TRAINERS

Motivated to Support You

Our trainers are the top of their class.
Fitness is not just a job – it’s our passion.

The Fortitude Way

Our responsibility code is the code of conduct for all of our trainers at all times.

Build Connections

Our trainers are the front-lines of our athlete-centered approach. They strive to meet new athletes and build meaningful relationships with all of our members to enhance our community and create a deeply supportive environment.

Facilitate Results

Our trainers will make personal recommendations within a programmed workout to help you choose the right scaling, movements, or weights toward your goals and personal success!

Set The Example

Actions speak just as loud as words for our trainers. Every trainer is expected to lead from the front when it comes to ongoing fitness education, customer service as a coach/trainer, and building community.

FOUNDER & CEO

Athan Schindler

My fitness story is pretty common. When I was a kid, I was chubby. I was embarrassed of my body and uncomfortable in my own skin. Overcoming that insecurity has shaped who I have become and helped to define my personal purpose. Like many people, I hit a point in my adult life where I lost myself and my health suffered.  Eventually, I developed the skills, knowledge, and habits to get my health back, and in the process ignited a fire in me to help others to do the same for themselves.

Growing up, I played pretty much every sport imaginable and became a well-rounded athlete. At the age of 17, I joined the US Army. I spent 7 years as an Airborne Ranger with multiple combat deployments on a six-man team that snuck behind enemy lines to collect intelligence. My favorite part of being a Ranger was training other soldiers to become their ultimate selves. Realizing the impact I could have on others, I was motivated to study for and earn my first personal trainer certificate in 1998 so that I could be better at my job. After active duty, I went to college, played football, and then built upon my military skills to become a Master Social Worker (MSW). In this role I again recognized my ability to see a person’s full potential and to help them leverage their talents and strengths to maximize that potential.

Although I was helping others to be their best, after football, I had let myself go. Between going to grad school and starting a career, I stopped training like I used to. My health was not a priority. Once I had completed my master’s degree, I returned to service and entered the Texas Army National Guard. I failed my first body fat test and physical fitness assessment. I was embarrassed and ashamed. I told myself “never again”.

At that point, I made a full commitment to myself that I would always prioritize my health and my own personal development. I studied everything I could about nutrition, physical fitness, and personal growth. In the process, around 2008, I discovered CrossFit. I started doing the workouts off of the “main site” inside a traditional gym. People there thought I was insane. But, I was achieving the results that I wanted and I was doing it for me. Other people also started to take notice and I decided to begin training people again. In 2011, I began a small boot camp called “Fortitude Fitness.” Leading others to find health, wellness, and support in their lives became my obsession. I knew it was exactly what I wanted to be doing with my life. I hired a trainer to develop my knowledge and skill. At the same time, my little boot camp had grown into a community of 75 people. Loading barbells, weights, kettlebells, and tractor tires, in and out of my 1984 Toyota Land Cruiser became unmanageable. It was time to find a home.

In February 2013, we officially became a gym in a 600 sq ft corner of a kickboxing gym. I’ve never looked back. In the process, I’ve gained knowledge and experience, and obtained credentials in exercise science, kinesiology, human optimization, and business, and I continue to constantly seek out resources to support me in fulfilling my personal purpose. I absolutely love getting to know people, learning about their goals, and partnering with them to overcome the obstacles to their success. This passion has turned into my life’s purpose – to empower people to be happier, healthier, and more successful in their lives.

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” – Calvin Coolidge

Alex Gagarin

CrossFit Trainer
Certifications: CrossFit Level 1

Alex grew up playing competitive soccer. She played goalkeeper on numerous youth national teams and was named a Parade All-American her senior year in high school. She was a four-year letter winner at the University of Texas. In 2015 she tried her first CrossFit class. Compelled by the competitive nature of the sport, she quickly fell in love. In 2017, she taught her first class at Easy Is Evil CrossFit.

Coaching Strengths:
Extremely patient with beginners
Builds rapport with the athletes
Encourages people to push their limits

Andy St. Germain

Next Level Founder + CrossFit Trainer
Certifications: CrossFit Level 1

Andy found CrossFit at Fortitude Strength and Conditioning when he first moved to Austin Texas from Northwest Indiana in 2013. After about a year of just training, Andy got his Level 1 Certification and began coaching in 2014. Andy has competed at Regionals the past 2 year (2017, 2018) with two 14th place finishes in the CrossFit Open those years. Before CrossFit Andy was heavily involved in the sport of wrestling. He wrestled at Calumet College of St. Joseph in Whiting Indiana along with being a High School State Runner Up in 2017 and a Brute Adidas National Champion in 2016.

Coaching Strengths:
Develops unique and complex workout strategies
Enjoys coaching gymnastic skills progressions
Creates a fun atmosphere for training

Cody Skinner

Barbell Club Founder + Trainer
Certifications: USA Weightlifting Sports Performance Coach/Club Coach

Cody has 7 years involvement with CrossFit and 6 years competing in weightlifting. He has had the opportunity to train under and alongside multiple national and international champions and loves to learn new things that he can use to help his athletes.

Coaching Strengths:
Skilled in breaking down and teaching complex movements and skills
Prioritizes training goals and tailors programs for individual athletes
Builds confidence through strength and focus

Corrie Thompson

CrossFit Trainer
Certifications: CrossFit Level 1

Corrie began dancing when she was four years old. In high school, she was a member of a local ballet company and on the dance team at her high school. After high school, she struggled to find a fitness routine to replace dancing. She found treadmills, weight machines, and aerobics classes boring.  When Corrie discovered CrossFit in 2012, she found the community, coaching, variety, and intensity she was missing, and the nutrition knowledge and strength she has gained (e.g., she had never been able to do a pull up in her life before CrossFit) were an added bonus. Similar to dancing, there are always new combinations to learn and technique to improve upon in CrossFit.  Corrie has always been driven to help others, and earned her CrossFit L1 certificate in 2016 so she can share her love of CrossFit and help others on their road to fitness.

