When Dan Cayce enters the box it’s usually very quietly and with a pair of long socks in hand. We first met Dan back while hosting the OgarStrong event in support of his cousin, Kevin Ogar. From the first workout we watched him do, we knew there was something a little different about him. Once he got into Elements, the what became a little more clear – it’s his mobility. Dan is an incredibly gifted guy, his incredible range of motion and mobility is something EVERYONE is jealous of! How about those hands together, narrow stance, overhead squats?! Dan is quick to volunteer around the box and is incredibly generous, always donating to whatever the cause is. He’s been bitten by the competition bug – having competed on several occasions – and is thoroughly dedicated to improving. He’s constantly one of the last to leave the box, making sure to put in as much quality time on technique and strength as he can squeeze in. For these reasons, as well as many others, we are proud to call Dan Cayce the CrossFitter of the Month.
How long have you been attending CrossFit Fringe, and what brought you here?
I started my On Ramp classes in February 2014 so almost a year and a half now.
I think many of you know that my cousin Kevin Ogar in addition to being a CrossFit Coach in Denver was a perennial Southwest Regional competitor placing as high as 6th at the Southwest Regional in 2012. In January 2014 while competing at the OC Throwdown he suffered a traumatic spinal cord injury and is paralyzed from the waist down. The way the CrossFit community came out in force not only with raising money but with just the support they showed my cousin made a huge impression on me. How could I not want to be part of a community that supported its members like that? Fringe of course had their own fundraiser and I just want to take this moment to say thank you to every member that took part in that fundraiser and supported my cousin. You guys helped make a big difference in my cousin’s life and the life of his family at a very difficult time.
Since that time the way my cousin has persevered serves as an inspirations to all of us and shows us that there isn’t anything in life that has to keep you down. CrossFit was his passion and because of the way he responded it still is his passion. His example tells us that if you are passionate about something don’t let life take it away from you.
By the way I participated in that same fundraiser at Fringe, extremely scaling all of the movements, and afterward I realized I was in the worst shape of my life. So that also provided a little incentive to take the leap into CrossFit.
Since starting at CrossFit Fringe, what has changed about your lifestyle or outlook on life?
I think the obvious answer is that I’m more active and exercise on a regular basis. Before CrossFit I would go in spurts, exercise regularly for a month or two and then go 3 or 4 months not exercising regularly. I’ve also tried to adhere to something resembling a paleo diet. I don’t cut out grains and dairy altogether and I’m still a fan of a good craft beer but I’m more conscious about what I put in my body.
The “outlook” part is a bit more difficult to answer… I’ve never been a pessimistic person but the positivity that comes from the CrossFit community and the inspirational stories that I see has reinforced my belief that people really are good and are capable of extraordinary things.
What is your favorite movement/skill?
The Burpee! No seriously, I actually like doing burpees. Angelo, can you program more WODs that include burpees? To Fringe members that hate burpees, if you can get Mitch Stout to stop looking at cat pictures and cat videos for a second he can give you some good pointers on how to do burpees more efficiently. I also like Toes to Bar.
What has been the most challenging part of your journey with CrossFit?
I tend to be a competitive person so when I’m not good at something it bothers me. In CrossFit there are many things that I’m not good or just plain can’t do. I’ve learned that it’s more important to compete against yourself rather than the person next to you. Of course I also enjoy it when I beat the person next to me.
What do you enjoy most about CrossFit/CrossFit Fringe?
I like the class format with an experienced coach that CrossFit Fringe and many other CrossFit affiliates offer. I was a swimmer from age 6 through high school so I was used to a coach always telling me what I needed to do next. CrossFit offers the same type of atmosphere and it’s just easier to exercise when you have someone knowledgeable telling you what to do and how to do it. I think CrossFit Fringe in particular has excellent coaches and a great group of people that are serious about their fitness but also want to have some fun at the same time.
What do you like to do outside the gym?
Family is very important to me and most of them are in the St. Louis area so I spend quite a few weekends traveling back and forth. I have friends and co-workers that make fun of me for going to St. Louis so often but I’ve found that it’s worth it to spend 3 hrs in the car round trip for a weekend spending time with them especially now that I have a 9 month old nephew and another nephew that isn’t yet 9 days old.
Other than that I like to travel and have been to some interesting places including Ghana and New Zealand. I like spending time outdoors hiking, biking, swimming, floating, tailgating… I’m a huge St. Louis Sports and Mizzou Sports fan and sometimes it seems keeping up with my teams and attending games takes up a good portion of my free time. I also enjoy grabbing a drink with friends and through a recent experience I found that I really like playing competitive sand volleyball. I’m pretty terrible but if anyone is ever interested in forming a team let me know!