September Athlete of the Month || Griffin Stuesser!!

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 Griffin Stuesser! Griffin joined the CFA family at the beginning of the year and has found a solid spot with the 5:30 am “Cash Out Crew!” Not only is he a Texas boy through and through, he was actually one of the rare “born and raised” in Austin! Griffin’s friendly attitude is a warm welcome to those showing up to get the work done before the sun comes up!  We, as coaches have really enjoyed his focus and attention to detail as he works to progress and grow as an athlete.  We’ve loved being part of the journey with him and celebrating the wins along the way! Griffin, we are honored to have you as our September 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: Griffin Stuesser / good friends call me Griff or Stuess!
 
Words to live by? Control what you can control
 
What is your fitness background? I grew up always playing sports. In high school, I played Football and Baseball, almost played football in college but decided to go the big university route. Still dabble in some rec league flag-football and softball.
 
How long have you been CrossFitting? I originally picked up CrossFit in high school while training for football. Took about 7 years off and recently picked it back up in Jan ’21.
 
Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel? How do you compare it to workouts today? It was very…hard. But I knew I was hooked, mainly because of the challenge, the coaches, the other folks in the gym and the atmosphere. I still get humbled daily by workouts but I’ve learned more about my body and when to push and when to ease up, making the workouts extremely fun (and still hard)
What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin? My favorite part is easily the coaches and members. I’ve always enjoyed traditional sports and CFA gives me the team atmosphere, the competition and the accountability that I was missing for a long time in my fitness journey.
 
Current Training Goals/PRs? I have a few goals but the one that stands out is improving my rowing. Focusing on my form and technique.

What advice do you have for folks just starting out in CrossFit? Go at your own pace. What works for some people doesn’t work for others. Listen to your body, ask your coaches questions and just have fun. Fitness shouldn’t be a chore or a thing you have to do, but rather something you look forward to. I’m really thankful for all the attention to detail from the coaches and encouragement from the members.
 
How do you balance staying focused in your training and in your life? Balancing fitness with your daily life is not easy. But if you commit to making it a priority it will ultimately glue itself into your routine which I think is the key. When I go too long without exercise it has a negative impact on almost all other parts of my life.

What is your cheat meal go-to? I’m born and raised in Austin. I could eat Tex-Mex or BBQ on ANY occasion.
 
How do you use your fitness outside of the gym? I like to apply fitness in any way I can, it helps me on the golf course, general outdoor activities. It also plays a big role in my mental sharpness at work.
 
Tell us about a moment you felt most proud of yourself during a workout. My most memorable moment was my first bar muscle-up. I could never do them while I trained in high school and I’ve recently been able to incorporate them in some workouts. It was a very proud moment for me.
 
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your fitness journey? Early on in CrossFit, I was too focused on competition and “winning a workout”. I’ve now learned there’s a lot more to it. I like to focus now on just competing against myself and trying to get better week over week. At the moment that looks like improving form and strength.
 
If you could create a WOD and name it for yourself, what would it be? The workout would be called “Whiskey River” (one of my favorite songs). It would likely be an AMRAP involving some sort of barbell cycling and gymnastics movement. Those types of workouts are the most fun for me.
What keeps you going on the days you don’t feel like it? The biggest thing is the people I work out with. They are in there day in and day out, and whether they know it or not their commitment to showing up, holds me accountable. We’re in this together!
 
What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit? I’m a huge football fan (Texas Tech and Dallas Cowboys). I love to hunt, play golf, spend time on the lake and be with friends and family. I also enjoy smoking meats…big BBQ guy!
 
Tell us something we don’t know about you… I was a very active child and have broken over 10 bones in my lifetime…
 
Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words… “What affects an outcome more than anything else is effort and attitude”. – Mike Leach

Seasons of Fitness

Have you ever walked into the gym, looked at the board and said “WHYYYYYYYY?!” You know you have 😉 Well, because it fits into our greater macro calendar for the year (and because that’s what you’re here for, right?!)! You may not know this about CFA, but our programming has 3 seasons to it. We don’t mean “spring, summer, fall” (winter is for states other than Texas)… No, our seasons help to give some focus and intent to your training, keep you from getting bored, and help push you to find new goals and things to train for! 

