Join us in congratulating dejah ortega on being the september athlete of the month at nela athletics. We are excited to recognize her for all of her hard work and dedication. dejah consistently attends class and focuses on her weaknesses. As a result, she has been making notable progress over the last few months. congratulate dejah, and check out her interview below.

Tell us about yourself.

I'm 17-years-old and a senior in high school. My favorite subjects in school are history, cinematography, and music. I think I want to major in history when I go to college, but I'm not exactly sure what kind of history I want to study. I play the guitar, bass, and viola. I played in my school's orchestra since 7th grade but I stopped this year so I could take an AP Music Theory class. I also used to play softball for about 10/11 years, but I stopped playing after my sophomore year. I've always been pretty active, as I played basketball for a few years before I found softball. I like to consider CrossFit to be my newest sport, and I hope it'll last a very long time because I love it so much! 

What do you do for work? 

I don't have a job, but I do spend a lot of time doing schoolwork. I'm eager to graduate and go to college this year! 

What are your favorite hobbies other than CrossFit?

I enjoy watching movies and tv shows, listening to music, playing guitar, surfing the Internet, sleeping, and eating (who doesn't love to eat anyway)! 

What is your favorite food(s)? What is your favorite junk food?

My favorite food is...anything that's edible. Specifically tacos, Asian food, burgers....and did I mention tacos? My favorite junk food is definitely ice cream - mint chocolate chip ice cream. 

Which movement is your favorite/least favorite?

If the movement has to do with a heavy barbell, I love it. Other than barbell movements, I really like double unders because linking them together is such a great feeling. Kettlebells and handstand pushups are really fun too. My least favorite movements are running, running, running, and running! Wall walks are not my friend either. 

How long have you been doing CrossFit? What got you started? 

I've been doing CrossFit for a little over a year now. I got drawn in because I watched my mom do some workouts and compete, so I thought it would be fun to try it out. I'm glad I did! 

Do you have a favorite CFER memory?

Before I started CrossFit, I went with my mom to the Winter Shakedown in Tustin. I remember being so amazed at the athletes, the workouts, and the enthusiasm from the community. I consider that the day I realized that I actually wanted to try CrossFit. I'm really glad I came to watch because it was super motivating and it was awesome to experience a competition like that.       

Besides going to that competition, I will always remember my first workout - of course the skill was some running! I remember being passed out on the floor, making a sweat angel in the lobby at Eagle Rock. I probably laid there for about 45 minutes before I could sit back up. I still get that same sensation after some workouts, but I love it!

What motivates you? 

Like the crowd at the Tustin competition, everyone at Eagle Rock and Atwater Village is so supportive and enthusiastic. As anyone else can confirm, it's a great feeling when you're working really hard during a WOD and you hear a coach or a fellow athlete cheer you on. My mom motivates me, too. If I see her a few rounds ahead of me during a WOD, I try to catch up with her (99% of the time I can't do it - she's just way too fast). Also, I enjoy competing with her, especially if we're doing a skill that involves doing heavy weights - even though I can lift a little heavier than her, it's not by much most of the time! During partner WODs, we always push each other and it's really fun. Its nice to never have to choose a partner when we're both in the same class because we'll always work together! 

Do you have a favorite quote?

"There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man ... a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination" - Rod Serling in the Twilight Zone introduction! The Twilight Zone is one of my favorite shows.