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 May Athlete of the Month is Jack Smith! Jack joined CFA in June of 2022, beginning with Fundamentals and then joined right in with the dark and early 5:30 am folks! Jack is consistent, disciplined, and well motivated which is a good thing because he has 3 kiddos and another on the way to keep up with! Not only is Jack a pleasure to have in class, but he’s just a heck of a nice guy to chat with. We have really enjoyed getting to know him and we’re excited to celebrate his 1 year anniversary with CFA soon! We’ve loved being part of the journey with him so far and celebrating the wins along the way! Jack, we are honored to have you as our May 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?
Let go of the things you cannot control, focus on the things you can.
What is your fitness background?
I’ve never really experienced a consistent or structured fitness program. That being said, I’ve enjoyed a range of physical activities over the years, from wrestling and cross-country in middle school to skateboarding and hiking as I got older. Today I’m consistently hitting a workout 5-6 days a week.
How long have you been CrossFitting?
Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel? How do you compare it to workouts today?
For me, it was getting my hands on that initial list of 50+ moves and realizing I knew no more than five. Today I’m a bit more in tune with how to approach each workout and the moves are a lot less intimidating.
What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?
Consistently challenging programming scaled to all with ample opportunity to be as involved as one would like in the CFA community. I’d have remorse if I didn’t mention the amazing folks that show up to the 5:30am class whom whether they know it or not, have helped me in one way or another.
Current Training Goals/PRs?
Complete a Murph workout in under 50 minutes. September 2022 was my first attempt… A grueling 1 hour and 40 minutes using a purple band for pull-ups. By March I achieved my first 44 minute Murph using a weighted vest for the run. My biggest concern is doing this work-out in the July heat and will be focusing my training on that over the next three months.
Register early and frequently, show up sunshine or rain and have a plan for how to approach the workout. For example, review the work-out ahead of time. If there are any moves you don’t recognize, look those up and study the movement. During metcons meet yourself and get to know that “voice” that attempts to disrupt your best self. Once you know that voice, when it hits, have a plan. My plan is usually to call it out in my mind and make an intentional choice on how to proceed.
How do you balance staying focused in your training when life gets busy?
Keep showing up. Even if I’m not there to give my best, I’m there. That process has propelled me to where I’m at today.
What is your cheat meal go-to?
Cheeseburger, french fries and a couple of cold beers. A double IPA counts as a meal itself right?
How do you use your fitness outside of the gym?
This gets into my why for even walking into CrossFit. I’m a father of three amazing kiddos age 4, 6 and 8 with one on the way. A lot of joy comes from being able to play just as hard as they do. Some of the activities I enjoy with my kids include rough housing, jumping on the trampoline, any kind of water fun, chasing, and fitness challenges like hanging (kids are really good at this). Other than that… life is demanding, and CrossFit makes saying yes to it all so easy.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your fitness journey?
It has been a constant flow of challenges. I’m a cybersecurity professional and spend hours at a desk. Transitioning from an inactive lifestyle to active one was a journey. It took about three months to rev up to about 5-6 days of weekly training (Shoutout to Hannan for helping me realize that potential). Then there was pain. Jared was instrumental in that first hop past wrist mobility. Then it was getting past feeling like I had tendonitis in my knees for about four or five months. Beyond all that, Heidi has been instrumental in helping me navigate all things CrossFit, mobility, and advice on how to map out my fitness journey. Last challenge is navigating an endless array of weightlifting exercises that honestly without the help from Dylan, Bach, Heidi and Hannan I’d be completely lost.
Tell us about a moment you felt most proud of yourself during a workout.
During foundations my first workout was Baseline. I managed to finish 10 push-ups by the 7min mark. Six months later I completed the full Baseline in 6 min 48 seconds. Had it not been for Heidi showing me my original attempt from day one, I would have walked away only happy with the workout. Instead I was reminded of the returns that consistently showing up provide. At this point I was hooked.
If you could create a WOD and name it for yourself, what would it be?
Hellfire (for time)
- 50 box jump overs (24/20 inches)
- 40 dumbbell snatches (50/*35/20 pounds)
- 30 burpees
- 20 thrusters (135/*95/35 pounds)
- 10 pull-ups
What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?
I’m very interested in computers, infrastructure, hacking and security and spend a lot of time tinkering in a home lab built to further those skills. I enjoy camping and hiking with the fam. I’m very invested in creating a glamping experience for the family so they are more apt to want to go with me. Occasionally I still love to hop on my skateboard but more-so these days that translates to cruising around my hood on a 28-mph Meepo Mini 2 electronic board that I just love to hit top speeds on. I also have a knack for personal finance and budgeting and love helping people overcome that.
Tell us something we don’t know about you…
I’m a certified penetration tester
Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words…
Do or do not. There is no try.