Generally Speaking

Our programming is meant to help people get fit as quickly as possible, while still keeping things safe and fun with a focus on longevity and overall WELLNESS. That said, we recognized early on that having some general ‘themes’ or ‘seasons’ throughout the year helps keep things interesting while preserving the primary stimulus of building better, stronger, healthier humans.

The Open

While some gyms do not focus on the CrossFit Open and many athletes don’t officially register, it is still a great time of year to focus on ‘functional fitness’ as a sport and challenge yourself to put your skills to use! Starting in December, you’ll start to see some additional work sprinkled in to help have a good showing on the leaderboards.

For example, throughout the year, you may only see chest to bar workouts about once per month (in addition to 2-3x kipping pulls, once for weighted pull ups, once for strict pull ups, and 1-2x ring rows). But, going into the Open we start to increase the number of skill practice sessions and metcons with chest to bar in anticipation of seeing them in the Open. There is nothing wrong with chest to bars, but we must keep in mind that they were ‘invented’ for the sport of fitness at the 2008 CrossFit Games as a way to make pull ups easier to judge (they made people do “Fran” with chest to bars to combat the fact that people were starting to do ‘butterfly pull ups’ – confounding the judges).

Other movements that will increase slightly are toes to bar, burpees, double unders, and other movements that aren’t necessarily a critical part of general fitness, but play a large role in the Open.

You’ll also notice the strength focus (and other skill work) flows so that people get the maximum benefit going into the Open (this is especially true for things like muscle ups).

Running

During the December to March months, there is a bit of a ‘de-emphasis’ on running. This is partially due to the fact that running is not likely to play a large role in the Open, and partially due to the fact that it’s colder (and generally wetter) outside during these months which means outdoor running is not as feasible.

To compensate for this, you’ll see running workouts increase a bit after the Open. We’ll see more running workouts, and longer runs in the workouts, from April – July. We encourage our folks to sign up for some sort of running event (like Murph, a 5k, a Spartan/Tough Mudder, or a Triathlon), in May through July or August.

Signing up for these events is a great way to have some focus to your training and to remember we aren’t just trying to get ‘gym fit’, but to be “fit for life.” It’s about SO MUCH MORE than just the hour in the gym, y’all! 

Barbell

Starting in August, we’ll see an uptick in barbell work.  A bit more lifting, but a lot more barbell skill work. When you see a skill piece that involves building to a ‘challenging’ weight, DO NOT confuse this for strength work! These sessions are meant to help you practice the movements with additional weight, not see how heavy you can go. 

The plan here is to encourage you to sign up for a barbell sport (like an Olympic Weightlifting meet!) or a CrossFit competition in October – December. That’s why we generally run a Night of Champions event in the fall! (Stay tuned for details!) You also usually see Grace as the Barbells for Boobs workout in October as well as a part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  

Focusing a bit more on the barbell lifts is also a great foundation before going into the next Open season. Progressing in your lifts will give you an easier time when the Open rolls around.

Overall Notes

The shifts in the programming are usually pretty subtle unless we announce it. They are ‘shades of grey’ instead of ‘black and white’. We still want to preserve the main goal of getting people generally fit for life, and not be forced into a regimen that isn’t aligned with their goals. While competitions are a great goal to work toward, it shouldn’t be your ONLY goal! 

Every part of life goes through ‘seasons’ so it’s only appropriate that your training does as well. We hope this gives you a little insight into what a year with us looks like and can help you to set goals for now and goals for the coming seasons. If you need some guidance as to how to navigate the changing seasons, hit up your coach! We are here to help you! 

Happy training, y’all!

 

Up Your N.E.A.T Game!

