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 Lee Perry! Lee is celebrating his 1 Year Anniversary with CrossFit Austin today! He’s now training under the CFA competition programming so you’ll most likely catch him in the evenings. Lee is one of the most giving people we’ve ever met and he’s always there to help anyone who needs it. He works hard and is always focused on his goals, but tell him yours and he’ll help you get there too! Outside of the gym, Lee is always along for the ride at our social events and is part of the “Unofficial CFA Welcoming Committee.” We’re so happy to have Lee in our community and proud to announce him as this month’s Athlete of the Month. Congratulations Lee and thanks for all you do!
Words to live by?
BE AGGRESSIVE AND THEN BE MORE AGGRESSIVE. NEVER SETTLE.
What is your fitness background?
Played football, baseball, lacrosse, soccer and wrestled through High School. While in the Army we stayed fit. Furthermore, I coached all levels of various athletics (team sports) through 2013. Though while coaching… my personal fitness was a fail. I have a USA Weightlifting Sports Performance Certification.
How long have you been CrossFitting?
First day in a CrossFit Box was July 1, 2013. (2 ½ years)
Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel?
Embarrassed, nervous, ridiculous and mad as F*@k that I allowed myself to be in such bad shape… both physically and emotionally.
PLEASE NOTE: All of those feelings rapidly faded as I tried to find my breath after the “warm-up” for elements class. Nothing else mattered but trying to find air at that point. It was horrible, but at the same time it was a reminder of why I needed to be there. Seriously opened my eyes, but not my lungs, in fact I’m pretty sure my lungs collapsed that day. I could not breathe. Needless to say, the next day I could not move either. I had no choice but to love it.
How do you compare it to workouts today?
Today I crave and look forward to getting into the gym as much as possible. So much so that I built one in my garage so that I can train any time I’d like. I enjoy lifting and volume the most. Now if I cannot breathe or I become sore, I know I am doing something good for myself.
What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?
Community… Though for me that is a combination of athletes, coaches, staff, programming and equipment. Frankly, one does not go without the other. CFA checks all the boxes!
Current Training Goals/PRs?
It’s always to become stronger across the board. There is no substitute for strength in my opinion. Though to become stronger functionally there are many areas that need to be addressed besides just slinging weight. For example form on the lifts and gymnastic skills. I’d like to pull a 585# Deadlift this year (currently @ 520#).
What advice do you have for folks just starting out in CrossFit?
JUST KEEP GOING! Trust the process, it is proven. It does work. If you want testimony of that come find me and we can talk.
What is your cheat meal go to?
Let me dazzle you with my creativity here, PIZZA!
Tell us about a moment you felt most proud of yourself during a workout.
Anytime I see improvement. Proud that I have competed in CrossFit numerous times (love that) and ran a Super Spartan.
If you could create a WOD and name it for yourself, what would it be?
You can call it “Lee” if you want, but I call it “Dead Row”
EMOM for 30 Minutes
Even Minute: 2 Deadlifts @ 405 (30 reps total)
Odd Minute: 10 Cal Row (150 calories total)
What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?
I’ll try just about anything. To relax I draw horribly. I truly enjoy coaching others as well.
Tell us something we don’t know about you…
I weighed 450+ lbs when I began CrossFit 2 ½ years ago.
Longhorns or Aggies?
HORNS! Sorry Wes. HOOK’EM!
As necessary I try to help the new athlete. I cannot express in words exactly what it feels like to be new in a CrossFit Box without any experience. It just sucks and feels awkward. So any assistance I received early on was always welcomed. It’s the simple things that baffle the newer folks… like how to put wrist wraps on, turning on a rower, where are the damn bar clips, what are all those damn acronyms etc…
Because I felt like I was new for a really long time (still do at times), I try to ensure my fellow (new) athletes are relaxed and can enjoy what they are doing for themselves. That’s not say that I won’t assist the seasoned vets (who likely need the most help). It’s just that “my goal” is to get as many people moving as possible. Ensuring the new folks are comfortable goes a long way in their sustainability in the gym.
Lastly, I have stolen this from another CFA Athlete, but it’s a good one… “Be kind to yourself.”