Athlete of the Month


Holly Mahagan and Charlotte Gassaway

Charlotte and Holly are the definition of team players! Holly is a local badass you’ve probably seen around town, she’s the Assistant Director of Transportation at Georgetown ISD (school buses) and Charlotte is a music teacher with her own studio and she is working on her 200-hour yoga training through Trybe Yoge. These two always bring the juice each time they show up to train. Not only are they excellent teammates in training but they also devote so much extra time to our events, extra curricular activities, and always are first to lend a hand on little project Mark or Jen have. We have never seen a more solid and devoted team dynamic between these amazing woman. “I can truly say they are always there for the team no matter what and what a special and rare gift that is. We are super lucky to have the strong women on board,” said Coach Jen. We are looking forward to seeing these two grow in the sport of powerlifting! These two strong ladies gave us their time to talk about their powerlifting and Austin Simply Fit experience over the last year.


Why did you decide to join ASF?
H: Couldn’t deadlift over 230, went to a class taught by Mark and instantly pulled 250. A year later I pulled 325.
C: I had been practicing for a little while at Trybe Yoga when Jen had mentioned I should come and check out powerlifting because she wanted to get a team together. I don’t think I had ever heard of powerlifting before then and it was the last thing I considered myself doing. I was convinced that yoga was it and I didn’t need anything else. The only thing I knew about barbells was piercings! But being the convincing person she is, I decided to show up and give it a try and 3 competitions and several world records later, I can’t imagine my life without my ASF family.


What were your goals when you started?
H: To get really strong, increase my numbers and increase my bone density.
C: To simply learn (and not get hurt). I had never really been in a gym before. I had never received any formal training on any of the machines or movements so my only goal was to listen, work hard, do my best and not disappoint Coach.


How close are you to meeting them?
H: All my numbers have come up. I think I’m strong.
C: I always show up ready to work hard and learn. I am still so new to the sport. I feel I am just now starting to really understand the mechanics of the lifts and how that applies to my body. Every day is different and I strive to be mindful of my coaches ques and critique so the goal of getting stronger happens safely.


What changes have you noticed in your body, mind, spirit since starting at ASF?
H: Much more confident, positive, lost over 13 lbs without changing my eating. My body is tighter in the right places.
C: Wow! This is a tough question because I could go on and on about all the wonderful things that ASF has done for me, The most important though is the amazing group of people that ASF has brought into my life. My team has become my family and we have been through a lot together both on and off the platform. It’s rare to have these kinds of friends just normally but even more rare to have these kinds of relationships as a team. Because of these friendships, I have become a stronger person not just physically but emotionally, to my core. It’s hard not to walk around with your head held high when you know all the benefits created by dedicated hard work for yourself and others. Everyone at ASF is supportive of each other and that sense of community and camaraderie extends to each of us, no matter at which location we train. (My butt looks really good too, lol!)


What challenges have you had to overcome, if any, since starting out at ASF?
H: Feeling like I’m too old to get stronger. I don’t really comprehend how much I lift. I think Charlotte said it equaled two man hole covers.
C: For me, my biggest challenge staying out of my own way and not letting those little voices of self-doubt and negativity get the best of me. That’s why I think working with a trainer or on a team is so important because you have someone there to help quiet the mind and encourage through the tough moments. Most of the time it’s not what we’re doing in the gym that’s hard it’s everything else we have to deal with that can be the present the biggest obstacles. The gym is my happy place and because of the time and hard work I spend there, I am better equipped to handle the challenges outside those doors.


Any surprises since starting at ASF?
H: Losing over 13 lbs, having to buy smaller clothes, being in a team I love and qualifying and competing in RPS Worlds. I only competed once and I qualified for Worlds at that time.
C: That athlete and Charlotte are used in the same sentence! I never thought I would be competing and training at this level and be setting records.


Why do you like working out with Jen?
H: She always has a positive attitude and will push you to do better. She knows when we need to regroup and get on the same page.  I’d rather be at ASF with my team than anywhere else.
C: She is a really talented person and is good at everything she does. As a teammate, she is highly committed, supportive and a true athlete and as a coach, she is knowledgeable, encouraging and fun. She’s also one of my favorite people so any extra time that I get to spend with her is a good thing.


What is it about Jen/ASF that keeps you coming back?
H: When I come through the door I think of nothing else but lifting. It is where I’m really happy and feel accepted.
C: I love being a part of my team and working together to reach our goals both in the gym and in our lives. I love to see new people come into the space and see what amazing things the trainers and ASF can do for their lives. And I love being able to help out and do what I can to help ASF grow and reach new people in the community.


What are your goals & plans for the future at ASF?
H: To keep getting stronger and hopefully lose more weight.  Perform on the platform like I do in training, go 9 for 9 in a meet and qualify for worlds again.
C: I want to continue to compete and work towards having a more serious presence in the sport of powerlifting. I want to work at supporting my team and their goals in the sport. And I want to help the gym continue to grow and become more active in the sport. And I’d also like to one day do some coaching/training at ASF once I know more. I would love to be able to help those who are interested in powerlifting begin their journey.


What is your favorite food?
H: I like most all food and will try anything once. My favorite things are Real Sugar Pepsi and Monster drinks.
C: Veggie Omelette


Any advice you’d share with a newcomer to ASF?
H: Be patient and trust the process. It’s not quick, but it will be amazing if you stay at it. Be coachable, don’t fight your coach. Be open to learn new techniques. Release your fear. Soreness is part of the process.
C: Be ready to work hard but be prepared to fall in love with it too. If you can come in and be coachable and dedicated, then you too can be SAF!


Anything else you’d like to add about your experience at ASF or with Jen?
H: I’m still a quite person, but my ASF team has changed me for the better and I’m having much more fun in life.
C: Be ready to work hard but be prepared to fall in love with it too. If you can come in and be coachable and dedicated, then you too can be SAF!