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 October Athlete of the Month is Lakshmi Sirigireddy! Lakshmi joined CFA in March of 2023, brand new to the realm of CrossFit/Weightlifting Training. We must say, she has caught on very well! Since day one, Lakshmi has been extremely coachable and willing to learn. It is awesome to see her analyze a movement or get super excited to show one of the coaches when she has progressed in a skill. Lakshmi is a duel athlete! She participates on the CrossFit side and Weightlifting side equally, so you’ll be sure to catch her at some point. We are excited to see her continued improvements and we’re proud to call her AOM! Congratulations Lakshmi and thank you for letting us share in your journey!
State your Name and/or Nickname please:
I have a few that go with how I know and met you… Lakshmi is my intro/business name. Harshita is my family name. Hersh/Hershey is my nickname. Call me whichever!
Words to live by?
Never let anyone treat you like a yellow Starburst. You are a pink Starburst (…unless you like a yellow Starburst then flip the color…)
What is your fitness background?
I wasn’t athletic at all growing up but picked up weightlifting in college. It’s been a great long-term investment.
How long have you been CrossFitting?
8 full months!
Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel? How do you compare it to workouts today?
Sheesh, I was (and still am) impressed by how quickly and powerfully other people could move. I was just frustrated that I wasn’t there yet! Now having gone through a lot of mental resilience and encouragement from mentors to go past my limits, it feels like night and day even though each workout is challenging in its own right. Some workouts still leave me breathless and sore, but I do appreciate the progress I’ve made since that first day!
What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?
The weightlifting side…sorry!
Current Training Goals/PRs?
I have a few: 1) 40 push-ups in a row or at least a few handstand push-ups, 2) pistol squats for reps, and 3) more than a green plate for all the lifts: clean, jerk, and snatch.
What advice do you have for folks just starting out in CrossFit?
Cliché but just keep going and then find cues to help you understand technique and form for specific exercises, especially since there could be so many variations! My personal favorite cues are 1) corkscrew into the ground, 2) be a mountain, and 3) “pull up your pants” (Marco taught me this one during cleans/snatches).
How do you balance staying focused in your training when life gets busy?
Life can be overwhelming sometimes so the gym/yoga is where I go to disconnect from all the stress and chaos. It’s like the physical version of therapy and journaling for me.
What is your cheat meal go-to?
Mom’s mutton curry and chicken biryani…and an obscene amount of it.
How do you use your fitness outside of the gym?
To open my own jars.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your fitness journey?
Overcoming a semi-nasty back injury is my biggest one and it took quite some PT
+ a lot of patience getting back to full form.
Tell us about a moment you felt most proud of yourself during a workout.
I’m happy and proud most days because I’ve just been super consistent in and outside of the gym and it’s been showing!
I’m able to hit cleaner cleans and snatchier snatches and nail some of the harder skill progressions I’ve been aiming for.
If you could create a WOD and name it for yourself, what would it be?
The Baby Giraffe (because you’ll be walking like one afterwards): Heavy 5×5 of Back Squats, Front Squats, Overhead Squats, and Split Squats.
What keeps you going on the days you don’t feel like it?
I just brute force those days because I know I’m the only one that’s going to push myself to stay driven and on course. (But I also acknowledge when I do really just need a break and give myself permission to take one.)
What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?
Hobby wise: I like taking cool photos, cooking, and playing video games. (Some of my favorite games have been Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Hades, GTA Vice City, and Until Dawn.)
Interest wise: I generally like all things tech, fantasy, and sci-fi.
Tell us something we don’t know about you…
I have a lot of food venture ideas and would love to execute one of them next year. This one may not get executed, but one is selling small orders of Indian and Cajun/Creole fusion dishes (think tandoori style shrimp & grits).
Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words…
The journey to strength isn’t always about lifting the heaviest weight or running the fastest mile. Sometimes…it’s about conquering those darn jars, one lid at a time.