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 Zac Spangler! Zac came to Austin as a PT student and fell right in with our community! Zac is usually an afternoon fella. Just look for the guy with excellent form and the friendly face! He’s been such a pleasure to have in class and we appreciate his kind and welcoming personality. We’ve loved being part of the journey with him and celebrating the wins along the way! Zac, we are honored to have you as our December 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?
You’re a product of the 5 people you spend the most time with, so choose your circle wisely
What is your fitness background?
I have been involved in fitness most of my life, mostly training to improve athletic performance while still playing sports. When sports ended I began at a local CrossFit Gym and have been training for personal fitness, health, and longevity ever since.
How long have you been CrossFitting?
I began CrossFit in 2017.
Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel? How do you compare it to workouts today?
I was way too aggressive when I began CrossFit and thought every workout needed to be 1000% effort and if you were not laying on the ground after you did it wrong. I’m happy I did it this way because I have a better understanding of my upper limits and know when to scale back and when to push. Now, I am focused on respecting my body and training for health, longevity, and improving technique.
What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?
The coaches, community, and programming
Current Training Goals/PRs?
To go 6 for 6 at my first Olympic Weightlifting meet on Dec. 17th!
What advice do you have for folks just starting out in CrossFit?
I’d tell someone to not feel pressured to RX workouts, each workout is designed to create a specific stimulus, and weights or speeds will look different for each person. I would recommend a focus on building a solid foundation, respecting your body, making friends, and having fun. Focus on longevity and celebrate the small wins along the way.
How do you balance staying focused in your training when life gets busy?
There’s no way to avoid life getting busy and I try to focus on everyday movement. While each day might not be a workout at the gym, I can still go for a walk, do yoga, or get outside and soak up some sun. Doing the little things to still get my body moving allows me to make progress on goals even when not in the gym.
What is your cheat meal go-to?
Panda Express lol
How do you use your fitness outside of the gym?
I use my fitness outside of the gym by going hiking, mountain biking, and camping.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your fitness journey?
Staying consistent with training while moving as often as I do. Throughout my education to becoming a physical therapist, I have moved to multiple new cities. Having to relocate to new cities for internships has been a challenge to stay consistent with CrossFit or Olympic Weightlifting styles of training.
Tell us about a moment you felt most proud of yourself during a workout.
Basically doing any workout with my dad. My dad started doing CrossFit after watching me do a 2018 Open workout and has been doing it ever since. He has improved his fitness, strength, overall health, and longevity. I always have fun and feel proud when doing a partner workout with my dad.
If you could create a WOD and name it for yourself, what would it be?
I’m not great a programming but if I could choose a single movement to add to a workout it would have to be bar muscle-ups.
What keeps you going on the days you don’t feel like it?
Just focusing on everyday movement even if it’s something simple. Keeping physical activities simple will get me moving on days when I do not feel like it.
What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?
Currently, I am a third-year physical therapy student so outside of CrossFit I am typically studying and learning about the body, rehabilitation, and physical therapy practice. Also, most nights you can find me riding a longboard around for fun!
Tell us something we don’t know about you…
I have a cat named Kota and she’s my pride and joy
Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words…
Don’t forget to take moments each day to slow down the busyness of life, there’s simple beauty all around so take it in.