/var/www/html/wp-content/themes/Divi/single.php Member Spotlight - Austin Manning | CrossFit Strength Haven
1. Where were you before you started CrossFit from a fitness, health, and mental perspective?
I first joined a box in 2015 after moving back to Texas. At the time, I was slowly recovering from 4 or 5 fun years of late night Whataburger, beer, and campus cooking with minimal physical activity during undergrad and the years after. In Grad School, I was determined to put the party days behind me and focus on self-improvement and self-care. This landed me squarely in the gym lifting whatever movement I could copy and graft from the dude-bro beside me, often with no attention to form or without any real understanding of technique. Having played Soccer most of my life, the gym wasn’t foreign to me, but self-guided I was definitely lost. By the time I found my first box, I was determined to find a better way to maximize my time in the gym and to develop a healthy lifestyle both physically and regarding time management. Once I found Crossfit Strength Haven, things clicked and the coaching staff has helped me to prioritize my nutrition (finally!), my fitness, and cultivate a healthy community of peers with similar and compatible goals.
2. Why did you choose Crossfit?
Crossfit was immediately appealing to me because of it’s similarities to Soccer. In both athletic activities, one must be responsible to themselves and to a broader team or community. Every time I am on the field, I enjoy successes and find critical areas for improvement, all with the support of a team pursuing a unified goal. The box is no different! A group of individuals come together for an hour to work on their own areas of improvement and to thrive in their own areas of excellence under the guidance of a coach who has a real investment in their success and spurred by the support and camaraderie of their fellow classmates. Couple this with the dynamic nature of crossfit workouts, ranging from olympic lifting and gymnastics to good ol’ cardio, and there is NEVER a dull day at the box. As a high-energy person, Crossfit’s plug and play curriculum, with structured warm-ups, strength, and metabolic conditioning, allows me to maximize the time I am able to dedicate towards health and wellness!
3. How has it changed your life?
Crossfit’s impact on my life has been three-fold (at least!). From a lifestyle perspective, Crossfit has given me the tools and confidence to tackle challenges, both physical and mental, that I previously might have ignored. Every time I walk in the box and see the WOD and the recommended weights, its a challenge. Which weight do I choose? Can I modify that movement? The best WODs you simply strap in and tackle; You take the weight that’s right, but challenging, and push through with determination and the hubris to lean on your boxmates’ support should you need it. Sometimes, the WOD “wins” (i’ve seen some time caps…), but ultimately, the confidence to boldly face an obstacle with the self-accountability to say ‘I can!’, is a reward in and of itself. This translates to my career, personal life, and even trying to navigate I-35 at 5:15pm…
In the last year, I have seen major improvements to my soccer skills and conditioning as well. My cardio endurance has consistently improved week after week. Staring at 30 and running like I was (or should have been) at 20! My strength on the field to hold my position and thwart challenges to the ball has increased. My reaction times, reach, and overall athleticism continually improves, allowing me to finesse my sport with moves and plays that I otherwise would have avoided a few years ago. Most importantly, to me, is my comparative resiliency to injury, aches, and pains. Many of my teammates tweak, aggravate, or otherwise get injured while playing soccer; knees, ankles, and muscle injuries make swiss cheese of our roster. With Crossfit’s holistic approach to strengthening the body, including accessory muscles, hard tackles and weekly fatigue have been easy to recover from with notably faster times than my soccer peers! (knock on wood!)
Lastly, from a health perspective, Crossfit has developed the sustainable habits I need to maintain and grow moving forward. A year ago when I came to CFSH, I had just completed my annual wellness exam. My weight was alright, BMI a little high, and my labs were quote ‘Looking good’. I attribute that mostly to the healthy soccer regimen and less to the weekly/nightly tacos and margaritas! Last week I went again for my annual wellness exam. The results were, unexpectedly, awesome! My weight was 12 lbs lower than the previous year (with an increase in muscle mass) and my Doctor’s direct quote was that my ‘Lab work is FANTASTIC!’; we saw a marked decrease in cholesterol to well within good parameters and an overall blood work indicating a healthy start to my 30’s. Couple that with the nutrition re-awakening I am currently doing with Coach Keelee and I am hoping to see continued gains in the future!