The Power of Community || Coach Erica Cuellar

The Power of Community

As the 2015 Open comes to an end, I can’t help but sit back and think of how wonderful our community is and what makes it so special. This year, I had the opportunity to sit back and observe the Open and what I witnessed was quite impressive and an honor to see. I saw our athletes stepping out of their comfort zone, grinding it out, and leaving everything they had on the workout floor all while their counterparts stood there, cheered them on and pushed them to work harder. This made me realize how lucky we are to have built the community we have.

In all honestly, when asked what’s my favorite part of CrossFit, the first thing that comes to mind is the community. I have experienced the last four years of my CrossFit journey with some amazing individuals, both members and coaching staff, and I suspect my experience wouldn’t be as great without them. I’m sure I’m not alone in this, and I’ll bet that the majority of you will say exactly the same thing. There’s just something really special about our box!!

 

When I think of our CFA community and what it means to me, the only thing that comes to mind is FAMILY. I truly feel that we share a bond with one another that is impossible to describe.

 

  • We all walked in terrified the first time we stepped foot into the gym.
  • We walked out feeling accomplished and stronger.
  • We embrace the suck together.
  • We celebrate each other’s successes and victories.
  • We have a built-in support system.
  • We have a mutual respect for everyone.
  • We are committed.
  • We are dedicated.
  • We are FAMILY!!

 

It’s all these wonderful things that make us unique. We happen to be an amazing group of everyday people, all fighting to achieve different goals such as getting healthier, getting stronger or just staying physically active. And, no matter what your goals are or if you are a competitive athlete or a beginner, at the end of the day we all come in to work our assess off as a family. Don’t forget to do the small things that make us special – work hard, have fun, greet and cheer on everyone in your class by name and give a high-five or fist bump to everyone at the end of class -saying job well done.  Remember, it is you guys, the CFA members, that make this place special.  Keep fighting! Keep focused! Keep being you! Keep the Circle of Awesomeness AWESOME!

Love,

Coach Erica

Congratulations to March Competitors!

Coach Erica Cuellar and Leah Alter competed in their first Olympic Lifting Meet – Ironcat Open at Texas State University

ironcat

ironcat2

Dani Hightower competed in the UNLEASHED Weightlifting Competition at Viper CrossFit finishing 1st and getting a PR of 200lb Clean & Jerk and 150lb Snatch.

 

Congratulations to EVERYONE who competed in The 2015 Open! We are so proud of your hard work and all of the amazing gains we saw happen over the last 5 weeks. Keep up the great work and keep pushing those boundaries!

Are you competing? Let us know!
Contact info@crossfitaustin.com with your competition details!

April Athlete of The Month: Lily Dones!

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 April Athlete of the Month is Lily Dones! Lily is typically an evening gal, mixing it up between 4:30 pm, 5:30 pm, and 6:30 pm.  She occasionally pops into a morning class and also hits up Saturdays on pretty regular basis. Basically, Lily lives at the gym 😉 Come snag a WOD with this girl and then grab a margarita after! Congratulations Lily! We are thrilled to have you as this month’s Athlete of the Month.

​State your Name and/or Nickname please:
Liliana (my mom is the only person who calls me this and it’s only when she’s mad at me). Everyone else knows me as Lily or Lil.

Words to live by?
“You can spend minutes, hours, days, weeks, or even months over-analyzing a situation; trying to put the pieces together, justifying what could’ve, would’ve happened… or you can just leave the pieces on the floor and move the fuck on.” -Tupac Shakur

“No matter how you feel today, get up, dress up, and show up.” -Paulo Coelho lily2

What is your fitness background?
Dance has been part of my life since I was a child I liked it so much I majored in it in college. I also ran track in high school (the whole first season I must have been last 9 out 10 meets) and played tennis. In college I spent numerous hours on the treadmill and in the weight room working on my bro reps.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
I will be turning a year April 10th, and it has definitely been the most challenging and rewarding year in my fitness history.

Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel? How do you compare it to workouts today?
The workout was 4 rounds of 10 push ups, 10 air squats, and 200 meter row, I knew then that the rower and I would not be good friends. I also learned that I had been doing push ups the wrong way my whole life. I now know there are far worse things than the rower. I would be lying if I said its gotten any easier since that day.

What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?
Everything! I absolutely love the people, everyone is so inspiring and motivating, everyday I am excited to see someone accomplish something that they had been working on. The coaches are amazing, I have seen my body do things I never thought I would be able to do and I attribute it to having coaches that push my boundaries.  Shout out to coach Erica for being my first friend, I came back because she was awesome! I love that no matter what class I show up to I always feel welcome.