N.E.A.T

 

Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis

 

Pubmed defines this as;

 Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) is the energy expended for everything we do that is not sleeping, eating or sports-like exercise. It ranges from the energy expended walking to work, typing, performing yard work, undertaking agricultural tasks and fidgeting. Even trivial physical activities increase metabolic rate substantially and it is the cumulative impact of a multitude of exothermic actions that culminate in an individual’s daily NEAT. It is, therefore, not surprising that NEAT explains a vast majority of an individual’s non-resting energy needs. Epidemiological studies highlight the importance of culture in promoting and quashing NEAT. Agricultural and manual workers have high NEAT, whereas wealth and industrialization appear to decrease NEAT. Physiological studies demonstrate, intriguingly, that NEAT is modulated with changes in energy balance; NEAT increases with overfeeding and decreases with underfeeding. Thus, NEAT could be a critical component in how we maintain our body weight and/or develop obesity or lose weight. The mechanism that regulates NEAT is unknown. However, hypothalamic factors have been identified that specifically and directly increase NEAT in animals. By understanding how NEAT is regulated we may come to appreciate that spontaneous physical activity is not spontaneous at all but carefully programmed.

 

It’s been a few years since I’ve made the time to go hiking on a weekly basis. The excuses can mount up…time, heat, trails getting more crowded, distance,  etc., I used to love finding solitude and getting “lost” in nature. I’d let my mind wander and wonder, which was meditative and therapeutic. I still treasure that solitude and meditative mind wandering.  It’s when I do my best planning, or come up with new ways to approach something. 

 

Nowadays, in an effort to combine my active meditation and double down on my time, I have substituted my weekly hike for yard work. Some days it’s swinging the weed-eater or trimming branches. Other days it’s carrying the watering can, or turning the compost…or all of the above.  I am outside, breathing fresh air and I enjoy it. Noah will go to bed (first attempt) and I’ll go out and water the plants, and watch the fireflies as the sun goes down.  

 

While it may be termed “yard work”, it is a huge portion of my NEAT. It’s something that I enjoy and it doesn’t feel like work. It doesn’t take the place of my workout. It’s an addition to my life which also happens to serve another purpose. A greater purpose in my opinion. I’m learning and cultivating an environment which allows me to grow food to eat, but also provides the creatures of nature a space to put on our own little Discovery Channel. 

 

You may not find “yard work” appealing, or may not live in a space with a yard…but finding a way to supplement your life with more N.E.A.T. will certainly help you in your pursuit of a healthier life. It’s also very likely to help you maintain a more lean body composition. 

 

So besides yard work, what else can I do? Maybe it’s walking or biking to work, or walking to lunch on your work break. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Not driving around the parking lot 17 times to find the closest parking spot. Sweeping your house instead of letting the robot do it for you all the time. Whatever the N.E.A.T. is, those that find a way to sneak more non-exercise activity thermogenesis into their lives (getting those extra life reps) can reap the benefits in the gym as well. These low intensity activities can also serve as a great way to flush out some soreness!

August Athlete of the Month || Allison Cleaver!!

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 August Athlete of the Month is Allison Cleaver! Alli joined the CFA family just over a year ago, shortly after her hubby, Matt! Allison came in with an impressive athletic background (read more about that below!) but she has always been eager to grow and improve! Her competitive spirit and receptive personality make her a really fun person to coach! Alli has made an amazing re-entry to movement in her postpartum period and we love watching her family workout sessions with Matt and Molly! We’ve loved being part of the journey with her and celebrating the wins along the way! Allison, we are honored to have you as our August 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: Allison…Nickname: Mini
 
Words to live by? “Keep showing up”
 
What is your fitness background? I became a ballerina dancer at 3 years old then retired from dance when I was 18. I found a love for running at the age of 16 and have continued my passion. I ran Cross Country & Track at UT Austin. Hook Em’ Horns! I ran professionally for Adidas post-collegiately and met my husband, Matt! I am also a 2-time US Olympic Marathon Trials Qualifier. Fitness has always been a huge part of my life!
 
How long have you been CrossFitting? Roughly 2 years.
 
Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel? How do you compare it to workouts today?
My very first CF workout was at the Hopdoddy parking lot. The cardio aspect was very doable but the “lifting heavy weight” portion was intense! Definitely was sore for about a week after my first workout! I absolutely loved it. I feel much stronger now than I was back then.
 
What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin? I love the CF community! Everyone has been very welcoming and the coaches are great!
 
Current Training Goals/PRs? I REALLY want to learn how to do a muscle-up. Also, I want to break the Guinness Book of World Record Stroller Half Marathon time.

What advice do you have for folks just starting out in CrossFit? PACE YOURSELF. Lots of workouts look “easy” on paper but when it comes down to it, it could end up biting you in the butt! So, adjust your weight accordingly. 😉
 
As a new mama, how do you balance staying focused in your training and in your life? I make sure I utilize the mornings for “me time”. I go on a run or attend a CF class to clear my head. I feel if I start my day being active, I will be very productive the remainder of my day with my daughter.
 
What is your cheat meal go-to? I am a huge fan of chips, queso and margarita(s)!
 
How do you use your fitness outside of the gym? I can lift my daughter up properly and as she gets bigger, I am also getting stronger. (yay!) Also, fitness carries on to the endurance I need for the 12-hour shifts I work!
 
Tell us about a moment you felt most proud of yourself during a workout.
I cannot pinpoint one particular workout but I will say coming back post-partum pretty quickly has helped me feel proud of myself. It has by no means been easy but it has been so fun to see my progression since baby!
 
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your fitness journey? Being impatient! I sometimes expect results to happen overnight when clearly, we all know that’s not how life works.
 
If you could create a WOD and name it for yourself, what would it be? 
“Leave it to Cleaver”
Workout:
20 minute AMRAP:
20 x Kettlebell swings (Russian)
20 sit-ups
20 single arm snatch (10 each arm)
10 box jumps
400 meter run
What keeps you going on the days you don’t feel like it? I just suck it up and do it! I always tell myself that I’ll feel better afterwards. Sure enough, I always do. 🙂
 
What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit? My favorite “job” is being a mommy! I also love running, hiking, traveling, eating, being a nurse, and spending quality time with my family.
 
 
Tell us something we don’t know about you…
My sister forgot Matt’s ring at the altar on our wedding day. We got married on April Fool’s Day so it seemed pretty fitting. Haha
 
Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words…
KEEP SHOWING UP!

Competitive CrossFit Athlete vs Fit-For-Life || Coach Tim Garland

Over the last few years, I’ve had multiple conversations with folks about the topic; ‘Competitive CrossFit Athlete vs. Fit-For-Life’.Understanding the definition of “competitive CrossFit athlete” would be paramount, before diving into this pool. As is the case with many people that do CrossFit, I find myself to be competitive, but I no longer consider myself a competitive CrossFit athlete. If becoming a competitive CrossFit athlete is your thing, it is a fun journey! However, you must understand that going down that road can be very time-consuming and demanding.

Peep OG Stacey & Tim competing together!

 

A Brief History of My Competitive CrossFit Experience:

My very first CrossFit workout was ‘Fight Gone Bad’, all the way back in September of 2008 (and no…I didn’t have hair then either). CrossFit was still somewhat underground back then, as the inaugural CrossFit Games had taken place the year prior (which happens to be the year I shaved my head bald). This first workout also happened to be a competition/fundraiser that took place on top of Whole Foods in downtown Austin, Texas. The atmosphere and energy were electric, and I was completely enthralled. I grew up playing sports and working out, but I had yet to experience the “Sport of Fitness”. I dedicated the next several years to learning and practicing the skills, techniques and different movements that come with CrossFit and in 2012 I participated in my first CrossFit Open. After getting a taste of the worldwide leaderboard, I dove deeper into the time commitment it takes to acquire the strength, endurance, and skills, as well as doing the non-flashy necessities of mobility/stability accessories, breathing exercises, eating like it was my second job, and sacrificing some things so that I could get the amount sleep to recover properly. I can honestly say that I enjoyed that part of the journey. I managed to squeak into the top 5% in the world most of those years, with my last year of considering myself a competitive CrossFit athlete coming in 2016…the last hurrah before moving into the Master’s Division. 

