Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Dale is a Big Time player when it comes to living Life!
His life experience is one you can hear about and learn so much from!
His attitude is top tier.
His work ethic is inspiring.
His presence cannot go unnoticed.
This guy earns his keep, and I respect the hell out of him.
I am honored to know this man and rewarded to be his CrossFit coach!

(A strong affirmative response for Army service members.)

Dale’s Story

I joined CrossFit Central in December 2010. My wife, Lori, had begun kettlebell classes at Central in July or August last year, and I went to a team competition as an observer in the fall of 2010, then joined in December.

I first began CrossFitting at CrossFit Texas in June 2008. I had been running 1,000 miles a year and doing some weight lifting, so when they told me the WOD was 5 pull ups, 10 pushups, and 15 air squats “Cindy,” I thought “no sweat, I can do this.” On round 6, I felt a pop in my elbow, which was a little painful but I continued until time ran out. You see I couldn’t stop, Pete and Brannon [the coaches] were former Navy guys and I’m retired Army. I couldn’t let them think poorly of the Army. I went to the doctor the next day and found that I had a grade 2 tendon tear. Six months later I was healed and my wife and I joined CFT until I had to give it up because of being laid off.

When I joined CrossFit Central, I chose my class time and Mike just happened to be the coach. I go to school full time so the early morning class was really my only choice for being able to do CrossFit, work, and go to school, which is in evenings from 5 – 11 pm. Of course, I came to realize that I was in the presence of a CrossFit legend every day I was in class. It’s still hard for me to believe that a legend can be such a nice guy, but it’s true. Mike’s just a good dude that happens to be a CrossFit legend and my coach. I am so thankful that Mike coaches those early morning classes; otherwise I might not have the opportunity to have a relationship with a man of such high moral character and commitment to his clients.

Other than the buckets of sweat on the gym floor, I’ve seen some amazing results in the last 60 days or so. I decided to quit fooling myself about a month before the South Central Regionals and really dialed in my diet. Like Mike says, what you do away from the gym is just as important as what you do while you’re in the gym. The days that I don’t have class with Mike, I row 7 – 10 thousand meters – I have a Concept 2 model D rower – and I drop in on a class in Pflugerville two or three Saturdays a month. I may be a little obsessed, but I lost 10 lbs in June, and then in July I dropped 6% body fat and another 8 lbs. I’m almost back to my weight as a Drill Sergeant back in ‘94. I feel good, and that makes me feel good about myself. CrossFit has reaffirmed my belief that I can do anything, there are just some things I haven’t attempted yet.

There are a couple of things that keep me motivated. SICFIT military tribute t-shirts motivate me. When I wear them to a workout, I have to represent the highest standards that I can personally accomplish in honor of our male and female fighting force. The sacrifices that they make each and every day are extraordinary and they deserve to be honored by my best effort. My desire to be fit for life motivates me to not think of how old I am but how old I can be through a fit life style. My classmates at the gym inspire me through their hard work and encouragement. The one thing that motivates me more than any other is my granddaughter, Samantha. She has filled me with the happiness and joy of unconditional love, and I want to be around for a long time to share her life with her.

Dale: Before & After

I will be 55 next month. It just so happens that my birthday falls on a Monday, a fact that my 5:30 am MWF classmates are none too thrilled about, I’m afraid. Birthday burpees x 55. I weighed in this morning at the doctor’s office at 212 lbs. At 6’ 1” tall, I’d like to get below 200 lbs and see how I feel at that weight, so I’ve got a couple of months to go. My last body comp was taken on the 4th of August and the results were 14.6% body fat. I had previously been comped on 5 July at 20.8%.

My energy is pretty good, especially in the mornings after the WOD. It’s over for the day and I survived it. Some days I feel like I smoked it and others it smoked me, but whatever the result, it’s over and I’ve survived. With all the energy I gain from CrossFit and eating right, I am still sleep deprived due to the schedule that I must maintain. Up at 4:20 am to get to the gym by 5:10. Study until 11:00 pm on the days that I don’t have class. The days that I do have class, I don’t get out of my last class of the evening until 10:50 pm, which gives me an average of 5 1/2 hours of sleep each night which, of course, is not conducive to recovery but is my life as I know it today.

I ate pretty good before I came to Central, but I had not cut all the sugar and I still haven’t really because I use about a teaspoon of Splenda in my coffee in the mornings. Other than that, I ate pretty clean but in the last two or three months I’ve really gotten disciplined about my food. I eat the exact same thing for breakfast and lunch each day. Breakfast is 7 oz. tuna, 1/2 avocado, 1/2 orange. Lunch is 5-7 oz. chicken breast, spinach and broccoli. Dinner is a My Fit Food chicken, beef or fish meal. I have a protein shake after every workout which consists of 1/4 cup frozen blueberries, 6 or 7 frozen strawberries, a couple tablespoons of cashews (I know Mike, cashews are not the ideal ingredient but I like cashews), 28 oz. protein powder, and almond milk. Mix to perfection in my Blendtec blender and I’m drinking heaven.

I have a hundred new goals, most of which have to do with double unders, pull ups, handstand pushups, overhead squats and the rest of my many weaknesses. Other goals outside the gym include having fun every day, finishing my degree (only one class remaining), and finding a new employment challenge as my contract as a project manager at Applied Materials expires in mid-October of this year.

I did the “I Am CrossFit EPOC” Challenge but injured a hamstring about half way through and was out of commission for 5 weeks while I recovered. Sam and Dave from Next Level worked on me to help those hamstrings heal. I was not able to complete the challenge and disappointed that I let down my EPOC team mates and coach, Zach.

The one thing that will keep me signing up for challenges is the community. The extraordinary coaches like Mike Gregory, Jeff McKinney, Aaron Arehart, Jen Cardella, Chris Hartwell and all the others. People like Chris Kepler whom I met for the first time at the barbeque this spring and who treated me like we’d known one another for years. The clients who give of themselves to build a house or drink a beer to raise money for someone that needs their assistance. Fight Gone Bad is the symbol of why I sign up for challenges. I will probably never win or place in a challenge, but I can still help a service member or service members family through the support of the CrossFit community and CrossFit Central. That makes me a winner every time.


millertime said...

I love starting my mornings hearing a "One, Two,Three!!!" I know who's voice it is no matter where I'm at in the gym.

See you at 5:30 am, I know that you'll be there waiting to give the WOD all you've got, and that is damn motivating. That is all I need, brother, a little motivation. So, thanks for that, and thanks for making me get a rower so I have a chance to keep up with you.



LeRoy Gardner said...

Great stuff man. Thanks for sharing this. Big Mike is big for many other reasons than his physique. Way to go y'all.