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 November Athlete of the Month is Matt Cleaver! Matt joined the CFA Family just before the shut down, but that did NOT stop him from finding a home with us right away! He was super engaging and consistent with our zoom classes at the time and fell right into place with the whole community when we came back together. He has been a welcoming face ever since! Matt came to us with a solid background, but hasn’t slowed down on his progress one bit! He’s always working to be better and to push toward that next goal. Matt also has a way of helping to bring out that little bit of extra inside his fellow classmates too. We’ve loved being part of the journey with him and celebrating the wins along the way! Matt, we are honored to have you as our November 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:
Matt Cleaver aka Cleaver
Words to live by?
The road of life is always under construction. Remain humble.
What is your fitness background?
My primary athletic background has been with running. I began training/running competitively starting in my freshman year of high school, and was awarded a scholarship to run at the University of Georgia. After graduation, I ran professionally for 3 years.
How long have you been CrossFitting?
About 3 years.
Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel? How do you compare it to workouts today?
It was not completely novel to me, as I had weight training in the past, and had a solid endurance foundation. However, the Rx weights, movements, and olympic lifts were a humbling experience, especially snatches. Fast forwarding to today, I can Rx almost every workout, and I love me some snatches!
What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?
Many of you have heard me say this, but the diversity of the gym is amazing, and I cherish that everyone is simply here to better one another. There are many folks with a variety of athletic, and cultural backgrounds. We all need that exposure.
Current Training Goals/PRs?
Consistent training has been tough due to our new addition to the family. However, my goal is to power clean 225#, snatch my body weight, and butterfly pull-up consistently. Oh…and beat Josiah and Brandon in more workouts.
What advice do you have for folks just starting out in CrossFit?
Get involved with the gym community. That’s what makes this sport so special. The lifting, and the WODs can be humbling, but with all new things it takes time and commitment. Most of all, have fun with it!
How do you balance staying focused in your training when life gets busy?
This is a tough one, because my family is my utmost priority. However, I have goals in mind and those won’t be achieved if I’m not training.
What is your cheat meal go-to?
Queso and margaritas. It’s hard to beat that combo. I mean, come on…this is Texas for goodness sake.
How do you use your fitness outside of the gym?
Well…I can properly move furniture without hurting myself. Haha! Seriously…I get into a deadlift position to ensure I save my back!
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your fitness journey?
My nutrition and patience. Many of the gym goers know I lose my mind when I’m not hitting double under or snatches that day. It’s kind of embarrassing really. I suppose I can get too passionate 😉
Tell us about a moment you felt most proud of yourself during a workout.
This happened at my old gym, but the day I learned how to rhythmically do toes to bar, and another day I did my first muscle up.
If you could create a WOD and name it for yourself, what would it be?
10 min AMRAP:
5 muscle ups
What keeps you going on the days you don’t feel like it?
I tend to tell myself, “there is someone out there training harder than you are. Do you think they are taking days off?”
What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?
Despite how bad I am at it, I love to golf. I also enjoy mountain biking, and snowboarding.
Tell us something we don’t know about you…
I was baptized in the Jordan River (where John the Baptist baptized Jesus) by my dad. One of the most incredible experiences that I just love sharing about.
Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words…
Thank you for being authentic and pushing everyone to better themselves. I can’t help but get a sense of happiness when I see everyone cheering for each other. You’ve all made this sport a true pleasure to indulge in.