This Wednesday, meet Joe, a self-proclaimed old guy (even though he’s definitely NOT), who works hard at the gym in order to be the fastest, strongest, best possible version of himself so he can take care of his family well. 

Joe got roped into joining Bellum about two years ago after his wife joined, and now calls it one of the best decisions of his life. Joe’s got serious explosive power, and loves power cleans and death-defyingly high box jumps!

Joe’s story is very relatable. A former college athlete, he made his way through his adult life maintaining a fairly stable level of fitness and physique, but was nowhere near the capacity he knew that he was capable of, but it didn’t take long for him to dust away the cobwebs and get moving like he used to.

Though he often shows up for workouts that may not be his favorite, the fact is – HE SHOWS UP. Sometimes that’s all it takes to start something that might be intimidating or challenging; the willpower enough to get yourself to a place where you will be surrounded by people to help you along the way.

Like so many others who are one year, two years, or more into their fitness journeys, Joe regrets that he didn’t start sooner. There’s a feeling of empowerment and accomplishment that comes from doing really hard things, day in and day out, and making it a part of your routine.

This discipline of consistently showing up, even when you don’t always want to, will repay dividends for years to come, and manifests itself in every aspect of your life. Playing with your kids, sightseeing on vacation, carrying in groceries, helping a friend with house projects – ALL of these things are made easier by the capacities that we train every day at Bellum.

In addition to his full-time job, Joe works part-time as a referee, officiating Football games for area youth and high-school players in the region. Though he’s kept this job for years, he’s recently expressed how much easier running up and down the field is, thanks to his consistent attendance at Bellum.

At Bellum, we practice constantly varied, simple yet effective workouts that test cardiovascular endurance, strength, explosive power, and more. Joe never holds back in his workouts, and shows careful attention to the technique that will help him go far.

It may seem like Joe has a tough-guy exterior, his heart is really with his family. He and his wife Nina have two awesome boys, Joey and Nino, and Joe names caring for them as his reason for wanting to get and stay in great shape.

Out of the gym, he loves traveling, anything to do with sports. Anytime you need a recommendation for destination idea or vacation option (post-COVID travel restrictions, of course), he’s your guy – especially when it comes to food!

Joe, we love having you as a part of the Bellum family. In all seriousness – we’re proud of the way you push yourself to go faster, lift heavier, and endure a few more minutes, even when you don’t always want to (ha!). Your discipline is paying off. Keep up the great work!

Name:  Joey D

Age :  Old.  I’ll be 40 in January.

Occupation:  Financial Systems Analyst.  Football Official.  Dad.

What type of workouts did you perform before coming to Bellum?:  Does men’s softball count?  Jump rope.  Wearing out the carpet on the living room stairs.  Trying to keep up with my son Nino, who doesn’t seem to ever run out of energy.  And I officiate high school and youth football.

Why were you looking for a new style of workouts?:  I wasn’t, my wife made me join (ha).  I’m kidding.  I needed to incorporate weightlifting back into my life.  Being an “athlete” most of my life I could see how weak I’d gotten.  I really didn’t want to have to take more than one trip carrying the groceries in from the car. 

Seriously though, what I was doing was pretty much just maintenance.  I needed to see progress or I would’ve started making excuses and just let myself go.

What is your favorite CrossFit movement or workout?:  I feel like “favorite” is a little aggressive (ha) .  I like power cleans because I had done them before, so I feel comfortable with the movement.  Box jumps because I can still jump pretty high for an old man.  Starting to enjoy deadlifts too. 

Might be easier to tell you my least favorite movements – wall balls suck and I hate thrusters.  So I fully expect Ann to incorporate just those two movements into a workout.  I’ll be “sick” that day.

What is your biggest accomplishment since starting at Bellum? (in and/or out of the gym)  I can walk up the stairs without getting out of breath.  Nah.  I might lay on the mat like a corpse during and after workouts, but I can definitely feel and see myself getting into better shape.  I think the biggest accomplishment, however, is the mental aspect.  You see a workout that you don’t really want to do and it sucks while you’re doing it.  But you just keep going because you have to finish. 

Admittedly when I first started I may or may not have been doing all the reps.  Even though I couldn’t breathe and I could feel my heartbeat in my eyeballs, I realized it wasn’t fatigue, because you can push through fatigue.  It was mental weakness for me.  Making excuses.  Jiminy Cricket in my mind saying, “Why are you trying to kill me again today?”  He’s still there but now I’m able to tell him to shut his face and let me die like a man. 

Coincidentally his voice sounds a lot like Coach Kelly.

What is your favorite out-of-the-gym activity?:  Not sure if you can tell by looking at me but I’m what most people would consider a “jock”.  I love sports.  All types.  I love to play and watch them.  I’m basically a 12 year old in a 39 year old man’s body. 

I also really love to travel.  I was lucky enough to be selected as a foreign exchange student when I was 14.  My first time on a plane and they sent me to China – that was “fun”.  It stoked a wanderlust in me that I didn’t even know existed.  I love to plan vacations and I’m always thinking about our next destination. 

Also I kind of like hanging out with my wife.  Kind of.  Oh boy.  And learning new things and sharing my knowledge with my kids.  And anyone else who wants to listen to my nonsense.

How has your time at Bellum made your life easier?:  So I had some preconceived notions about CrossFit before I started.  You know – “those people are weird”.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  I regret that I didn’t give it a chance 10 years ago.  The people at this gym are truly amazing.  The camaraderie and family atmosphere make you want to come back every week and get your ass kicked.  Because when you drive home, exhausted, you know it was worth it.  Getting and staying in shape makes all aspects of your life easier.

What’s your next big goal (in or out of the gym)?:  Being able to complete a workout without taking 47 timeouts would be special.  I just want to improve my cardio, my technique (Hi Coach Erin), and just keep seeing progress.  I haven’t seen my abs in about 15 years, maybe they’ll make an appearance.  Out of the gym – I’d like to win at fantasy football – that counts, right?  And learn how to golf.  Baby steps.

What’s your “Why”?:  Simple.  I have to live long enough to make sure my boys are taken care of.

Leave a Comment