challenging.

I did not even know that despite hitting the gym daily for years I was not even able to do a good squat or pushups!

 

What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?

The friendliness of the coaching team!

 

Current Training Goals/PRs?

My goal is to get getter at “double unders” and to achieve a new PR in deadlifts and back squats.

 

What advice do you have for folks just starting out in CrossFit?

CrossFit is challenging. Don’t be discouraged! Keep pushing yourself to achieve your training objectives! And once you hit your training target you will get this sense of satisfaction and fulfillment of hard work

 

How do you balance staying focused in your training when life gets busy?

I block 2 hours of my schedule daily for training! Hitting the gym daily is a must!

 

What is your cheat meal go-to?

I don’t have a cheat meal!

However, sometimes I crave for traditional Arabic sweets!

 

How do you use your fitness outside of the gym?

Exercising daily helps me stay focused! Exercising is one of the most effective ways to improve mental health.

 

What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your fitness journey?

The biggest challenges I faced in my fitness journey are related to adopting a new lifestyle. I had to be committed to a daily training schedule and adjust my diet… not eating a pizza is not easy!

 

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

I used to be scared of handstands… it was a challenge for me since I was a child! Now I enjoy doing handstands!

 

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

I would create a Wod called Naim (inspired by the name of my son).

The workout would be:

 

13 (for my son’s age) rounds of

11 (for my son’s birth month) weighted sit ups

5 (for my son’s birthday) deadlifts

Directly into

2010m (for my son’s birth year) row

 

What keeps you going on the days you don’t feel like it?

Dedication 

 

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

I am into fashion, cooking, and reading.

 

Tell us something we don’t know about you…

I am a holder of a master’s degree in Arabic philosophy

 

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

I moved recently to Austin, and you made me feel home again❤️

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