February Athlete of the Month || Jen Ostrich!!
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 Jen Ostrich! Jen came to CFA and began fundamentals in late 2020 and is part of our early morning crew! Jen has grown so much in her time here, not only in her training, but her confidence has exploded as well and it’s been wonderful to see! She’s been such a pleasure to have in class and we appreciate her attention to detail and conscious training. We’ve loved being part of the journey with her and celebrating the wins along the way! Jen, we are honored to have you as our February 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:
Jennifer Ostrich – I go by Jen (and my initials are JLO so sometimes called Jenny From the Block!).
Words to live by?
In Crossfit: Scale it, baby, ha!
In life: live with gratitude and that’s a life worth living.
What is your fitness background?
Honestly, not too much. I played field hockey and lacrosse through high school – my coach always told me to go
to the gym as my arms needed strength, but I was too focused on boys! Since then, I’ve had spurts where I
would run regularly 2-4 miles, nothing crazy and I’ve always hiked with Koko – we used to do 8 miles in the
Santa Monica mountains.
How long have you been CrossFitting?
I started fundamentals Oct 2020, group class January 2021.
Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel? How do you compare it to workouts
Oh man I was a bit overwhelmed – trying to get it “right”, trying to feel stronger, and manage getting out of my
head and more into my body! Today, less overwhelmed for sure, working on slowly but surely feeling stronger
and thanks to the coaching and some PT I’m learning to connect my head to my body and really focus on
maximizing what the movement is intended to do.
What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?
Everyone says the community and I 100% agree; I’ve built some special friendships. But, I gotta say for me it’s
really the coaching staff – there is zero chance I would have joined if Gen wasn’t so great in helping me
through Fundamentals. And since then Heidi and Hannan have been absolutely incredible helping me SO very
much to feel comfortable in class, explain things further for my head to process, adjust and scale if needed (my
norm), coach me to what my physical therapist suggests, and the list goes on. I’m so beyond appreciative for
the coaching, the patience and the customization for me and my (aging) body.
Current Training Goals/PRs?
SO MANY! I’ve been focused on getting an unassisted pull up – feels like it will never come but I’m relentless
about this one. Also, a good strong push up. Beyond that, getting comfortable/stronger being upside down /
against the wall, and maybe throw in a rope climb too – ha, that might be 2024!
What advice do you have for folks just starting out in CrossFit?
Slow and steady especially if it’s all new to you. I often say to my own clients – we CAN have it all but it’s not
always at the same time. That’s how I feel CrossFit can be – we can and will improve, grow, get stronger in all
areas, it just takes time and doesn’t all come at once.
How do you balance staying focused in your training when life gets busy?
I struggle with this a bit, but I got myself travel bands to keep up with my pull up practice in hotel gyms, and I
have some fall back foundational PT moves and glute / core strengthening stuff that can be done anywhere so
when I’m not at a gym I try to remember I can always do that.
What is your cheat meal go-to?
I’m not sure I restrict myself enough to call it a cheat – HA (oops!). But something I limit my indulgence in that I
absolutely love is ice cream and french fries.
How do you use your fitness outside of the gym?
In general it just feels better to feel stronger and to be able to do more, carry heavy things, etc on my own. My
real driver though is my dog Koko, who is my child and he’s 11.5 now. Someday I may need to lift him and my
goal is to be strong enough on that day
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your fitness journey?
I often feel I get one step ahead and then fall two steps back with something in my body getting tweaked. 2021
I re-hurt my back and that took a long time to heal. This year I discovered my hamstrings were really irritated
and my pelvic floor tight because I wasn’t using my glutes, so I’ve been focused on building strength there. So
once again it’s learning to have grace with myself and my body and embracing patience knowing it takes time
to build strengths in all the areas.
Tell us about a moment you felt most proud of yourself during a workout.
I take each WOD pretty slow and steady and one time we had the choice to run or row and I chose to run. I got
back and most of the 5:30 class was still on the rower – I remember thinking – YES, there is at least one thing I
can do at a competitive pace – HA! Beyond that for me I think it’s the overall commitment despite being
knocked down here and there. I can have a fixed mindset about things like this, and this entire experience has
truly helped to stretch me more toward a growth mindset, and that I’m real proud of.
What keeps you going on the days you don’t feel like it?
I’ve come to learn that when too many days pass without a good workout my body feels worse than it does
when I come home from the gym or wake up sore! I also always sleep better on the workout days. So both of
these things along with my bad ass crew at 5:30am keep me motivated.
What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?
I dabbled in standup comedy before Covid and am itching to get back to doing open mics to try out some
content. Knowing there is such support in this community that is motivating me, so putting that out there now. I
just released a book on how to create more energizing and effective feedback in the workplace, Feedback
Reimagined, so that’s exciting. And I love football and am a raved Phila Eagles fan so yay for Super Bowl LVII!
Tell us something we don’t know about you…
Not sure this is news but perhaps it is for some: I’m single and looking to mingle!
Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words…
With the Super Bowl in a few days, I gotta close with: GO BIRDS!!!
(and hope by the time this comes out I can sing once again WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS)