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April Athlete of the Month

Congratulations to Dana Niles for being named the Athlete of the Month for April. Dana consistently works hard, you can often see her working on skills after class, she has a great attitude, and simply makes our gym a better place. Thank you for being a part of our gym!

Please tell us about yourself.

I grew up an hour southwest of Chicago in a rural town called Minooka. I moved to Glenwood Springs to attend college at CMC Spring Valley to study Veterinary Technology. Once I saw the beautiful view of Mt. Sopris and Sunlight from my dorm room I was hooked!! I met Dan at college and we have been married for almost 16 years. Now, I work at Valley View at the Family Birthplace as a surgical tech. I am a mom of two boys, two dogs, 3 fish and 18 4H quail on the way.

When did you become a member at Defiance West?

February 2017

What made you join Defiance West and why do you do it now?

In the beginning, I had just lost my uncle to melanoma cancer. He owned a gym in Phoenix and was always very strong physically and mentally. I wanted to remember him. I told myself I am going to do this because Pat can’t. I had some friends that told me I should join Crossfit. I was really intimidated at first. But I thought I would give it a try. Then I set a goal for myself. To be fit by 40. I met my goal and I was hooked.

What were your thoughts after your first workout?

Honestly, I thought I was going to die. But, I loved it at the same time. It reminded me of the way I felt playing sports and being athletic in high school and college. I remember doing a lot of burpees during a workout and it felt like I was dying. But, then Hedi asked me how many more do you have to do? Let’s just say I had a lot. Then without hesitation she started doing them with me. I thought that was so amazing. Here is a lady who had already completed her workout and now she is doing mine with me. I came home and told Dan how amazing she was and that the atmosphere was so positive that I knew this is where I wanted to be. Thanks Hedi!

What is your athletic background?

I played softball and volleyball in high school. I joined athletic weightlifting in high school. Then I continued to play softball at our local community college. After I graduated college I played softball on the competitive rec team in Carbondale and Glenwood.

What is your favorite movement or workout?

Kipping pull ups. It was my goal after last years Crossfit Open so I worked on them after our workouts at the gym and I just got them not to long ago. Woohoo!!

What is your least favorite?

Double Unders!!! Not only are they frustrating but, they are painful too. It’s my goal to get them before next years open.

What has been your favorite or proudest moment since joining?

Almost every workout I think there is no way I can do this. But, somehow I get thru it and sometimes I surprise myself by what I can do. So really it’s a bunch of small wins. Last summer I ran a relay race called the Wild West Relay. It’s a 200 mile relay. I was terrified. I was completely out of my comfort zone. But, I trained all summer and did it.

How has Defiance West changed your life, lifestyle, and level of fitness?

I can honestly say I am stronger physically and mentally.

What are your fitness goals for this year?

I am going to get those darn Double Unders.

What is something most people don’t know about you?

I love watching high school basketball. Go Titans!!!!!

What advice would you give to people looking to get started at our gym?

Just do it!! Look at fear as a challenge. What is the worst that can happen? The weight gets to heavy and you put it down. You modify something until you get it. Who cares? Just get started it’s worth it. Plus you get to work out with your friends for 1 hour a day. It’s a win win.

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