Athlete Spotlight: Dennis Scales

Name: Dennis Scales            sami and me
Age: 43
Occupation: Information Technology Manager
Which class time do you usually attend? 5 pm
Favorite WOD: Grace
Favorite Lift: Snatch
Deadlift Max: 455 lbs
Back squat Max: 330 lbs 3RM
Favorite Food: Steak, Medium Rare
Favorite Movie: Patton
Favorite Athlete: Muhammed Ali
Dream Job: Astronaut
Dream Vacation Destination: Lake Como, Italy
How long have you been CrossFitting?
“1.5 years”

What keeps you coming back/motivated?
“Learning new things all the time and making progress in different areas. Its addicting.”

How did you find CrossFit?
“10 years ago, I started doing martial arts and was looking for something to help me get in shape. I heard about Crossfit via the Internet and visited a box, but I couldn’t afford to do Crossfit and martial arts, so I chose martial arts. A few years ago I had to quit martial arts due to a blood clotting condition. After doing nothing for a couple of years, except gain weight, I decided to turn things around. I lost 20 lbs eating right and decided it was time to look at working out. I looked up Crossfit boxes in the area and found No Excuses. I read the website and saw the emphasis on powerlifting and olympic lifting and was convinced that its what I wanted to do.”

What is your athletic background (If applicable)?
“I wrestled and played baseball in high school. I played intramural basketball and softball in college. I was in the Air Force for 9 years and played setter and backrow specialist for base volleyball teams. I did Wing Chun Kung Fu, Jiu-Jitsu, and Thai Boxing for 5 years.”

How has CrossFit changed your life, lifestyle, level of fitness?
“There’s no doubt that the process works. I originally joined just to lose weight. My approach to fitness completely changed after just a few months. I now look at things from a training athlete’s perspective. I set goals. I revolve priorities around training. I record and measure performance. All in all, its led to a healthy lifestyle, that I’ve never been able to consistently achieve in the past.”

What is the one thing you have done here that you never thought you could do? (muscle up, double unders, heavy deadlift, run a mile, etc.)
“Double Unders. I could barely jump rope when I arrived. Jumping rope was just never something I did. I got my first double unders at the Crossfit Open.”

Who or what motivates/inspires you?
“Lots of things in my life inspire me to always get better. My side of my family has struggled with health issues since I can remember. Both my Father and Brother passed away relatively young. I’m determined to beat the trend. Seeing people give 100% in the gym is another big motivator; from essentials to performance. Its hard to beat the sense of accomplishment and the pride you feel when others you encourage reach their goals.”

What is your proudest CrossFit achievement?
“6 for 6 at the American Masters Weightlifting Open. I was just excited to be there with some true weightlifting legends in the audience. It was an unbelievable time (Thanks, Chris Crowder and Jeff Kingery) and I’m grateful to have found weightlifting through CrossFit.”

Name one goal/personal achievement you would like to achieve through CrossFit?
“I’m working toward qualifying for a championship masters weightlifting meet, either the Nationals or Pan Americans.”

Hobbies/Interests outside of CrossFit?
“I love the visual arts; photography, amateur filmmaking. I also like electronic music production.”

Any advice for new members?
“Just show up. Keep your workout stuff in your car and go to class. You always leave happy, even if you’re wiped out. I asked (former Coach) Ben Davis once if I should work on some things at home. His response was just come train. Its worked for me.”

Any additional thoughts/comments:
“I’d also like to say that since joining, my time with the family has been tremendously impacted for the better. The discipline of coming to class has made it possible to be home at a decent hour, where before I would work long hours. My daughter is also part of CrossFit kids, so we developed new bonds that I hope influence her toward health habits. I’m grateful.”

Coach Laura’s Take:
“It has been great to see Dennis improve the way he has from when he first started. Dennis is such a hard worker. He is very coachable. Dennis may seem like a reserved kind of guy, but when someone is going for a PR or trying to finish a WOD, he is the first one by their side yelling and encouraging them to stand the weight up or finish the workout. He is extremely encouraging and I think people love feeding off his energy in the gym. Dennis is consistent in the gym and dedicates time to working on his weaknesses. That is why he has seen such great strides!”