Athlete of the Month – December 2014 – Holly Braunagel

Holly Braunagel is BBCF’s December Athlete of the Month! 


When Holly first visited Blackbird CrossFit to observe a class, she was incredibly reluctant and nervous. She was not currently exercising and, like many, was concerned that CrossFit was going to be too intense for her. But, she showed up the next day and was willing to give CrossFit a fair shake. And since that first week, she has continued to awe and inspire our entire community with her determination, perseverance, and the best sense of humor you could ask for!

Holly has repeatedly stepped outside of her comfort zone and pushed herself to reach new goals. She is mentally tough and never backs down from a challenge. Within two months, she was even brave enough to sign up for her first CrossFit team competition. When Holly participated in her first Nutrition & Performance Challenge, things begin to click even further. She has adjusted not only how she eats, but how she feeds her family. She has made exercise and better health a priority. It’s not a diet or a workout program any longer, it’s now a lifestyle.

Whether it’s inches lost, new muscle definition peeking through, PRs on the barbell, achieving box jumps, or going down in her bands for pull ups, Holly works hard for all of her results. It’s a true joy to celebrate every little step with her. And her Southern twang and sarcastic manner keeps us all highly entertained! Meet Holly…

DSC_04531. Tell us about yourself. 

Hey y’all…….my name is Holly, I’m 29 , I went to the University of Kentucky (Go Cats), have a degree in engineering, and I’m really nerdy…not to mention, a hillbilly!  I have a family, that I claim, sometimes, and vice versa.  I currently hold the title of “Bada**” for the next 31 days and I’m super stoked about that.

 2. What made you want to start CrossFit? How long have you been doing it?

Well, it all started a long time ago when a few of my besties from dance (no, I don’t dance, my daughter does) told me I should come and try it.  I’m already awesome, so might as well add a sexy body to the mix of it, right? So, I decided to go see what this “Crossfit stuff” was about.  I’ve been at BBCF for about 6 months with no signs of leaving until they throw me out the door!  😀

3. What were your thoughts after your 1st WOD?

My first WOD was Fran!  My first thoughts were “Oh no I, will survive!”


4. What were your goals when you 1st started?

I wanted to be able to do box jumps and get a 165lbs back squat…and I finally got them both!

5. What are they now?

My new goal is to do an unassisted pull-up.


6. What do you enjoy most about CrossFit?

I love the close knit community.  Everyone is always supportive of each other.  I heart y’all!

7. What is your favorite CrossFit movement/lift? Least favorite?

Deadlifts are my favorite.  Least favorite are snatches.

8. What is the one tip you would give someone DSC_0019considering CrossFit or new to CrossFit?

Don’t be intimidated! Your legs and booty will look amazing with all the squats we do and you’ll notice changes with your body early on and continue noticing them!

You is great, you is strong, you is a beast!

9. Results?  Tell us about your results.

So, my results…I feel myself getting stronger week by week.  I finished my first paleo challenge and in one month, I lost a total of 13.2 pounds (which is cray-cray), 2 inches in my waist, 1/4 inch in my arms, and 1/2 inch in my thighs. I wish I had my measurements from when I first began CrossFit to compare, because there were plenty of inches lost before the challenge too. In that month, I also improved my mile time by over a minute!


10. What has CrossFit done for you in and out of the box?

CrossFit has reminded me that I should take time out for myself.  I should care what food I put into my body (I’m writing this the week of Thanksgiving, so this week, that has been shot to Hell.)  I should set goals and strive to achieve them no matter how long it takes. Eventually, I will get there.  CrossFit has given me more confidence and friendships that will last a lifetime!



The people I’ve met at Blackbird have changed my life. I moved to Eldersburg in 2008 and knew absolutely no one. I’m kind of upset that I didn’t join earlier! Blackbird CrossFit is my home away from home. It’s been a long time since I’ve been in a situation in life where people enjoy cheering you on, even when YOU feel like giving up. All of the coaches love watching you succeed, and to me, that’s priceless.