Name: Gary Dehart
Age: Turning 60 during the 2021 Open
Occuptaion: Account Manager
When did you first start CrossFit? About 5 years ago.
Tell us about your sports & fitness background.
In high school, I played football, wrestled, and played golf. During my college years, I began weight lifting and played rugby at Oklahoma State; also, I discovered road cycling. Since then, I’ve continued to lift and play golf with the occasional hiking or mountaineering adventure.
How did you first get into CrossFit? How did it go?
I discovered CF surfing the net around 10 years ago. I began going to the main CF page every morning and soaking up all I could – I was amazed. However, I had been training solo for almost 20 years and coming into a gym surrounded with a lot of people was way out of my comfort zone. I finally decided to make some changes in my life and I came in and joined the ‘Mod Squad’ (the beginners group). To say it was humbling is an understatement – it was soul crushing; but I loved it.
What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health, and fitness since starting CrossFit?
When I walked into the gym for the first time I was a ‘happy meal’ away from 300 lbs. Additionally, the ‘walking into the gym’ was the limit of my cardio capacity. During my time at Eclipse my weight has gone down 80 lbs., my chest measurement has gone from 52” to 44”, and my waste has dropped from 42” to 34”. Oh, and CF made my beard gray.
What impact has CrossFit had on your life?
Crossfit replaced my denial and hubris with a true path to pursue ever greater challenges. I often suffered from a failure of imagination; or to be more accurate, a belief in my abilities. The expansion of my fitness gained at Eclipse allowed me to tackle a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail in 2019. Something I may have never considered previously. That adventure has proven to be life altering. The CF training was certainly key to that effort; but maybe more importantly was the mindset that CF has helped me develop. The mindset of pushing past comfort and into the place where we learn and grow.
What is your advice for people getting started or thinking about starting CrossFit?
I would encourage folks to understand that CF is for everyone. You are going to be shocked by the community you’re about to become a part of – it is AMAZING! Nutrition, Hydration, and Mobility are way more important than you think. Be patient, listen to you body, and don’t compare yourself to anyone else – compare yourself with who you were yesterday. Progress is the goal. When your friends tell you they don’t care and they’re sick of hearing about your WOD, you’re no longer a beginner.
What are your hobbies, interests, and other talents outside of CrossFit?
I love spending time with family and friends. My favorite sporting event is The Masters golf tournament and I enjoy football at any level – I am an Oklahoma State Cowboy for life. I’m a private pilot; but don’t have the opportunity to fly much these days. I enjoy photography, music, traveling and pursuing a simple minimalist lifestyle. Lately, my interests have tended toward epic adventures – like the AT. Currently, I’m considering and studying possible next adventures like: the Pacific Crest Trail, the Camino de Santiago Trail (Spain), or the Te Araroa (New Zealand).
What’s the wallpaper of your phone?
Ok, I do have a phone; but maybe Nate can help me with the wallpaper.