 

 

 

In my experience, there is one common attribute that creates success in both the “Competitive CrossFit”  Athlete and the “Fit-for-Life” Athlete categories. You’ve probably heard your coaches say things like “listen to your body” or “work with the body you have today”. The technical term for these types of phrases is known as auto-regulation. We are not born with this as an inherent part of our being,  but as with pistols or double-unders, it is a skill that must be developed over time. It takes intentional practice, week in and week out. Our “ego” can sneak up on us at any time, and this intentional practice of auto-regulation can help keep it in balance. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Being in-tune with your body, knowing when your sleep/nutrition/recovery has been on point and you can push through a hard workout as “Performance”, or understanding that you’ve been stressed with an issue out at work and you need to pull back is a skill. It might be the most important skill for your longevity. I often use the term “fitness maturity”. As the months and years stack up, your experience grows and you mature….hopefully. 

July Athlete of the Month || Josiah Smith!!

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 July Athlete of the Month is Josiah Smith! Josiah joined the CFA family in 2019, but he was no stranger to movement prior to that. He came in with a good base and has just progressed from there! Josiah is a pleasure to chat with and works his tail off in (and outside of) class! He has made some really impressive progress in his time here and is always open to growth and feedback from the coaches. We’ve loved being part of the journey with him and celebrating the wins along the way! Josiah, we are honored to have you as our July 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:Josiah. Jo

Words to live by?

Event + Response = Outcome. You can’t control the events in life and you don’t have direct control over the outcomes but you do have total control of how you choose to respond.

What is your fitness background?

I’ve always played sports and been active/exercised for as long as I can remember. I did traditional gym workouts and ran for years and then I needed a change/challenge so I started CF.

How long have you been CrossFitting?

Almost 5 years. Ever since I moved to Austin

Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel? How do you compare it to workouts today?

I was excited, probably overzealous to prove I was “fit” because that’s what I thought CF was all about then. Now, my fitness goals are different and I’m more intentional in how I approach workouts. It’s all about fitness longevity now.

What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?

Obvious Answer: The community. It’s supportive. It’s the best. IYKYK

Personal answer: the coaches. I’ve been at 3 different CF gyms and I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed the level of personal dedication and investment to each member, as well as the attention to lifting safely/teaching the basics that every coach shows. Just great people all around.

Current Training Goals/PRs?

Run at least 40 miles/month. Come join the run club after class.

Stretch/Yoga 9x/month aka improve my mobility

What advice do you have for folks just starting out in CrossFit?

Try not to compare yourself to others. Everyone’s journey at the gym has started differently and most people have been doing it for a long time. How fast you move and how heavy you lift are all relative. We’re all getting better and everyone wants you to get better.

How do you balance staying focused in your training and in your life?

Fitness/training has been a part of my life for so long now that it’s just ingrained into my schedule and routine.  It’s vital to my mental health which then benefits outside life. It would be more difficult not to train at this point and I hope the habit stays.

What is your cheat meal go-to?

I don’t really have cheat meals because I’m not a big diet watcher (shame, shame, i know) but I love pizza and probably eat it 2x a week.

How do you use your fitness outside of the gym?

I use it to keep up with my hobbies (see below).  My goal is to never be too tired or out of shape to enjoy activities.

Tell us about a moment you felt most proud of yourself during a workout.

We did Jackie back in April and I have times recorded from 2018, 2019, and now 2021. It’s gone from 10:03 to 8:21 to 7:05. I was pretty surprised. Keeping track of your times really can show you how far you’ve come when you may not even realize it.

What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your fitness journey?

I could be better about taking rest days. Sometimes I bite off more than I can chew.

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

“UnBearable” 9 Bear Complex – 400 m run – 6 Bear complex, – 800m run – 3 Bear Complex – 1600 m run. (95/65)

Bear complex (power clean, front squat, push press, back squat, push press)

What keeps you going on the days you don’t feel like it?