Coaching Strengths:
Encourages new athletes beyond what they think they are capable of
Keeps the class on schedule and ensures everyone understands the WOD
Motivates athletes through a workout

Davison Crake

CrossFit Trainer
Certifications: CrossFit Level 1., CrossFit Level 2, CrossFit Kids

Davison grew up playing soccer & tennis in middle school & high school. At Texas A&M University, he expanded his sport experience by playing Club Ultimate Frisbee. During his senior year, Davison found an internship with a CrossFit gym in College Station and quickly made it became a part of his daily routine. Over the next few years, Davison grew his role from a coach into the gym’s operations manager, before accepting a position in Austin.

Coaching Strengths:
Experience in coaching all ages from kids to teens to adults
Significant knowledge of modifications for beginners and injury prevention or adaptation
Creates positive & personal relationship with all members

Elma Garcia

CrossFit Trainer + Operations Manager
Certifications: CrossFit Level 1

Elma discovered an enthusiasm for fitness after trying CrossFit in order to get in shape. Lacking an athletic background, and initially somewhat daunted by the difficult workouts, with time Elma soon began to embrace the challenge and the feeling of being pushed outside of her comfort zone. After four years of CrossFit, and having recognized the positive impact it had on her life, Elma decided to get her L1 so that she could be a part of inspiring fitness in others. Self-described as the ‘least athletic person she knows,’ Elma enjoys making CrossFit accessible to people at all levels of fitness and all skill levels. 

Coaching Strengths:
Unassuming leader, with a down-to-earth relatable style
Leads by setting the example
Inspires those around her to constantly strive for greatness

Nate Fox

CrossFit Trainer + Sales Manager
Certifications: CrossFit Level 1

Nate was a multi-sport competitive athlete and coach through high school and college. Nate coached swimming and rowing and trained as a Division 1 and elite level rower at the University of Pennsylvania. Recently, Nate has translated his deep experience in sales and marketing to support Fortitude’s growing membership.

Coaching Strengths:
Adaptable to individuals strengths and weaknesses (thanks to wide range of coaching; methodologies (swimming, rowing, CrossFit))
Builds trust quickly resulting in comfortable relationships between the athlete and the gym
Understands how the science of training is ever-changing, and strives to keep learning

Cody Skinner

Barbell Club Founder + Operations Manager
Certifications: USA Weightlifting Sports Performance Coach/Club Coach

Cody has 7 years involvement with CrossFit and 6 years competing in weightlifting. He has had the opportunity to train under and alongside multiple national and international champions and loves to learn new things that he can use to help his athletes.

Coaching Strengths:
Skilled in breaking down and teaching complex movements and skills
Prioritizes training goals and tailors programs for individual athletes
Builds confidence through strength and focus

Jeanette Olivas

CrossFit Trainer
Certifications: CrossFit Level 1, NASM Certified Personal Trainer

Jeanette’s interest in fitness and wellness began in high school when she joined the swim team. Her love for the water and swimming led her to pursue employment as a lifeguard for the University of Texas as well as a swim instructor at the YMCA. There she taught lessons to all age groups from infants to adults who were just being introduced to the water. Four years ago, Jeanette found herself bored with her workout routine. A friend suggested she try CrossFit. After four years of CrossFitting with Fortitude, Jeanette decided to return to fitness education and obtained her CrossFit L-1 Certificate.

Coaching Strengths:
Experience working with people from a broad range of ages and backgrounds, especially in the areas of fitness and nutrition
Patient and encouraging approach to coaching
Committed to education and continuous improvement

Jen Patterson

CrossFit Trainer
Certifications: CrossFit Level 1, CrossFit Flexibility, Eat to Perform 

Jen was a gymnast from the age of about 6 to 14. Jen went on to do track in high school and found CrossFit after the birth of her son when she was on the search for something to help her weight after her pregnancy. The skills of the barbell lifts really drew her in and the community aspect kept her coming back. Jen still loves handstand walks and other Crossfit gymnastics movements and enjoys helping people hone in on those skills. Watching athletes gain not only strength and confidence, but rekindling some childhood joys through physical fitness, is one of Jen’s favorite parts of being Crossfit coach.

Coaching Strengths:
Sharpens people's strengths
Focuses on improving form bit by bit every time
Frames thoughts so confidence grows

Kady Skinner

CrossFit Trainer
Certifications: NSCA Certified Personal Trainer, CrossFit Level 1, CrossFit Level 2, CrossFit Kids, CrossFit Endurance, CrossFit Coach’s Prep Course, USA Weightlifting, Yoga Level 1

While in college, Kady taught step, circuit and yoga classes. After graduation, she started personal training and teaching yoga. It was then she found a local CrossFit boot camp and gave it a try. It was instant love. She started implementing the CrossFit methodology into her training sessions with her clients. She found a trainer of her own to help her get a better understanding of Olympic Weightlifting and gymnastics. After being involved in CrossFit for about a year she started her CrossFit Coaching career in 2012. Kady is an accomplished competitive CrossFit athlete with multiple podium finishes. Most notably, she was a competitor in the 2014 CrossFit Games South Central Regional.

Coaching Strengths:
Stellar class organization
Focuses on time management - getting adequate warm-up, WOD, and cool down into 60 minutes
Deep knowledge of CrossFit methodologies and scaling for athletes' abilities