Coach of the Quarter: Erica Cuellar


Please help the CrossFit Austin team in congratulating Erica Cuellar as our Coach of the Quarter!  Erica is always the first person to step up and offer to help if an extra hand is needed.  She goes out of her way to encourage, uplift and create a positive environment for everyone she is around.  Erica has been an invaluable addition to our coaching staff and as part of our CFA family!  Her smiling face and infectious positive attitude represents everything that we want CrossFit Austin to stand for!

Here are a few things that our clients had to say about Erica:

Oh my gravy, what an inspiration! Your smile ignites the gym and it has been such a pleasure to watch you go from student to COACH with such ease. Thank you for all of your encouragement throughout my journey at CFA.  Love you long time.  -Valyn

Erica is such a sweet person and an amazing coach. I am so happy to have met her through CFA and have the opportunities to attend her classes. She is always smiling at the gym and starts/ends her classes with energy and I love that about her!  Erica, thanks for all the advice and encouragement that you have given me, and CONGRATULATIONS ON COACH OF THE QUARTER! Well-deserved girl! 🙂   -Missy

Erica and I started our first day of On Ramp together.  Back then she was a runner that didn’t lift, and I was an injured lifter that couldn’t squat.  Those first two weeks were the hardest weeks I have ever had in my life, but Erica encouraged me through every class.  Our first couple of “big kid” classes were very intimidating.  We stuck together and stuck it out.  No matter how hesitant I was or how much I doubted my own abilities, Erica was always there with a “You can do this!”.   Even after finishing a WOD,  she always went out to bring in the last person (usually me).  She is selfless and caring.  Her positive attitude is infectious (and extremely helpful to get me thru Fran or Karen).  Now she is one of my coaches, and is paying the gift of CrossFit and her wonderful attitude forward.  I am so lucky to get to begin again with Erica.  I don’t have to be intimidated this time around.  When doubt starts creeping in (*cough* box jumps *cough*), I look up and see Erica already telling me, “You can do this, Jen!”  And I do.  That is truly awesome.  Coach of the Quarter is well-deserved.  Congratulations Erica!   -Machine Gun Jenny

Welcome, New Members!

January brought a great group of new members who are tackling 2013 with a healthy start! In case you haven’t had the chance to get sweaty with them yet, we wanted to take a moment to introduce the newest members in the Circle of Awesomeness…

Carlos Casas Dustin D’Amalfi Cat Schuetzle Abby Elliott Caitlin Meany
Ebelia Salazar Devin Lee Brian Pedersen Ed Robinson Kristin Chandler
Nicole Savage Dabney Barrett Kristan Lovelace Andrew Lockwood Ryan Chandler
Sadie Carstensen Dan Wilcox Jack Crowley Paula Atkinson Chris Kephart
Ashley Jacobi Carolina Hernandez Morgan Irving Taylor Pease Ana Gomez-Sanchez
Erin Mumy Dallas Zamora Jake Kretzschmar Ruth Cazares Peter Roe
Adrienne Patterson Ben Copstead Russell Moldenhauer Alex Rodriguez Maureen Nelligan
Vanessa Lopez Andrew Miller

Welcome, new members! We’re so happy to have you here! We hope to see each of you at this Thursday’s CFA Happy Hour so we can get to know you better!

Friends and Family Week!

Do you have a friend or family member who is interested in experiencing all that CrossFit Austin has to offer? 
For the month of July, MURPH 07.06.2013 will mark the kick-off of CFA’s Friends & Family Event!  Classes will be held at 6:30am and 6:30pm on Tuesday (7/9) and Thursday (7/11)! Have your Friends & Family sign-up HERE! 

March 9th @ noon CFA will be hosting a BBQ/ Potluck to close out Friends & Family Week and announce the winners of the 2013 Circle of Awesomeness Challenge!

To celebrate MURPH 07.06.2013 CFA will be hosting a BBQ/Potluck directly after the event. This BBQ/Potluck will kick-off our Friends & Family event! Be sure to post what paleo (or non-paleo) treats you will bring HERE!
*There are rumors of dodgeball and 3-on-3…

Polar Plunge

On February 16th, a group of brave (possibly crazy) individuals from CrossFit Austin will venture to San Marcos to take on the Polar Plunge!  In an effort to raise money for a great cause, Special Olympics Texas, we will plunge into the icy San Marcos River in the middle of winter.  Participants must raise a minimum of $60 in donations from friends, family and co-workers in exchange for taking the plunge. All money raised will be used to provide year-round sports training and competitions for 5,066 athletes in the Central Texas area.  Are you brave enough to join our team?

You can participate on a team or as an individual.  CrossFit Austin has started a team already (CrossFit Austin One) that you can join, or you can start your own.

