#MemberCrushMonday: Dan Gradows
Dan has been a member with us since 2019, and we figured it was a good time to check in again and re-introduce him! If you're up for a challenge, try to beat him in our annual chili contest!
Here is his story:
"Hi, my name is Dan Gradows. I recently became married to another Chuckwallian athlete, Amy Tunis, in November of last year. We have a blended family with four kids, ages 11,13,15,16; each with very different personalities, talents, and athletic abilities. For the most part my hobbies center around Crossfit and lifting, with a lean towards lifting due to the slight distaste for running (caused by old age and trauma). I have also just recently started an HR Analytics blog with fellow Chuckwalla friend and colleague Bryce Butzine. I work for various companies as an HR Data and Analytics Strategist.
I have been with Chuckwalla for what feels like forever, both for me and for John, but officially just over three years. I have been an athlete for my entire life and have been on and off again with Crossfit for 12 years total. I joined Chuckwalla when my then girlfriend started attending classes and I felt it necessary to follow her and show of my aerobic skills.
Outside of watching some truly awesome athletes and furnishing my closet with most of my attire, I would say the impact has been the relationships with others. Getting to know the community and witnessing members push themselves to their last breath. Chuckwalla has taught me that you must always “Hookgrip” the grocery bags, that there’s a way to say anything in Hawaiian Pidgin (“Brah, Chuckwalla choke good times”) and that nothing in life is as bad as only being able to train on the assault bike.
For me, [fitness applies to life] because it is all about understanding that I can be more than I was yesterday. That we each get dealt hands as we go through life that are not always the kindest (socially, professionally, mentally, and physically) but if we apply ourselves and reach for the “what ifs” in life, we will often surprise ourselves about how far we can go.
I remember this quote a few weeks back when talking about my late father. When I asked him how he managed his own business and all the pressures that came with that during the most difficult times imaginable. He just said, “Sometimes you just have to do it”.
I have three pieces of advice: 1) Mobility, Mobility Mobility – Make sure you take the time to stretch each day and if you do not know how, talk to the coaches or some cool PT’s Meghan and Dillion. 2) Be humble and open to “the pain of getting back into it”. Most of us will not be going to the Crossfit games, and because of that, remember that you are here to compete against you and you alone. 3) You do not have to do everything the first day, month, year or ever and you will still be successful."