Current Training Goals/PRs?
My only goal is to stay injury free if I can manage to do that I will be one happy crossfitter.

What is your cheat meal go to?
Hopdoddys

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

The day I was able to do an 80lbs OHS, I remember when I first started Crossfit OHS seemed impossible, I could barely squat the bar and my arms used to always fall asleep (probably
because I was rolling my shoulders).  I thought Miguel was crazy for telling me to add 5 lbs plates to my 35 lbs bar during a wod that had OHS,
he still does things that have me like:  -___- 

If you could create a WOD and name it for yourself, what would it be?
AMRAP
Your favorite TV show + margaritas!lily

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?
I enjoy hot yoga, Netflix marathons, and trying out new restaurants/food trucks around Austin.

Tell us something we don’t know about you…

I’m the first in my family to go to college. I now work with a non-profit organization that aims at providing resources to low income students so that they can pursue a higher education. Saying that I love my job is an understatement.

Longhorns or Aggies?
LONGHORNS!!!!!!! I definitely bleed burnt orange Hook ‘Em \m/

Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words…
Thank you for being the great people that you all are. Continue to push yourselves everyday inside and outside of the box, and leave the negative thoughts out of your mind. You all inspire me everyday and I cannot express how happy I am to be part of this community!

 

 

Hellos and Goodbyes {but only for a while}

As you know, our General Manager and all around badass babe, Adrienne, welcomed a beautiful baby girl into the world this weekend {Hello Hudson Raye Davis}! After all her amazing work, she’ll be taking some well deserved time away from the gym to get acquainted with the new addition to the family. We will see her & baby Hudson again soon, but we wanted to take a moment introduce you to the “go-to” team while she is away.
  • Genevieve’s schedule is shifting a bit. Look forward to seeing her in the early AM! (6:30 – 3:30 or 7:00 – 4:00 mostly) She will be managing the gym throughout the day so consider her your go-to gal for the most part.
  • Coach Wes is back into coaching Group Classes regularly (HELLO fist pumping, jump-around warm-ups!) and will be balancing managing the gym from San Antonio and Austin throughout the week. Consider him your go-to if Genevieve isn’t around however, Genevieve will be your first call to action.
  • Coaches Tim Garland and Leigh LeGare are stepping into admin/leadership/mgmt roles for the evening throughout the week! Tim will be your go-to guy Wednesday, Thursday and Friday either evenings or midday. Leigh will be Mondays and Fridays in the evenings.

 

We are also welcoming a not-so-new face to the coaching team! Many of you know him already from our Competitor’s group. We brought him on as a Coach for CrossFit Valor back in the days of our dual ownership and we are thrilled to welcome Coach Nole Steketee to the team down south! Look forward to seeing Nole around in the evenings! Bio coming soon. 

Congratulations Adrienne & Aaron!

We are so excited to announce that baby Hudson is here! Hudson Raye Davis arrived at 12:45 am | Sunday, March 29 | 7lbs. 1oz. | 21 inches long | FULL head of dark hair! Mama Adrienne and Daddy Aaron are both doing great and everyone is home and loving getting to know the little Wildflower {Sully too}! Congratulations and we are so excited to meet the newest addition to the CrossFit Austin Family!

hud (2)aaron   

Logistics for 15.5

thrusters

Not much by way of logistics this week folks. Just like last week(s).

  1. Sign up for class
  2. Show up on time or early
  3. We will run 2-3 groups depending on how many folks sign up for each class.
  4. We will warm-up as a group in class
  5. Don’t forget we will be cooking burgers afterward and playing 3 on 3 basketball! {Details}

 

Finally I’d I just want everyone to know that I’m incredibly proud of you for attacking the Open this year. There have been many firsts and so many of you have taken a step outside your comfort zone achieving things you never thought possible. So be proud of all that’s been accomplished these last 5 weeks, and celebrate those accomplishments!

Above all else, constant and relentless effort moves us forward and I’ve seen so much of that effort these last 5 weeks. Thanks to all of you for inspiring and pushing me and everyone around you to be better!

Yay Thrusters!

– Coach Wes

Creating Balance || Stacey Magnesio

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving. – Albert Einstein

Time. Work. Money. Family. Staying Fit. A Social Life. Nutrition. Dating. Sometimes I do a great job balancing my priorities. I feel in control and successful and proud of myself…and then… sometimes I feel like this…

Sometimes I just want to be a kid again, when life wasn’t one big balancing act. And, learning to ride that bike was my only priority. Most of us are committed to a number of things that must get done on a daily basis, but let’s face it, sometimes it gets tough to keep peddling.