If you think you have what it takes, click here to register and read more about this great event.  Make sure you enter “CrossFit Austin One” as your team!

Circle of Awesomeness Challenge Testimonial

The 2013 Circle of Awesomeness Challenge is right around the corner and we hope you’re getting fired up for the awesomeness that is coming! Past challenges have produced some amazing results, some of which we’d like to share with you. One such success story belongs to Gary Kanning…

Gary’s Results…

  • Lost 1.5% body fat
  • Increased 1 RM Power Snatch by 20lbs
  • Increased 1 RM Clean to Thruster by 25lbs
  • Increased L-sit hold time by 38 seconds
  • Increased 5 RM Front Squat by 25lbs
  • Increased FGB score by 28 reps
  • Decreased 2-Mile time by 1:02
  • Decreased Karen time by 52 seconds
  • Decreased Annie time by 1:52

A word from Gary…

“I really had no idea what I was getting myself into when I signed up for the challenge last year. It changed my life in so many unexpected ways. I’m happier and healthier because of it and I can’t wait to do it again!”

Learn more about the
2013 Circle of Awesomeness Challenge

*Now through 1/16, receive an “early bird” discount at registration with promo code “EARLYBIRD2”

Ladies’ Night

Join the women of CFA for drinks, laughs, and fun! We’ve got a lot of new faces at CrossFit Austin, so come out and have some fun with your CFA family! Hope to see y’all there!

What: CFA Ladies’ Night

Where: Moontower Saloon (10212 Manchaca Road, 78748)

When: Thursday, January 24th at 6:00pm

Welcome, January Interns and New Members!

We want to take a moment to introduce the new faces you’ll be seeing around the gym this month! In addition to Alex “Toonie” Tanton, Sharon Blecker and LV Johns will be joining our Intern Staff as they learn all about what CrossFit Austin has to offer! Here is a little more information about each of these lovely ladies in case you haven’t had the chance to meet them yet…


Sharon “Vegas” Blecker

About Sharon:
I recently transplanted to Austin from Las Vegas, NV where I worked in finance and trained in CrossFit. Growing up I participated in various activities such as martial arts, competitive dance, basketball, and both long and short distance running. I first found CrossFit in October of 2011 and, as most people, was hooked from day 1. CrossFit taught me how to be aware of my body, movement, and redefine how I perform and view myself as an athlete. I enjoy sharing my knowledge and experience with fellow athletes and learning from them as well. I’m very excited and look forward to training with and growing with the CrossFit Austin community!


Elvira “LV” Johns

About LV:
I am currently the Head Coach for the Women’s Lacrosse Team at Bowie High School. I went to Buffalo State College in New York, and played as starting Defensive midfield for the Women’s Lacrosse team. I have been playing lacrosse for over 17 years, coaching for high school teams over 7 years, and assisting with lacrosse camps since 2000. I have always had a passion for sports, nutrition, fitness and inspiring others. My husband, a U.S. Force Reconnaissance Marine L1 CrossFit Trainer, showed me the path to CrossFit. He trained me for 1 year and made me a believer in CrossFit when I got my first set of pull-ups. Since then, I have implemented functional exercises within my lacrosse teams workout sessions and have seen miraculous improvements in chin-up/pull-up achievements and running speed within a 4-month training period. Four years later, after having my son, Mason, last year, I have overcome the struggles of recovering from a C-section, getting back to being “fit”, have truly developed a passion for CrossFit. I now want to inspire other athletes to achieve their seemingly unattainable fitness goals. I believe that CrossFit is the path toward fitness success because it embodies everything an athlete could need in order to be better in whatever goals one may have.


December also brought even more friendly faces to our gym and we’d love to welcome our new members as well! In case you haven’t had the chance to get sweaty with them yet, we wanted to take a moment to introduce the newest members in the Circle of Awesomeness…

Joe McMillan Nick Diana Sarah Kyle Silas Parker
Michael Needham Greg Vassaur Sam Levassar Gregg Colvin
Sophia Loera Michael Dunn Allison Ashley Lee Seidlits
Stefani Koehn Christian O’Connor Kristi Kingston April Gimnich
Steve Jimmerson Melody Ley





Welcome, everyone! We’re so happy to have you here!

January Athlete of the Month: George Valdez

State your Name and/or Nickname please:
George A. Valdez

Words to live by?
‘Pain is weakness leaving the body’ – USMC
‘The only easy day was yesterday’ – Navy SEALs
‘No Worries’ – local saying in Hawaii
‘It is what it is’ – local saying in Hawaii

What is your fitness background?
Due to a head injury when I was wee bit of a lad, all full contact sports were prohibited. But, all was not lost as I ran track and cross country in HS. Once I got to college, the workouts became sporadic. I think at one time I even took a weight lifting class in undergrad. Subsequently, all that changed pretty quickly while I went through pharmacy school. Learning about diabetes, erectile dysfunction and other disease states got me back to running and taking my health even more serious. Like they say, “Practice what you preach.”

