Member Spotlight: Anna Grimes

She’s an 11:30a regular, loves lifting heavy things, is a wonderful photographer, and is pretty new to the Austin area. Please give a warm welcome to: Anna Grimes! This month’s Member Spotlight. 

Q: How long have you been doing CrossFit and what’s your favorite thing about it? 

A: 1.75 years. I joined a box in Maryland in the summer of 2017, and then sought out a Crossfit home in Austin like seven days after moving here last summer because I needed something that felt familiar and would also help me meet people. When I started Crossfit, my favorite thing about it was overcoming fear. I was scared of everything, I didn’t know how to do any of the lifts or gymnastics movements, and I had to face my fears about those things – getting hurt, looking stupid, failing, and not being able to breathe – every time I showed up. Now that I know how to do some of those things better, my two favorite things about Crossfit are the way it helps me listen to my body, and the community – the people at Renew are great and have been the most welcoming crew I’ve ever met!

(Obviously.)

Q: How did you get into photography and why?

A: In college, I took a film photography class in Italy while I was studying abroad, and I fell in love. I took a few more classes for fun, but I thought I was going to go into a career in music or be a wedding planner, and then instead took a hard left turn and got a job working at Crate&Barrel after college. But I was reading wedding blogs and and learning how to use a digital camera better in my free time, and knew that was something I really wanted to do. So I found jobs working with other photographers, learning from them while I built my own business. And for six years, I got to be part of some incredibly special moments and celebrate love with amazing people. The thing I loved about weddings was the creative energy that went into them, and how for one day, everyone got to bring some kind of dream to life. Now, I want to be able to help more people find ways to bring their creative visions to life, whether that’s by making fun art prints that can live on walls or helping other creative business owners get photos that tell their stories in a fun and fascinating way.

Q: What is one life accomplishment you’re really proud of?

A: I’m proud of saying yes to adventures, even when they seem too big to take on at the outset. Jumping in over my head is something I find myself doing anytime I start feeling safe and comfortable, and that’s lead to a bunch of really cool things I’m proud of, like hiking 80 miles in a week through Scotland and Ireland, completing a 200 hr yoga teacher certification in Mexico in three weeks, doing a photo shoot in a field of flowers, renovating a house, and starting a creative business.

Q: You just got a PUPPY! What’s the best and worst thing about being a new dog mom?

A: Oh man, the puppy happened because I was starting to feel safe and comfortable and we’ve had him for two weeks and even though he’s the cutest little bundle of energy, I’ve reached the place where I’d love to know what past me was thinking!! The hardest thing is self-care, like sleep and showers, when the puppy just wants to be next to me at all hours of the day and barks if he feels left out. The best thing is having this wiggly little joyful being as a companion – I love that he makes me get outside more and is giving me a reason to find new places to love. Last week we took him to Walnut Creek and he had the best time bounding over all the rocks and running through the water. Watching dogs run around and play is just such a happy way to spend an afternoon.

Q: You’re pretty new to Austin…what’s your favorite part about being here so far? What’s been the hardest about moving?

A: The sunshine is hands down my favorite thing. I love being able to lay in a hammock in February and all the vitamin D makes me so happy after trying to escape East Coast winters for years. Also have to say the people here are delightful…I’ve met some of the most genuine, wholehearted people since moving here, and I already know my life is better because they’re in it!

The hardest part of moving was letting go of all the people and places I loved in Maryland – I grew up there and had some deep roots that I didn’t realize I’d have to let go of in order to build a new home somewhere else, and some of the things that got left behind aren’t easily replaceable. There’s a C.S. Lewis quote that has become a mantra for me over the past few months – “There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind” – and so far, I think that’s been true!

Anna, praise sweet baby Jesus for your spontaneity and willingness to try new things, because if it weren’t for that, well, you’d be at some other lame box and we’d never know your joy. We’re so glad you’re here!