#127: Handstands, Extra Work & Saying Yes to Challenge – Power Monkey Fitness Co-Owner Dave Durante (CrossFit Games 2023)

Wednesday November 01, 2023

No one can care about achieving your goal more than you; and no one can do the work for you to get there. You have to own that. It doesn’t matter what industry or what dream you wake up with every morning, you better be the first one in and the last to leave if you want to earn victory. 

Power Monkey Fitness Co-Owner and Former USA Gymnastics Team Member Dave Durante believes the key the podium starts with work ethic and saying yes to challenge. Dave joined Fran Racioppi and Jessie Graff from the US Army Fitness Truck at 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games for a conversation on his rise through the gymnastics world, battling to make the US Olympic Team and transitioning from elite athlete to coach and business owner. Dave’s philosophy on progress is grounded in progressions; the ability to push forward but take it back to the basics to reinforce our foundations then get back after it. 

Dave takes us behind the scenes of US Gymnastics, sharing his personal journey of wins, losses and becoming the ultimate teammate on his bid to compete in the 2008 Olympics. Dave also shares the impact of Power Monkey Fitness, where he touches on the struggles of athletes figuring out the next step in their career and how CrossFit opened an opportunity for him to bring gymnastics to everyone. From elite athlete to elite entrepreneur, Dave’s perspective on what it takes to win inside and outside of the gym will transform your Monday mindset!  

Learn more and read the transcript on The Jedburgh Podcast Website. Subscribe to us and follow @jedburghpodcast on all social media. Watch the full video version on YouTube

Listen to the podcast here


Handstands, Extra Work & Saying Yes to Challenge – Power Monkey Fitness CEO Dave Durante (CrossFit Games 2023)

Dave, welcome to The Jedburgh Podcast.ower Money Fitness CEO Dave Durante joins Fran Racioppi and Jessie Graff on The Jedburgh Podcast from CrossFit Games 2023.

Thank you guys for having me. It’s good to be here.

We’re sitting at the back side of the Army truck right now, escaping the heat and the sun. We’re Day 5 into this thing. We’ve experienced every variation of how the sun hits this whole set that we’ve created. We are very lucky.

I’m not going to complain. All this is great.

We’ve had a couple of fried days, including a pretty vicious workout on the turf. We’re in full recovery mode right now. Thanks for joining us. We’ve been looking forward to this conversation for a while. We first met you at Wodapalooza. Every time I turned around and Jessie was gone, I’d say, “Where is Jessie?” They’d say, “She went to the Power Monkey bars.”

It’s not because of us. It’s because we had our ring thing up. It’s like a little playground with a little separation and being able to get upside down on the rings.

The ring thing is awesome. I love it. I like it too. It’s a cool device.

It makes everybody feel like a superhero. You’re already a superhero, but you play around with things you’ve never done before.

Proper rigging gives you superpowers.

That’s exactly right.

You and I were talking about how we are going to present Power Monkey and how we are going to talk about your career. We talk about leadership all the time on the show. We want to tell these inspirational stories of people who have done these great things for you in athletics and then moving on to build a business that’s making an impact, not only on those who want to enter into gymnastics.

Also, the work that you’re doing with transitioning athletes and bringing them in to value them as coaches and create that community because so many times when we make that transition, we lose so much of ourselves. I want to start at the beginning and go back. You were a competitive gymnast. You spent time on the national team. Talk about getting into gymnastics and what drove you to do that.

I started when I was six. I grew up in New Jersey. I don’t live there anymore but will forever be a Jersey boy. I did a ton of sports growing up. My dad was very into soccer. My brother played soccer, but baseball and basketball. I wrestled for a long time. Gymnastics was one of the sports that I played growing up.