Making small goals and finding small victories when the larger ones feel unaccomplishable for the day.

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?

Golf, Yoga, Running, Wake Surfing. A lot of live music/concerts/events. Greenbelt. All the Austin things. As far as talents, I make a pretty mean fart noise and can almost rotate my feet around completely backwards.

Tell us something we don’t know about you…

Some may know this but I recently got the opportunity to donate stem cells to some anonymous gentleman and it was one of the cooler/rewarding experiences I’ve gone through. Sign up for BeTheMatch if that’s your thing.

Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words…

“The only normal people are the ones you don’t know very well.” -Alfred Adler.  Get to know your weird, fellow gym goers.

June Athlete of the Month || Lauren Rein

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 June Athlete of the Month is Lauren Rein! Lauren joined the CFA family about 10 months ago and quickly made the 5:30 am class her home. Lauren is such a joy to have in class! She has an awesomely influential personality and really knows how to rally the troops. In fact, she has been crowned “Cash Out Queen” of the morning because she encourages her fellow athletes to give it just a little bit more and complete the cash outs with her! She has made some really impressive progress in her time here and is always open to growth. We’ve loved being part of the journey with her and celebrating the wins along the way! Lauren, we are honored to have you as our June 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:

Lauren

 

Words to live by?

“Eventually all things fall into place, until then, laugh at the confusion, live for the moments, and know everything happens for a reason”

 

What is your fitness background?

I competed in synchronized swimming for 13 years, from 8 years old through college. Once my time as a synchro swimmer came to an end I wanted to find something I enjoyed to stay in shape, and found cCossFit!

 

How long have you been CrossFitting?

Almost 10 months now

 

Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel? How do you compare it to workouts today?

I was so excited to get back into a gym and a routine again after 6 months of gyms being closed from Covid. But I was also super nervous to be somewhere new and not know anyone. I remember struggling with the workout, as I still do more often than not, but there are a lot of movements I can do now that I couldn’t before.

 

What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?

100% the people! I love the culture at CFA. All of the coaches and members are amazing!

 

Current Training Goals/PRs?

Consistent pull ups and double unders. Improve my handstand push ups. And as always, lift heavy!!


What advice do you have for folks just starting out in CrossFit?

Don’t be afraid to go at your own pace, scale as needed, and listen to your body. Just show up with a positive attitude and get it done one way or another!

 

How do you balance staying focused in your training and in your life?

By making Crossfit a priority in my everyday schedule. It’s easy to do when I love coming to the gym as much as I do.


What is your cheat meal go-to?

Pizookies

 

How do you use your fitness outside of the gym?

I love going on hikes, runs and biking on the weekends. Also, the occasional push up competition with my coworkers & the soccer league I’m a part of with work.

 

Tell us about a moment you felt most proud of yourself during a workout.

Most recently there was a workout where I was going to do it RX, but then the pull ups seemed impossible at the end of the workout so I was ready to grab a band and scale it. But everyone cheered me on and coached me through it and I was able to finish it RX which I didn’t think I could do. It showed me I’m capable of more than I think sometimes, especially with the awesome support from others 🙂

 

What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your fitness journey?

Working out used to feel like it was a chore and something I had to do to stay in shape and look good which was always a battle. Luckily since I’ve started crossfit that has changed SO much. I workout now because I love the way I feel after and the people and energy I’m surrounded by.

 

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

It would definitely be a short AMRAP with lots of lifting, especially overhead.

What keeps you going on the days you don’t feel like it?

What keeps me getting up at 5am to workout is knowing I get to see all my gym friends! Also knowing that everyday I get into the gym is another opportunity to improve and work towards my goals.

 

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?

Swimming, photography, anything outdoors, yoga, watching live music, and traveling.

 

Tell us something we don’t know about you…

I grew up celebrating Christmas and Hanukkah with parents of different religious backgrounds which was super cool.

