Our Male Athlete of the Month for February is Dave Dillon! Dave just celebrated his 4-Year Anniversary with us! Even through a challenging year in 2020, Dave continued his workouts at home with his wife Amanda who now comes regularly to BeachFit classes. He notched over 200 workouts last year easily earning himself a spot in our 2020 Committed Club!
We love how Dave is so friendly to others in class and super attentive to coaching cues. He’s always looking to get better inside the gym, and plays guitar to challenge himself outside of the gym, often playing at open mic nights at local bars.
Dave has lost 20 pounds on his fitness journey, and keeps fit to keep up with his 4 (adult) kids and wife Amanda. His daughter Elizabeth is sure to join Dave for workouts whenever she’s back in town. It’s great seeing families live a fit life together and make the gym-going-experience a family one. We are grateful to have the Dillon family in our FitTown family. Thank you Dave for bringing such positive energy into our doors each day you come.
Here’s the short version of my background...Amanda and I ended up moving to Jupiter after living in PA for a long time when I was fortunate to be able to sell my ready-mixed concrete business (we owned the trucks that delivered concrete but didn't do contracting) in 2018. We had bought a place here as a winter home after visiting my brother-in-law a couple of times and loving the area. I have a background in engineering and Amanda used to be a lawyer before getting burned out and retiring a few years before I sold. I have 4 adult kids: Christopher is 27, engaged and working for IMG Academy in Bradenton, Elizabeth (who has been at the gym a lot and LOVES it) is 24, and just started as a PT in Rhode Island. Catherine is 22, trying to find a full-time position in event planning and lives in PA, and Matthew is 20 and is a junior at James Madison University studying finance. PS - we don't miss the snow ONE BIT.
Some things that people don't know about me: I lived in Saudi Arabia for three years when I was a little kid. I've been playing guitar off and on for years but started working on it a lot more last year and now I do open mic nights once a month or so (something I never thought I'd do). I used to have a part-time photography business, shooting headshots, portraits, and magazine stories. I scuba dive about once a month - it was one of the first things I took up after retiring and moving down here full-time and I love it! Before I owned the concrete company, I was a consulting engineer and I helped design two America's Cup racing yachts for Dennis Conner in the early 1990's.
Growing up I played a lot of sports, but in high school, it was primarily tennis and golf. I played Division 3 tennis at Carnegie Mellon for 3 years, and won 2 conference championships. After graduation, I stopped playing tennis and played a lot more golf - by the time I stopped working I was playing 3-4 times a week, but when we moved down here I wanted to change my life so I took up tennis again and now I play 3 times a week. I'm a huge soccer fan and I've gone to the World Cup and to England to see games (Arsenal is my favorite team). I started doing CrossFit in PA about 6-7 years ago and was kind of an on-again, off-again CrossFit athlete until I moved down here. CFPB/FitTown Jupiter was the first gym I went to here and never wanted to go anywhere else! I absolutely love it here - the coaches are always fantastic, the programming is very well-thought-out (a big pet peeve of mine at other gyms I've gone to), and the atmosphere makes it feel like home. My 8:15 class is like my second family! My daughter Elizabeth got into CrossFit 3 years ago in college and lives for it, my other daughter Catherine just started last year, and I got my wife Amanda into it last year by having her do the at-home workouts with me while we were in lock-down.
I think the biggest advice I would tell myself 4 years ago is to just keep coming - the motto "Just Show Up" is so simple but so true. Change doesn't happen quickly, but if you work at it steadily the results will happen. I would also say not to only come on the days that you like the movements in the WOD (Dave 4 years ago was a bit of a cherry-picker). Finally, listen to your body - if you know you're not at your best, don't push it but at least show-up and scale.
I think the most memorable moment was a couple of years ago when we were doing the team Open competition and I came to the first night to do my workout. I didn't know that many people very well but the energy in the gym was amazing and everyone was cheering loudly and pushing whoever was working out no matter what team they were on. Amanda was with me and was amazed not only at what everyone was doing but at the camaraderie.
When I stopped working in February 2018, I was very stressed out and eating/drinking too much - I weighed 192 lbs and had no stamina. Once I got down here, I started working out regularly and now I'm usually around 173 and feel like I'm in the best shape I've been in since college tennis! (see ugly "before" picture for proof...)
One of the weeks during quarantine, FitTown had on the Sugar WOD page a quote that I wrote out and put on my garage wall (where we were working out) that I've left there because it's a good reminder every day: "Work out because you LOVE your body, not because you HATE it". I used to yo-yo a lot because I would let my body go since it was easy to do that, then I'd have to fight to get back in shape or lose weight. It's so much easier to maintain than to fight to lose weight and now that I'm not fighting I think I'm getting stronger all the time because I can work on improving the margins. On the tough days, I just remember that there are a lot worse things I could be doing (work, shoveling snow) and I like the thought of "it's only 2 more minutes, you can do anything for 2 minutes".
The biggest thing I tell people who say "I can't believe you do all that stuff" or "it looks too hard" is to just give it a chance. Everyone started out thinking that - at least once a month I see a WOD and think "that looks awful" but I want to see what happens when I try it. I also always tell people that they'll love it at FitTown because of the coaching and the people that go there - it's truly different from any other gym environment, CrossFit or otherwise, because of the family feel. To people who are tired of their current gym routine, I always stress how great it is to be doing something different every day - I can't imagine going to a gym and thinking "oh, it's leg day I guess I'm doing the same 10 things I do every Tuesday".
I've said it a lot but the thing I love most about FitTown is the people - the coaches, the staff, and the members are what make it what it is. We have two great buildings and fantastic equipment but without the right people around, it wouldn't be the same. It's a part of my day that I always look forward to, and I always feel better when I leave and I think that's the biggest compliment you can give to a gym.
Thanks again to everyone at FitTown - I'm very excited and honored to be AOM!! -Dave