Athlete Spotlight June 2016 – Devan Dalcol

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How long have you been CrossFitting?  

Just shy of three years.

Tell us about yourself… Where are you from? 

I was born and raised in Albany, New York. I went to college and grad school in Washington, D.C. and made my way down to Dallas three years ago for work. I am completely averse to cold weather so I think I am going to be a Texan for a long time.

What’s your occupation?

Currently I work in Public & Government Affairs for an oil and gas company. That will change this August when I become a full-time law student. The gym may become my only form of socialization. Watch out.

How did you hear about CrossFit Luna and why did you decide to join?

I found CrossFit Luna online and heard great things about it from other CrossFitters in the area. I showed up once to try it out, met the people and saw the bathrooms and I committed to a year right then and there. I came for the bathrooms, I stuck around for the structured warm-ups and the consistently awesome programming.

How have you seen yourself change – mentally or physically – since being a part of CrossFit Luna?

Absolutely. When I began coming to CrossFit Luna the people and programming really helped me push past some of the boundaries I found myself up against. By just showing up regularly and doing the programming to the best of my ability, I soon found myself able to do double-unders consistently and even graduated to strict pull ups! The pull-ups were three years in the making so I’m still in shock, I remember starting with a thick green band and a black band combined. Mentally, I would say that my focus and persistence has increased significantly both inside and outside the gym.

What is your favorite exercise?

Running and tire flips!

What is your least favorite exercise?

WALL BALLS. UGH.

What has been your favorite WOD so far?

Anything with lots of running and a few reps of weight lifting or gymnastics movements in between.

What has been your least favorite WOD?  

“Fran” and “Karen” tag team as my least favorite WOD.

If you had to name a WOD, what would you name it?

The CrossFit Luna Half-Marathon: Puppy Chase Edition*

*free puppies provided

What are some of your goals for the coming year? 

I would love to get better at deadlifts. I need to use my hamstrings more! Always looking to add more pull-ups, too. Hand stand push-ups would be nice. I feel like this is becoming a Christmas list.

How do you see CrossFit being different than other fitness programs?

Let me be the billionth person to say: the community. For me, it is by far the most unique aspect of CrossFit and it is what gets me through the door each morning– that and superhuman amounts of caffeine. In any other setting I wouldn’t be as comfortable to make mistakes, try to lift heavier or push harder, or crack smartass remarks (I learn from the best, looking at you Roy and Ron).

Did you think the sport of fitness would ever be for you?

Never. Not in a million years. I was always the chubby last-kid-picked-for-dodge-ball type growing up. I remember doing the physical fitness test in elementary school and I couldn’t do a chin up or a push up, and I was dead last in the mile almost every year. I became a bit more athletic in high school, but still couldn’t really do much beyond running. Lifting was not even in the picture. As a kid I assumed rope climbs were just something I would never be able to do, I told myself I “wasn’t built for them”. Being able to do things now that I couldn’t do at 11 or 12 years old is pretty mind-blowing.

How can other people relate to your story? 

Everyone has at least one thing that frustrates them. For some it’s burpees, for others (i.e. myself) it’s wall balls. Sometimes it’s running or sometimes it’s mobility. The difference between staying at a plateau and pushing past it is the willingness to continue chipping away even when it’s exhausting and exasperating. Everyone starts at their own baseline but if you just show up you will slowly begin to improve.

Looking back, I think it’s pretty incredible that I can do things now that I couldn’t do just a few short years ago. I give myself a pat on the back just for walking through the door every day, and it’s taught me that progress is made in inches, not miles.

What is something that others may not know about you? 

I speak Russian and am in constant search of speaking partners! If you know any Russians, seriously, please hook me up [shameless plug now over].

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