 

Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words…

I’m super grateful to be a part of this community and for all the kindness and support from the coaches and members!! Y’all are the best 🙂

Murph Day 2021 || June 26

CrossFit Austin will be hosting Murph Day Saturday (6/26/2021) honoring the memory of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy and all fallen veterans. Lieutenant Murphy was killed in Afghanistan on June 28th, 2005. This workout was one of Mike’s favorites and he named it “Body Armor”. We will honor a focused warrior and great American who wanted nothing more in life than to serve this great country and the beautiful people who make it what it is.

REGISTER HERE

“Murph”

For time:
1 mile run
1
00 pull ups
200 push ups
300 squats
1 mile run

*Partition the pull-ups, push-ups, and squats as needed.
**Teams of 2, 3, or 4 (max 4 people) are welcome.
***All movements can be scaled.
****Be sure to wear your twenty pound vest or body armor if you have it.

 

EVENT SPECIFICS:

REGISTRATION DETAILS

Event Registration + Shirt – Deadline – June 13th

  • $40 for participating athletes
  • Athlete entry fee includes registration & t-shirt costs and donations

Event Registration without Shirt

  • $25 for participating athletes
  • Athlete entry fee includes registration costs and donations

***Shirt ONLY (non-participant) – Deadline – June 13th

  • $25 for shirt only
  • All proceeds from t-shirt sales will be donated

SHIRTS – The image is the concept image and may have some slight changes to the final product.

Bella Canvas Unisex Tee

Bella Canvas Unisex Tank

Bella Canvas Women’s Racerback

EVENT DETAILS

  • This event is open to all – members and non-members 
  • Athletes must arrive at 30 minutes prior to their heat to warm-up, sign-in, and pick up shirts 
  • Heat times start at 8:00 am, 9:15 am, and 10:30 am 
  • Spectators are welcome – dogs are not allowed at the facility
  • Donations are welcome and can be made through eventbrite, Navy SEAL Foundation, GingerCare, or onsite the day of the event.

Donations and proceeds will go to benefit the charity of your choice. As always, you may donate to The Navy Seal Foundation. In addition, we are including a local foundation run by our own, Linzi Newth, GingerCare. You can read more about what they do HERE.

“I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious.” – Vince Lombardi

May Athlete of the Month || Vince Bustillos

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 May Athlete of the Month is Vince Bustillos! Vince joined the CFA family about 8 months ago and has been a pleasure to work with since day one! Vince’s mindset and approach to training is what we as coaches LOVE to see. He has a sense of purpose and intent in each session and that has led him to an awesome improvements! Vince is such a kind, hard working guy and we’ve really enjoyed getting to know him in his time here. We’ve loved being part of the journey with him and celebrating the wins along the way! Vince, we are honored to have you as our May 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:
Vince Bustillos
 
Words to live by?
“Patience is bitter, but it’s fruit is sweet” – Aristotle
 
What is your fitness background?
I’ve played sports as long as I can remember with little league football, baseball, and basketball. I started lifting weights in high school and played Texas football (All district linebacker). I went from football to cheerleading in college lifting cheerleaders in partner stunts and tumbling around the field, court, or competition floor. Before covid I played recreational sports like Softball and Flag Football. I went to Gay Bowl for Austin Gay and Lesbian Flag Football League in 2018 and 2019. I’m looking forward to the season starting again. awwww
 
How long have you been CrossFitting?
8 months
 
Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel? How do you compare it to workouts today? First day of cross fit I wanted to rush through the wod only to find out I needed to pace myself. Today I pace myself and breathe. Before I thought CrossFit was kind of culty but I have a new found respect for CrossFit and everyone at CFA.
What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?
The coaches, they are knowledgeable, and down to earth. I love knowing their techniques and I try and retain and apply it all on the floor.
 
Current Training Goals/PRs?
Double unders consecutively and Muscle ups.

What advice do you have for folks just starting out in CrossFit?
Take your time, do it right, and go at your own pace.
 
How do you balance staying focused in your training and in your life?
I know that when I am a better version of myself physically it will translate to my home and work life.

What is your cheat meal go-to?
Anything from Plow Buger.
 