To this day, we still have a membership to a local gym. It’s only real use is to practice my swimming, as I get ready for the Texas Tri Series. Before that, the gym scene was very boring. Run, do some weight lifting, go home and a few days later back to the same old workout routine. My cousin would post updates on Facebook about something called, “WOD”; looked intense. We needed a new challenge. So, my wife and I did some research and, voilà! Hence began our journey to the dark…I mean CrossFit… side.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
In February, it will be one year!

What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?
My wife and I went to Maui in July of 2012 on holiday. Before getting to Maui, we did a little research into crossfit gyms in the area. I know what you may be thinking…”You were in bloody Maui and exercising”? In any event, we found a local gym called Lahaina CrossFit and completed several traveling WODs. The coach and locals were very hospitable. They even gave me a nickname…”Texas”. Aside from everyone having a perfect tan, what I remembered most was how the coach commended me on my deadlift technique. And that is what is my favorite part about CrossFit Austin: the consistent attention to detail performed by all the CFA coaches. They make it their priority to recognize bad form and immediately correct to prevent serious injuries later down the road.

The atmosphere at CrossFit Austin is pretty amazing too! Our “locals” are always motivating, high fiving each other and that experience is certainly second to none.

What are your training goals?
The 2013 year is going to be huge for me. I’m running a half and full marathon in January and February. I’m running the Capital 10K with my pharmacy team. I’m becoming a Spartan (HA-OOH!). I’m going on a solo mission for the ‘Murph’. Hopefully, I’ll be finishing the year with the completion of the Texas Tri series

Favorite sport or activity?
When I’m not dispensing medication, teaching about beta-blockers, or doing bear crawls, I really enjoy camping. It’s probably the only time my cell phone stays in my truck the duration of time we are camping.

Recent adventure you’re planning?
A friend of mine is a US Army Major. We hopefully plan on taking a little trip to Washington DC to run the Army 10-miler next October.

Tell us something we don’t know about you…
Hmmm? Well, I’m sort of a comic connoisseur. No, let me be honest…comic nerd. I actually have a tattoo of Captain America’s Shield on my right shoulder. I enjoyed reading comics but stopped because it got a little expensive. Plus, the extra money pays for CrossFit. (FYI…Stan Lee will be at the Austin Comic Con next November.)

Longhorns or Aggies?
Really? There is only ONE Texas school in the Lone Star State. Texas Fight!

You were one of the top spreaders of holiday “cheer” at our recent holiday party… If you had to pick a favorite holiday/theme party, what would it be and why?
I would have to say a robot themed party. Never been to one so that in itself would be a good reason to have one. Plus, I could already here someone saying, ‘I’m a sophisticated CrossFit robot sent back in time to make you do bear crawls’.

Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words…
I have read some amazing stories regarding Navy SEALs. I can recall one moment that stood out from the book, “The Warrior Elite”: One of the instructors describes the infamous ‘hell week’ as “just a SPEED BUMP in BUDs.” I was totally blown away by that simple mentality. So, that is how I approach life’s little or big challenges. You feel it. You forget about it. You keep going forward.

I want to thank all the coaches at CrossFit Austin for selecting me as Athlete of the Month. We have so many other athletes that fit this role. I am truly honored for this recognition. One last thing…BEAR CRAWL!!!

Circle of Awesomeness Challenge Testimonial

The 2013 Circle of Awesomeness Challenge is right around the corner and we hope you’re getting fired up for the awesomeness that is coming! Past challenges have produced some amazing results, some of which we’d like to share with you. One such success story belongs to Mikey Muna…


Mikey’s Results…

  • Lost 3.1% body fat
  • Increased 1 RM Power Snatch by 10lbs
  • Increased 1 RM Clean to Thruster by 10lbs
  • Increased L-sit hold time by 8 seconds
  • Increased FGB score by 22 reps
  • Decreased 2-Mile time by 1:04
  • Decreased Karen time by 32 seconds
  • Decreased Annie time by 1:17

A word from Mikey…

“The best part of the Circle of Awesomeness Challenge is the competition. Because you will be focusing on getting a bit faster and a bit stronger so you can do better than you did at the beginning (and better than the other competitors), you won’t even notice how much your body changes. If you’re willing to buy into the program, and I mean really all-out commit to it, then there’s no way that you won’t see a huge change in your whole life. And it’s only 30 days. Come on.”

