March Member of the Month: Dave Warfel

Member Spotlight

Dave came to to CrossFit Sanitas back in April of 2017! He is one of the most lively and energetic members we have ever had at Sanitas. His enthusiasm, ability to talk to anyone, and willingness to give back to the community makes him our Member of the Month for March. Coincidentally, Dave also turns 35 on March 22nd!

Member Spotlight Questionnaire

1) How did you get started with CrossFit? What was the primary driving factor?

I was first interested in CrossFit because of the style of workouts. It looked like I could run, jump, and climb on things; all while finishing a great workout in under an hour. That had serious appeal. But it’s the community that keeps me coming back. It could be weightlifting on Monday, pilates on Tuesday and ballet dancing on Wednesday, and I’ll still give you my money every month.

My cousin introduced me to CrossFit back in 2010. He’s former military and was CrossFitting out of his garage to help with training. I wasn’t initially sold, but I began stalking it online. I watched the Games in 2011, 2012 and 2013 before ever performing a single workout. I was talking with a friend of a friend at a summer BBQ in 2013. He owned a gym in Richmond (my hometown at the time), and like most of us do, he was more than happy to talk about CrossFit.

There were at least 6 gyms in Richmond, so I had to shop around a bit before finding the right community. I would say I officially started my CrossFit journey at CrossFit Addict on Dec 30, 2013 (a little over 5 years ago).

2) What are your goals for the upcoming 2019 CrossFit year?

Better nutrition: It doesn’t get talked about enough, but nutrition is at the core of CrossFit’s hierarchy of the development of an athlete. I’m just as guilty as anyone, as it’s the only area of CrossFit that I’ve never spent much time developing. I’d love to eliminate a few of the bad habits I’ve created around food—mainly binge eating, particularly while under stress. My habitual snacking habit could also take a hike.

Improve mobility: Mobility has been a huge struggle for me since day 1. Growing up, I played a lot of team sports (soccer, basketball, baseball), all of which are very one-side dominant. When you combine that with 8 years of a desk job and a 5-year-old ultrarunning hobby, all before starting CrossFit… mobility is quite the uphill battle. My ankles, shoulders & thoracic mobility need the most work.

Workout in the morning: The truth is, I love mornings. When I wake up early, my days are more productive, and I just feel better about myself. I’ve been coming in the evenings for a while now, mainly because I’m going to bed too late. I’d love to break that bad habit and start my day off on a better note.

3) What has been your biggest challenge to overcome since starting CrossFit?

As most CrossFitters can attest to… there are many. Learning how to use a barbell was a huge challenge. The olympic lifts were completely foreign to me. It probably took me several weeks just to learn all the names (clean, hang clean, snatch, jerk, etc.). And a few years before I actually started feeling comfortable with a barbell in my hands.

4) What is your favorite CrossFit Workout/Movement?

Movement(s): You didn’t think I could pick just one, did you?

  • Rope climbs
  • Double unders
  • Box jump overs
  • Handstand walks


Triple 3, from the 2014 Games

For time:

Row 3,000 meters
300 double-unders
Run 3 miles

I also really enjoy Helen, Nancy, Murph, or anything longer than 20 minutes with no barbell 🙂

5) What is your least Favorite CrossFit Workout/Movement?

Movement: Thruster, with the push jerk coming in a close second
Workout(s): Fran, Grace, Linda and any 1-rep max

6) What advice can you give to those just starting out in CrossFit?

Ask questions: There’s a reason you aren’t paying $20/mo. for Planet Fitness. Your coaches are smart, and they want to help you. Let them.

Take days off: Easier said than done, I know. I didn’t learn it myself until halfway through year two. The gym is a wonderful place, where endorphins fly, faces smile and the good vibes are real. It’s hard to stay away. But recovery is crucial for maintaining overall health & staying injury-free. When your body demands a day off… listen.

Mobility all the things: I can’t state this enough. You might not realize how important it is at the beginning, but over time, you’ll realize that mobility makes a world of difference in every aspect of your fitness. It’ll also be the thing that makes all the other grandmas & grandpas jealous when you’re lifting the great grandkids over your head at 90.

Don’t beat yourself up: Many of us are pretty hard-headed. That’s part of the reason we’re attracted to CrossFit. It may take you a while before you can even do one rep of a movement. Don’t allow yourself to get frustrated. Ask questions. Be patient. Work hard (and smart). Your practice will pay off. I promise.

Encourage. Cheer. Support: The CrossFit community is amazing because of the people in it. You are now one of those people. Encourage your peers. Lift people up when they’re down. Lend a hand, an ear, or just slide the chalk bucket a little closer to that dude with his hands on his knees under the rig.

You’ll get the most out of CrossFit when you give a little of yourself.

7) Lastly… what is your most memorable moment in CrossFit?

Oh man. I could probably write a hundred-page book on all the beautiful memories. A few notable ones include:

  • Running the final mile of Murph (again) with Adam, who, an hour earlier told our head coach that he couldn’t even run a single mile, let alone finish Murph (scaled) in 1:40, running BOTH miles.
  • Judging a fellow coach at my old gym on her Monday retest of an Open workout, in front of 20+ screaming members who stuck around to cheer… because she had a chance of making the master’s qualifier.
  • Doing a workout for an army vet friend of our head coach, who drove from Connecticut to Virginia to workout with us, and raising money for the Wounded Warrior Project. I don’t remember the workout, but I remember balling my eyes out when he spoke before the WOD
  • Coaching at my old gym, and helping athletes win little victories.
  • But even more than those listed above, cheering people on during the Open always makes my heart smile. I’ve seen people do things they never thought they’d be able to do. Push boundaries. Build confidence. Forge lasting friendships. During the Open, the community comes together like nothing else I’ve ever seen, and I’m grateful to have an opportunity to do my small part.
  • I also used to go head-to-head with a buddy of mine, Matt McCloud. He was always a little fitter than me (still is… more than just “a little” by now), but we’d face off each year to see who would come out on top. We fed off each other’s energy and became great friends in the process.

A couple additions for the Member of the Month Workout.

  • What’s your birthday? 3/22/1984 (this month!)
  • What’s your lucky number? 99
  • Do you like endurance style WODs or strength style WODs?
  • AMRAPs or For Time? For Time

Member of the Month WOD

“Warfel” – to be completed on Tuesday, March 19th

35 Burpees
1 Mile Run


3 Rounds of:
22 DB Thrusters at 35#/25#
84 Double Unders


1 Mile Run
99ft Handstand Walk

*40min Time Cap

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