How do you use your fitness outside of the gym? I use it while keeping up with and playing with my 130lb Newfoundland pup. I am looking forward to applying it to the rec sports I play.
 
Tell us about a moment you felt most proud of yourself during a workout.
Every moment I realize I am on cruise control and I have control of my pace and breathing. There’s something that clicks and I know when I can pick up the pace or recover.

 
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your fitness journey?
Realizing it’s not always a competition and my journey is unique to me.
 
If you could create a WOD and name it for yourself, what would it be?
“Elle Woods” we would spend the entire class perfecting the Bend and Snap.
What keeps you going on the days you don’t feel like it? My pup, no matter how I feel or how tired I am he wants to play and gets me out of bed. I want to be the dog dad he thinks I am.
 
What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?
Training my pup, Flag Football, RuPauls Drag Race
 
Tell us something we don’t know about you…
When I was 6 years old I was the National Duck Racing Champion. I was in a parade in Deming, New Mexico and have a big trophy to prove it.
 
Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words…
Thank you so much… this is an honor! I look up to every coach and member for different reasons and CFA is home!

April Athlete of the Month || Nova Lowden!!

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 April Athlete of the Month is Nova Lowden! Nova joined the CFA family in June of 2020 and has been killing it since day one! Nova is such a hard worker! When she gets a goal in mind, you better believe she’s willing to put the work in to get there. It’s that kind of focus and drive that makes her such a dream to coach. Don’t let her hard working attitude fool you though. She also knows how to have fun! She has such a fun loving and welcoming personality that would make any newcomer feel like part of the family. We’ve loved being part of the journey with her and celebrating the wins along the way! Nova, we are honored to have you as our April 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:
Nova
Words to live by?
‘Do Epic Stuff, Just Send It, Don’t Freaking Die’, edited to be G versions of the sayings 🙂
 
What is your fitness background?
I’ve been an athlete my entire life. My mom put me in softball at age 4, and then I played every sport I could through high school. Then as an adult I have played roller derby for the last 8 years.
 
How long have you been CrossFitting?
Since May 2018
 
Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel? How do you compare it to workouts today?
I was in roller derby shape, so leg workouts were awesome, but I had less than zero upper body strength. Learning all of the lifts properly was extremely difficult for me. I like that CFA has different scaling options written out. It helps me push myself without feeling like I’m not going hard enough.
What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?
The people. Hands down. This is my second family, and is very much a similar feeling to the community I had with roller derby.
 
Current Training Goals/PRs?
Actually achieve a strict pull-up, find my running endurance again, be consistent doing crossfit 3x a week and running 3x a week.

What advice do you have for folks just starting out in CrossFit?
If you’re nervous, bring a friend. If you don’t have a friend willing to show up with you, don’t be afraid to ask someone in your class to be your buddy for the day. It helps when you get confused or overwhelmed by all the acronyms.
 
How do you balance staying focused in your training and in your life?
I block my work calendar for training time…then it’s a meeting I have to attend and can only be moved for extreme work emergencies.

What is your cheat meal go-to?
Biscuits and Gravy
 
How do you use your fitness outside of the gym?
Primarily used to be roller derby, but these days it’s just anytime I’m trying to be active outside.
 
Tell us about a moment you felt most proud of yourself during a workout.
Deadlifting 325#, it was a 45# gain over my previous PR…I still can’t believe it.
 
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your fitness journey?
My own self doubt.
 
If you could create a WOD and name it for yourself, what would it be?
I’ve always been a fan of “Death by…Anything”. Pick your movement and do an EMOM for as long as possible. 1 rep in min 1, 2 rep in min 2, 3 rep in min 3…etc.
What keeps you going on the days you don’t feel like it?
Alien.
 

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?
Roller derby, learning to ride my motorcycle, and I’m a massive geek.
 
Tell us something we don’t know about you…
P.O.D. shot footage with my former roller derby team for a music video that was never used. I’m somewhere in that footage.
 
Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words…
I’m thankful and grateful y’all are in my life!