This week's Awesome is a 6:30am fixture and a recent second place finisher in United Barbell's Summer Slam.
A relative newcomer to CrossFit and UB, Austin is a true coach's dream; he's consistent, always coachable, and rarely complains. Oh, and he's got a wicked sense of humor and is strong as an Ox.
Austin's commitment is a prime example of the incredible progress you can make with a no-nonsense approach to consistent hard work. In just a few months, I've seen him grow into a regular R'x athlete, putting up times and weights that place him among the gym's fittest.
For all that and more, Austin is this week's Awesome. Congrats, Danger Spires! Can't wait to see you continue to evolve into a stronger and faster athlete.
Name: Austin Spires
Nickname / Alter Ego: My work nickname is "Danger Spires" -- it's a long story.
Hometown: Houston, TX
Occupation: Director of Customer Engineering at Fastly
When did you first start CrossFitting?: This year, around February as essentially a New Years Resolution dare.
When did you first start CrossFitting at UB?: Same as above. I picked a place close to my office and I guess I got lucky :)
Favorite WOD: Filthy Fifty
Least favorite WOD: Anything with pistols
How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? I first officially saw what Crossfit was many years ago while the games were on TV in a bar I was eating in. I thought it was the silliest thing in the world (how would you compete in workout out?), but it was definitely an impressive spectacle.
What is an unexpected way CrossFit has affected your life? I was a pretty serious wrestler in my younger years, even doing it through college. But, as I left college and started my career, my fitness tanked and I stopped taking care of myself. What started as the freedom to never make weight for competitions again turned into a pretty miserable lifestyle. Trying to fix things, I'd tried working out in gyms and running on my own for years, but it never stuck. It was boring. Around January I read an article that loosely mentioned CrossFit, and decided I would finally give it a try; it was the start of the year when you're supposed to start silly workout goals. What would I have to lose? I was hooked on the intensity, the friendly competition, and the camaraderie instantly, and I've never looked back.
Results-wise, it's been a short but amazing span. I'm getting stronger, living healthier, and getting all of the physical benefits. The most surprising benefit was in my stress levels -- work stress was really getting me down before. Even little annoyances would throw my entire day out of whack. Once I started exercising, everything started to get a little more relaxed, and that's been a great change.
What is the first song in your favorite playlist right now? I've been listening to a lot of Hamilton now, but Daft Punk and Amon Amarth get some solid rotation. I have some weird taste in workout music.
What is your favorite cheat meal? A tie between an extra large pepperoni pizza and a whole rotisserie chicken.