Daniel is our newest staff member. I love the energy and empathy that he brings every time he steps foot on the floor to lead a class. Daniel will be graduating from Warner University in the spring. This is his first blog post. Glad to have you Daniel!
- Cameron Andrews
I was born in Alpena, Michigan, but I moved here when I was only five years old. I grew up in Lakeland from that age until I was about half way through my sophomore year of high school when my family moved to Winter Haven. I attended and graduated from Santa Fe Catholic, which was a blessing to be able to attend such a great school.
What started my journey into CrossFit was that I have always had a competitive personality, as well as I have always loved sports and general fitness. I grew up playing practically every sport that you can in school. I got really addicted to football though, and I decided to part ways with all other sports except football and track. I did track to help with football because I was a sprinter. I loved football and wanted to play in college. It was my passion for most of my life.
Come the start of my senior year, I was also going through a dark time in my life. My head wasn't in my training, and a lot of things had set me back during football season and that whole school year. I had some unexpected issues and made mistakes at the start of my senior year, and I lost my captain spot and starting position. I was having a whole host of issues in every aspect of my life. I was having relationship issues, issues at home, issues with my schooling, my sports, everything. It was one of those times in my life where I felt like everything was going wrong. I had to come back from that, but when I finally was playing again, one of my teammates and friends, Gil Kromer, died suddenly from bacterial meningitis. The rest of my football season was rough. I definitely did not have the year I wanted like my junior year, and I lost scholarships and felt lost. I became depressed and I stopped training. However, I still signed a scholarship to play football at Warner University. When track season came, I was a mess. My heart wasn't in it, and I lost my love for football and athletics. I decided to quit the track team, which I was also the captain of… A couple months later I was fed up with myself because I knew I wasn't mediocre. I was unhappy and I wanted to be fit again. I wanted to have a competitive atmosphere within myself.
Fast forwards to 2015 I heard of this little CrossFit gym in Auburndale and decided to check it out. Less than a year later of starting CrossFit, I was in love and passionate about something again, and I went and got my CrossFit Level 1 Certificate. I have been coaching and competing ever since. It changed my life so much, that I decided I wanted to no longer play football because CrossFit had satisfied what football used to give me. It was my new outlet. I decided to hang up playing football and move on.
I love coaching because it's something I am truly passionate about. I genuinely love people, I want to make a difference, and I love fitness. I love seeing progress and happiness within people because of fitness. I love the community and the friendships I have built from CrossFit.
I have been coming back to this gym for four years now on and off. I have been to many other gyms, and there is no place like home.
Although this was a pretty long introduction to me, I want to get to know all of you, I want you to know I genuinely care, and I want you to know that I also want you to know me. You can ask me anything. I am here to help! I'll see you all around!