September Athlete of The Month: Paul Patek!
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 September Athlete of the Month is Paul Patek! Paul isn’t strictly a group class guy. He hits classes, open gym, and regularly trains 1-on-1 with Coach Tim. He joined us a little over a year ago and has made so much progress in his time here. This guy comes in and puts in all the hard work necessary to meet his goals. If you need a laugh, find Paul. His quick wit and great sense of humor will have you smiling in no time. Come hang out with him and you’ll see why he’s our AOM! Congratulations Paul! We are thrilled to have you as this month’s Athlete of the Month.
State your Name and/or Nickname please:
The name is Paul people also call me Buck. I know there is another Buck at CFA so you can call me BuckBuck #2.
Words to live by?
You can tell a lot about a person by working hard with them. So show up, give it all you can, be genuine and smile through the hard times because the pain means your living hard!
What is your fitness background?
I have always enjoyed working out and never shied away from hard work over the years. I love being outside sweating whether it’s hauling hay, fixing fence, filling feeders, or just mowing the yard. I played every sport (I should say had to play) in school since I went to a small school in Shiner that needed every person available to field a team. My passion was rooted in football. I tried to play in college but my shoulder said otherwise. Outside of that, I used to be meathead in the gym but slowly realized that’s not how to stay fit. I tried boot camps and liked it for a short time because it was too much play and not enough serious workouts. I started CrossFit a year ago and I am here to stay.
How long have you been CrossFitting?
I think it’s been a year and I have to say I am in love with it. I have been curios about the sport for years but stayed away because I heard it was riddled with injury and I was afraid to hurt my busted up shoulder, knees, and bum foot. Boy was I missing out and misinformed. The coaches at CFA have brought back a greater range of motion in shoulder, strength, and more importantly, hope to get it working better.
Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel? How do you compare it to workouts today?
I was feeling a wide range of emotions. Inside the noggin I was thinking…. HOLY BAT SHIT! Do I belong here? Am I ever going to be able to get that bar over my head? This is complicated. Am I doing this right? This does not feel normal. OUCH!
Comparing that first day to now? My body has learned to adapt to the workouts and the pain is gone. My thoughts now consist of “OK, one more. You got this. Quit being a girly man. I’m so glad I am here.”
What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?
There is no one thing for me. It’s the mix of the coaches, people, the intensity of the work outs, the challenge, the program, and the unairconditioned gym. Sometimes I just want to come to the gym to get away from it all and watch the workouts. I learn so much from watching everyone work out and get inspired by their successes. The gym is my safe place. J
Current Training Goals/PRs?
My current goal is to get a 45lb bar over my head in a snatch with great form. I know, I’m an over achiever….LOL As for my PR, it is and continues to be the process of getting greater range of motion and strength in the ole’ shoulder. Since I have started, it has drastically increased….special thanks to Tim! 😉
What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned so far in your training with us?
Patience, form, humility, and the RIGHT way to train.
Tell us about a moment you felt most proud of yourself during a workout.
It was the first time I was able to get my hands in the right position at the top of a power clean. :-/
If you could create a WOD and name it for yourself, what would it be?
I would call it The Grind. Drag a weighted tire for 100 meters, farmers walk 50 meters, push a weighted sled 50 meters, 10 – 12 power cleans….AMRAP for 30 minutes.
Recovery would consist of an ice cold IPA in front of the fan. AMBAP for as long as you want.
What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?
Let’s see, I love to visit other countries and experience their culture and everyday way of life, working on the deer lease, hunting, BBQ’ing, golf, mountain biking, taking some difficult hikes up mountains, and I absolutely love trying new micro brews…. IPAs are my kryptonite.
Tell us something we don’t know about you…
My astoundingly supportive wife and I lived in Prague, Czech Republic for two years while I went to school not too long ago. I have to confess that I gained 15 to 20 lbs drinking the beer. It was sooooo good. The whole experience made me realize how lucky we are to be born and raised in the US. It also humbled me because it showed me that different cultures do things in so many different ways and are OK with it.
Longhorns or Aggies?
I’m both….my wife is an Aggie and I found myself supporting her team as the years passed. If I have to pick a side, I would say my heart is with the Horns. I hope Charlie Strong turns this team into men instead of a bunch of spoiled brats from years past.
Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words…
A huge thank you goes out to each and every one of the coaches and members for being the kind and supportive examples for me to aspire to. Without those of you who have encouraged me during a workout or taken the time to show a better way of doing things, I would have left. You are all rock stars in my book, I am grateful, and I got yo back. 😉