March Athlete of the Month || Katie Lever

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 2024 March Athlete of the Month is Katie Lever! Katie has been putting in the work for years, joining our family in 2021 to really focus on her olympic lifts. Fast forward a few years later, she is now a regular in both CFA’s weightlifting and CrossFit programs. She is one of the strongest in the weightlifting center and typically finishes with one of the top scores on the CrossFit side. Simply put, she is a beast! Aside from being a great athlete, Katie is a great person. She always comes to class with a smile on her face and the willingness to be very coachable.  Congratulations Katie, as it’s been a long time coming and so well deserved! Thank you for letting us share in your journey!




State your Name and/or Nickname please:
Katie Lever

Words to live by?
If you don’t choose to take days off, your body will choose those days for you. Fitness is important but rest is not an option!

What is your fitness background?
I’m a former D1 distance runner turned crossfitter turned Olympic weightlifter.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
7 years

Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel? How do you compare it to workouts today?
I was terrified because I never really lifted weights before and CrossFit gyms can be kind of intimidating from the outside! Luckily for me, my first WOD had plenty of running, which was my main form of exercise at the time. Now, it’s the opposite. I really look forward to heavy lifting days and love feeling strong!

What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?
The weightlifting group. I look forward to weightlifting workouts so much because we work hard, lift heavy shit, and have fun!

Current Training Goals/PRs?
Clean/jerk 75 kilos and snatch my body weight.

What advice do you have for folks just starting out in CrossFit?
It’s important for newcomers to understand that CrossFit (and working out in general) is for EVERYONE. Conventional gyms can be terrible places to those new to fitness because gym goers can be very judgmental and rude, but at CrossFit gyms, we all remember where we started and tend to be very inclusive, supportive, and accepting because we love the sport and bringing new people in. My advice is to work hard on adjusting the mindset of who “belongs” in a gym. That’s the first real step for newcomers to really commit and push themselves.

I also love Coach Tim’s advice: work out with the body you have today. Not every workout is going to be full send and you won’t feel 100% every day and that’s okay! Adjusting your expectations and listening to your body are important parts of making fitness sustainable and enjoyable.

How do you balance staying focused in your training when life gets busy?
I don’t really have a choice because fitness is so important to my mental health. I’m much happier, calmer, nicer, and more productive when I make time for working out even when I’m busy so I tend to prioritize it by default. I stayed consistent with training throughout grad school and I wouldn’t have made it through my programs without the gym.

What is your cheat meal go-to?
Pizza, ice cream, and bourbon!

How do you use your fitness outside of the gym?
I’ve heard people say that if exercise could be bottled and sold as a medication, it would be the most commonly prescribed medicine in the world and I fully believe that! Fitness makes literally every part of life easier so it’s hard to say where I use it the most. But I like that I can go for long walks/hikes without getting winded and carry all of my groceries inside in one trip. Being a strong woman is also an excellent way to weed out intimidated men on the dating scene so it’s come in handy for me there, too! The first time I texted my now-boyfriend about a big deadlift PR when we first started dating, I thought “ok, this is the moment of truth,” and he was so encouraging about it so I knew then and there that he was a keeper!

What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your fitness journey?
Overcoming injuries, chronic health issues, and eating disorders and finding the right gym/life balance after being a competitive athlete for over a decade. I’m still working on the last one!

Tell us about a moment you felt most proud of yourself during a workout.
During my last strength cycle with the weightlifting group, I hit PRs almost every week and felt great about it. I was also bulking for the first time so the cycle was also a mental challenge that forced me to love my body for what it could do, not for how it looked. I was just as proud of that mindset shift as I was lifting the heaviest lifts I ever had. 5-10 years ago, I would have been a mental wreck over the weight on my scale and completely ignored the weight on my barbell so that was a huge moment of growth for me, physically and mentally. I was exhausted by the end of it but so proud.

If you could create a WOD and name it for yourself, what would it be? 

The Katie:
4 RFT:
400m run
10 clean and jerks
200m row
10 push ups
100m bike
3 rope climbs

What keeps you going on the days you don’t feel like it?
Keeping workouts on my calendar—like anything else, if it’s on my schedule, I’ll get it done! I also think of fitness like a bank account and like making daily deposits. Thinking about workouts as investments helps me stay consistent.

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?
I’m an award-winning novelist, a freelance sportswriter, and I love decorating cookies, hosting parties, and watching sports (especially women’s sports).

Tell us something we don’t know about you…
Most of the weightlifting crew knows this, but the crossfitters might not know that I finished my Ph. D last May! I decided to forgo academia to pursue my dream of becoming a full time sportswriter (I’m an editor for now, but getting there!)

Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words…
I just want to thank CFA for giving me such a great community. I started here a couple years ago just weightlifting on the weekends so I really didn’t get plugged in until this past fall. I’ve been to some phenomenal gyms in the past, but none have offered me the community CFA has. I’m super grateful for the warm welcome now that I’m here full-time! It makes hard work so much more enjoyable and fun. 🙂