Athlete Spotlight: Danielle Sidell

Danielle works every day to be the best.

Hi, I’m CrossFitter Danielle Sidell. I love to workout and win. My goal in life is to motivate people to do great things and I won’t stop until that dream comes true! I will never settle for second best, I strive to be the best. It’s going to take time, but one day I will be at the top!

I was born in Norwalk, Ohio Aug. 31, 1988. In high school, I participated in three sports: volleyball, basketball, and track. I went to college on a track and field scholarship at the University of Akron and I have a master’s degree in exercise physiology.

Before CrossFit, I competed nationally in bodybuilding shows. My first CrossFit workout was last year’s 12.1 workout – seven minutes of burpees. Initially, I thought CF was all about doing a million burpees, haha. After my first workout, I transitioned from doing bodybuilding workouts to CF workouts. I was hooked after my first week! People told me that I was going to be great at the sport, but I didn’t believe them. I didn’t believe them until the CF team I was on crushed the regional workouts and we sealed our number one spot going to the Games.

Danielle Sidell
Danielle was a competitive bodybuilder before dedicating herself to CrossFit.

I competed in my first individual competition in October at the Mid-Atlantic Hopper in Baltimore. I won the competition and beat two top Games competitors, Gretchen Kittleberge and Christy Phillips.

Another important moment in my life was when I joined the Ohio Army National Guard in Sept 2012 and I have been gone since Nov.19th. I couldn’t find a job in my field and fell in love with all the benefits of joining. I went 12 weeks at basic without touching a weight. All my workouts were done at 0500 and they were the Army’s physical training (PT). Army PT consists of pushups, sit ups, and running. Every free minute I got, I was always doing something – squats, pushups, anything I could.

I believe that CF has been a huge aid to my time in the army because PT is a huge priority, and being able stand out with a high PT score really helps me get noticed by all the big shots. Plus, having the strength that I have gained through CF really helps when we do field exercises while wearing 40lbs of extra gear. I can easily move and stay strong throughout the entire training.

While here, I’ve dedicated all my personal time to doing workouts with sandbags up in our barracks. I didn’t get to touch a weight until I got to my AIT (advanced individual training) station at Fort Lee. Luckily, there’s a company weight room I get to use every morning at 0430. The first workout I did consisted of deadlifts, I somehow was able to pull 395, lbs (10 lbs away from my max!). I was shocked that my muscles still allowed me to move that weight around! I am slowly seeing gains, but it’s hard when I run on 4-5 hours of sleep every night. I only get to eat three times a day, and the food isn’t all that great. I also do all my workouts at 0430 every morning and my muscles are never awake.

Challenge accepted.

But all I think about is someone out there is always working harder than I am; that is my motivation. And I work harder everyday to get to where I want to be.