So how do you find balance? What’s the secret?

Balance isn’t something you find. Balance is something you create.

Let’s get one thing straight, I am a type A personality, a perfectionist, and I love being on a schedule (most of the time). In other words, I like balance. During the week I do a pretty good job of creating that balance. I do a bang up job teaching most days, eat right, train hard, talk to the family, hang with friends, catch a few tv shows, read, and fall face first into my pillow. I have a solid routine when it comes to food prep which keeps me on the straight and narrow as far as nutrition goes. I am lucky enough that I also get to play every day. Yes, as in recess! I have also learned to leave most of my work, at work, even if that means staying after school a little longer and spending a couple hours at school on Sundays. My students also come with a lot of emotional baggage that I mentally have to leave at school.

I go straight to the gym from school (because if I went home first I would probably crash on the couch). Then there is the social life. I’m not going to lie, my social life was a lot more hip before I met crossfit, but that is because my priorities changed. My happy hour is now spent “lifting a bar”. I can kill two birds with one stone. Also, I’m older and hangovers suck! Most of the people I surround myself with now have the same goals too, which helps. Not to mention we have an amazing community of wonderful people.

Part of the draw of CrossFit is that it allows us to tackle anything life throws at us (mentally and physically). Unfortunately, if your balance is off, performance will suffer both at the box and in the rest of your daily activities.

No one is perfectly balanced. I surely am not. There are days that I am fully focused on my job and my students and could care less about anything else that needs to get done. Sometimes on the weekend I just want to eat and drink and not worry about my nutrition. There are times that I can’t make it to the gym. And my gosh, when was the last time I went on a date? So does that mean I am losing my grip and becoming a little wobbly on my bike? No, not necessarily. I am just shifting my priorities for a while.

Of course there are those days when you have to slam-on-your-brakes, and you might go flying over the handlebars. It happens. And so does the STRESS that comes with it!

When your balance is thrown off completely it can be hard to get back in the swing of things. Wipe off those knees, and climb back on that bike…Acknowledging that these things happen and choosing whether to let them work for or against you is a mindset. If you feel off balance, check your priorities. What is it that you are working towards or want to achieve? And are you leaving other priorities in the dust?

 

Tips for creating balance:

  • Develop a routine for food prep
  • Take time to play
  • Leave work at work
  • Stay focused on your goals
  • Prioritize and understand that priorities shift
  • Surround yourself with like minded people
  • Acknowledge that bad days will happen, but get right back up when you get knocked down

Keep moving CFA!

-Stacey Magnesio

 

Logistics for 15.4

hspuearthpress

Two to go folks! I want to encourage everyone to hang in there, the end is in sight! The open always starts out with a ton of excitement and energy but once we hit week 4  things begin to “grind” (for lack of a better word). So just remember why and how you started this deal, and lets all finish strong!

Logistically we’ve got allot going on this week! Rxer have a new HSPU standard and we’re working with multiple barbells for our scaled athletes.

Handstand Push-ups:
For my athlete’s going Rx this week make sure to watch and read the full description of the workout at the CrossFit Games site.  For 99% of our athletes we will use chalk to mark your spot on the wall, it you are videoing your attempts because you have a chance to finish in the top 20 in our region we will use tape so the line is visible in the video.

Scaled Version: 
If you do not have the ability to do HSPUs the scaled version calls for Push Presses and Clean at different weights. This means you will need to set up two barbells. Because of this we will be placing folks in specific heat to ensure we have a proper amount of equipment.

Summary:
Like always please:

  1. Sign up for class (everyone even if you are a competitor or unlimited member)
  2. Show up on time or early
  3. We will run 2-3 groups depending on how many folks sign up for each class
  4. We will warm-up as a group in class

Enjoy yourself this week, and good luck on 15.4!

Coach Wes

Happy Birthday Ray!

We’d like to wish a special Happy Birthday to {Veteran of the Year} Ray Bertram!

Today Ray turned 50! He has been with us since early 2009, {Ray has been with us so long he predates our MindBody account} faithfully attending the 7:30 am class three times a week. A pretty amazing example of loyalty, consistency, and dedication.