Learn more about the
2013 Circle of Awesomeness Challenge

*Now through 12/30, receive our best Early Bird discount at registration with promo code “EARLYBIRD”

Congratulations to our 2012 Push-up Man and Woman of the Year!

If you missed the CFA Holiday Party last week, you might not have heard about our
2011 Push Up Man and Push Up Woman of the Year!

The Push-up Man and Woman of the Year exemplify everything that we love about our athletes, our community, and the human spirit. Not only do these people walk through the doors of CFA day in and day out, and work hard to improve themselves; they go out of their way to lift up everyone around them. They make their friends and families a priority over themselves. They lead and encourage by words, actions, and example. They represent the burning spirit of what makes our little South Austin gym unique and special. We at CrossFit Austin can humbly bestow no greater honor and we give our utmost heartfelt thanks that you both have chosen to make our gym, business, family, and lives a better place!

Push-Up Man of the Year: Lane Lowke

State your Name and/or Nickname please:
Lane Lowke

Words to live by?
In the words of the coolest dude I don’t know, Mathew McConaughey, “JK livin’: ‘Just Keep Livin’”

What is your fitness background?
In high school, it was the odd combination of football and tennis. College was mostly 12oz curls… on strength days I’d go 16oz. Before CrossFit it was mostly running and mountain biking.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
July 2011

What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?
For sure the community. CFA has truly made working out fun and something I look forward to on a daily basis. I have also met some of my nearest and dearest friends at CFA.

What are your training goals?
To be a fit and healthy old fart.

Favorite sport or activity?
Mountain biking the Greenbelt and surfing Lake Austin.

Recent adventure you’re planning?
Christmas cruise with the family.

Tell us something we don’t know about you…
I HATE fruit. Name one, I don’t like it. Including fruity candy, fruity gum and fruity drinks… even the raspberry drizzle will ruin a cheesecake for me.

Longhorns or Aggies?
That’s tough… I love the Longhorns because they are here in our great city, but there is something cool about the camaraderie of the Aggies. Go Stephen F Austin Lumber Jacks!

How do you plan to use your new-found fame and honor as Push-Up Man of the Year?
I’m considering retirement, going out on a high note! Or, Crash told me I could holler out “PUMOTY!” (Push-Up Man of the Year) any time in a workout and be exempt from any movement I don’t like…

Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words…
In the spirit of JK livin’, relax and enjoy life, you only have one. Live it to the fullest!


Push-Up Woman of the Year: Janice Trinidad

State your Name and/or Nickname please:
Janice Trinidad

Words to live by?
Run towards your fear.

What is your fitness background?
Dabbled in several sports growing up (basketball, volleyball, tennis, ultimate frisbee, rowing)… Now, just CrossFit and running 5K’s.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
Little over a year. According to my little book, I’m starting week 78.

What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?
It’s hard to pick a favorite (great WOD buddies, great coaches, well thought-out programming, clean, pretty well-organized box, great culture). As a teacher, I invest a lot of time developing and implementing good lesson plans & good logistics. It’s sooo nice to be on the receiving end of a teaching team that also spends a lot of time on lesson prep and logistics. It feels like a sweet, inspiring, and refreshing form of karma.

What are your training goals?
Right now, I’m working on getting a 5K PR and increasing the number of push-ups I can do unbroken up to 100. The latter’s because all my friends and family who don’t work out at CrossFit Austin keep congratulating me for being AMAZING at push-ups. Whenever I try to explain what really happened, the reality doesn’t measure up to the myth. Soon, both will be true.

Favorite sport or activity?

Recent adventure you’re planning?
3 Regional FIRST Robotics Season (San Antonio, Lubbock, and Houston). And if all my students’ hard work really pays off, the Championship Regional in St. Louis.

Tell us something we don’t know about you…
My sisters and I are HUGE suckers for corny, clean kids’ jokes (like Highlights magazine level jokes). Whenever one of us finds one, we call each other ASAP and laugh like we’re 5. If you run by a good one, please tell me so I can share it; it will probably make someone’s day (or week). For example, the last one we exchanged was “What did the fish say when it swam into a wall? Dam!”. 🙂 So Good!

Longhorns or Aggies?

How do you plan to use your new-found fame and honor as Push-Up Woman of the Year?
I’m still gathering data on the properties of the Push-Up Woman of the Year Award. Once my study is complete, I will develop an equation that captures it’s essence so that next year’s winner will be ready to fully harness it’s power.

Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words…
Thank you for being very positive and patient. I’m learning A LOT from y’all. At the start of my career, I really had no idea how to teach and be healthy at the same time. Being a part of CrossFit Austin is helping me figure out how to be healthy, high functioning, and happy all at once and that’s really precious.