Dawn and Derrick


We have the privilege of hearing a bit of Derrick and Dawn’s story on their continuing journey with us here at CrossFit Dubuque.  Thanks so much to the both of you for opening up for us all to read–you’re both truly an inspiration to all of us here!  Here’s a bit about what they had to say:


How did you two crazy kids meet and when are you getting hitched?!

Derrick: We were in a crowded room and our eyes met. It was love at first site. NOT! We met on an online dating site. October 24, 2015 my freedom ends.

Dawn:  We met through an online dating site and we are getting married October 24, 2015

When did you start at CFD and what made you decide to join?

Derrick: Honestly I don’t know. It was this last summer. I wanted to join because I was at the point where I needed to do something. I have done nothing but gain weight since high school, and it was one of those things. Someday I will get in better shape. I felt I was at a fork in my life. I was 380 lbs. and was struggling to tie my shoes every day. I really felt I couldn’t do it by myself. I had tried before and failed. After many conversions with Mike Newland and Sheena Minnihan, I went home and talked to Dawn about joining.

Dawn: We started Foundations in May of 2014. Derrick had been talking with me about it. He heard about Crossfit Dubuque through friends at work. I was scared. My insecurity about my body and knowing how out of shape I was and my lack of self-confidence was holding me back. He promised he would be there with me and it would be OK.  We met with Phil. Our first meeting Phil walked us through some basic movements and I fell on my butt. I remember feeling embarrassed and Phil said it is OK. We have modifications for all of the movements that we do. You are going to get better.

What have you learned/experienced/gained from joining?

Derrick: For me the working out part is the easy part. It’s an hour and we go three days a week. However, the change in my diet was by far the hard part. When we first joined, Mike told us to get rid of pop and bread and eat an omelet every day for breakfast. Pop was easy, but bread not so much. I probably had bread for every meal. It was rough at first, but very quickly I realized how much different I felt after meals. The bloated feeling was gone. I don’t feel like taking a nap after every meal.

Dawn: I have learned so much! Not just about lifting, Crossfit movements and mobility, but also about how to better fuel my body and how unhealthy foods impact how I feel. I have had the privilege to meet and get to know some amazing athletes at the Box. It is so inspiring to watch everyone crush the WODs. It makes me want to improve myself. I have learned a lot about myself. I really thought that I couldn’t make it this far and am so excited to continue. I have gained self-confidence and am excited every time I try on new clothes that are smaller than the last time I went shopping.

Whats your favorite/least favorite movement or WOD?

Derrick: I enjoy lifting. I have watched numerous videos about techniques and have attended a few lifting classes as well. On the other hand, lunges are not my friend. Those would be followed very closely with running. I still have way too much beef to move around.

Dawn: My favorite movement right now is front squats. I am still not the best at them, but continue to work to get better.  I also like rowing. My least favorite is anything overhead. I don’t feel strong enough to work overhead yet. I have to agree with Derrick on lunges. I don’t fall down anymore, LOL, but they are still tough for me.

What is one thing you’re doing at CFD now that you never thought you would be able to do when you first started?

Derrick: I have hard time forgetting the things I used to do. I played football and baseball and once upon a time was a decent athlete. I tend to be hard on myself because of this. To be honest, I am extremely happy with the work I have put in but, I will always think I should be doing better.

Dawn: Hanging from a bar. I still have a lot of work to do, but when I started I couldn’t hang on a bar for a second.

What advice do you have for people just starting out at CFD?

Derrick: Nothing about this is easy. However, if you truly want results give Crossfit a try. At first you will be sore as hell, but the recovery time does get better most of the time. Most importantly, avoid Mike’s classes. I am sure I will pay for that comment!

Dawn: Don’t avoid classes that you think you will suck at. The things you struggle with the most are the things you have to face. Don’t give up! Listen to the coaches. They are outstanding!