He also is a beast, holding the pull up record in our gym among other feats. This is also the first year we’ve talked him into competing in The Open! Go Ray!

ray

 

This Is How I Roll || Coach Leigh LeGare

roll

I posted this a couple years ago but to piggyback off of Genevieve’s post re: healthy feet and its own personal fascia, figured this would help attack things on a more global scale.

So, we’ve seen them at one time or another in the gym.  You know, the long, circular, white or black foam rollers. We know they must be beneficial, because so many people use them. You might have tried using one, only to be left scratching your head and wondering why you were rolling around the floor.

Foam rolling can be very beneficial to your routine, if you know what you’re doing. I know what you’re thinking…. “If everyone else is doing it must be working?” Although your mama probably warned you about following the crowd, foam rolling is for everyone—Crossfitter or sedentary Joe!

Let’s start with the physiological aspects (nerd alert) of foam rolling.  It’s a form of self-myofascial release therapy (SMRT) used to break down scar tissue and adhesions that form on soft tissue after repetitive use.  “Myo” is Greek for “muscle” and “fascia” is a web of connective tissue found throughout the body. Myofascial release is stretching of the muscle and fascia.

We all have a pretty good idea as to what a muscle is but sometimes I lose my audience when I say “fascia.” To really understand the importance of foam rolling, we have to understand what fascia is and how it works. Fascia is the connective tissue surrounding our muscles, which as a whole is known as the myofascial unit.  Picture a sandwich (the muscle) wrapped in saran wrap (the fascia).  The saran wrap holds the sandwich together and they move as a unit. Since these two are interconnected, if we stretch our muscles, we stretch the fascia surrounding them. The same concept applies for injured muscles.  If we damage or tear them, we have damaged and torn the fascia.  Thus, we can’t “tear” into the sandwich (the muscle) without “tearing” through the saran wrap (the fascia).

So now you know if you tear muscles, you tear fascia. What you don’t know is every time you work out, you are tearing muscle fibers. It’s nothing to be scared of as that’s how you build strength.  However, both the muscle fibers and the fascia become tighter and shorter each time.  Picture your body as a chain.  When there is a kink (shortened muscle fibers and fascia) in the chain, it causes stress in other parts of the chain.  Will a kinked chain still be able to perform its function of let’s say holding up a large speaker over a football stadium?  Sure!  But over time, the added stress on the chain from that kink will cause the chain to break, dropping the speaker onto the stands…ouch!
Our body is durable but it’s not invincible.  Breakdown happens when we get out of shape, and develop more “kinks,” making us more prone to injuries.

Foam rolling alleviates these kinks, by breaking down scar tissue and the adhesions that form on the soft tissue after repetitive use.  These scar tissues and adhesions are formed from the micro tears we create daily from not only Crossfitting, but also our lifestyles and habits outside of Crossfit.  The micro tears eventually build up onto each other and lead to bigger problems.  Imagine your torn muscles and fascia (after tightening up) as dough balls and the foam roller as your rolling pin.  We smooth out dough balls to form wonderful, light pastries.  Similarly, the foam roller stretches and lengthens your distorted myofascial units back into a functional state so that your body works more efficiently.  If you can be consistent with it, foam rolling not only prevents these “dough balls” from hindering your fitness or lifestyle goals but also helps:

  • Relieve pain
  • Increase range of motion
  • Increase long-term flexibility
  • Prevent injury
  • Improve strength

Moral of the story?  Start to incorporate foam rolling into your daily regimen.  Come in early and knock it out before a workout.  Long day at work?  Get on that roller and release the stress your body is carrying.  It may not look pretty and it’s definitely not one of the most flattering things to do in public! But if you’re looking to see gains in your 1 RM snatch or kipping pull-ups, you won’t until you work out your kinks, lengthen those dough balls, and finally gain the flexibility needed to realize your body’s full potential.

 

Remember these rules of foam rolling:
1. It will hurt.
2. Pain is good, it means you’ve found those dough balls (aka trigger points) needed to release the tension.
3. Once you feel pain, roll over that spot until you feel some relief.
4. BE CONSISTENT…see it as corrective, preventative, restorative, and daily maintenance. The more consistent you are with foam rolling, the less pain you will feel in the long run.
5. Make it a part of your life!  Embrace it and all of its glory…yes, even the awkward positions you may have to get into in order to roll out tight areas.
6. Foam rolling is FUN.  Much more fun than watching others train while you sit out because you injured yourself.

-Coach LeGare

In addition to being a superstar CrossFit athlete and coach at CFA. Leigh is a Certified Recovery Specialist and Practice Development Manager for Airrosti Rehab Centers.