I started at around six. I was very fortunate that down the block from my house was one of the best boy’s programs in the whole country. Surgent’s Elite Gymnastics happened to be three blocks from my house. It was within walking distance. I remember the day. It was October 12th, 1986 was the first day I walked into a gymnastics gym. I’m weird with dates like that. It changed my life. I remember the smell of the chalk in the air and being able to be like, “This is where I want to be. I love seeing these kids jump around, flip, do handstands, and do all the stuff.” It made me feel like superheroes to be able to do things that 99% of the other kids I was going to come in contact with weren’t able to do.

I love the other sports. I played. I love being in team sports and things like that, but gymnastics will not stick. I continued to play all those other sports until I got to my sophomore year of high school. In my freshman year, I played soccer, which is a little bit later than most other kids in terms of dedicating to one sport. I like being able to be with other kids and I feel like I had this separation. Midway through high school, gymnastics was where my focus was. From then on, it took hold. I was fortunate enough to get a scholarship at Stanford University. I moved out to California from Jersey.

I want to dig into that because so often, we talk about team building. We talk about leadership, being effective on a team, and what you look for in your teammates. I want to talk with both of you about individual sports. What it takes to compete at a high level when it’s you, you’re the one who’s in the limelight? You’re not there on the field with 8, 10, or 11 other people.

It’s very similar to what these guys are competing here at the CrossFit Games. You’re out there by yourself, but I will tell you that for as much as gymnastics is an individual sport, what I love about gymnastics is the team aspect. It’s the thing that I was driven to, and what wanted me to compete at a higher level was a team aspect. I wanted to compete for a collegiate team. I wanted to be able to make my contribution matter to more than just myself. I wanted to compete for Team USA. What does it mean to represent these other guys on your team and to represent your country?

Power Money Fitness CEO Dave Durante joins Fran Racioppi and Jessie Graff on The Jedburgh Podcast from CrossFit Games 2023.

For me, as much as gymnastics is considered to be an individual sport, you watched Simone Biles. You watch these incredible athletes on TV. I guarantee you that almost all of them will tell you that their team experiences matter more than what they do from an individual perspective. All the medals that they win on the individual side will pale in comparison to the medals that they win on the team side of things.

For me, everything I’ve ever done was for the greater collective. What can I do to contribute to this greater cause? What’s important about that to me is if you win a medal on your own, you share that with yourself. Maybe you have a support team, your coaches, and your family out of there supporting you, but when you win something as part of a team, that’s a shared experience. That’s something you have for the rest of your lives together.

[bctt tweet=”If you win a medal on your own, you share that with yourself, but when you win something as part of a team, that’s a shared experience. That’s something you have for the rest of your lives together.” username=”talentwargroup”]

If I saw one of my ’08 team members from Beijing here together, it’s like family. They are brothers to me. We went through something together that no one will ever be able to take away from us. If you’re doing that by yourself, you don’t have that shared experience, and to me, it’s something missed on only an individual sport.

Talk about the inner team competition and pushing each other because as much as you’re a team, and you want to see each other perform and you’re going to push each other to perform, you’re also competing against each other on the scoreboard.

On our podcast, I always ask these individual athletes, too. The ones that are in situations like a proven or Mayhem athlete or any Shelbyville where every day, you’re with an athlete that you’re competing against out on the competition floor. Does that enhance or increase the level of daily competition to the point of it making mentally fatiguing? Is it too much? We have that at the training center. I lived at the Olympic Training Center for four and a half years and every day, I saw the guys I was going to have to compete against to make an Olympic team.

It drove us to be better. I knew what my competition was looking like on a daily basis. It gave me the ability as an individual to say, “I have to outwork these guys because I was not a talented gymnast. I was basically fairly average compared to the guys I was competing against.” I had to make up ground. For me, seeing them on a daily basis lets me know what they are doing and how I can chip away at this.

What are the extra hours I need to put in? I was the first guy there and the last guy to leave. My work ethic was something I leaned into. For me, being able to see where they were at on a daily basis helped me to understand where I was placed daily to be able to compete. It’s fatiguing for sure, but for me is a strength.

Power Money Fitness CEO Dave Durante joins Fran Racioppi and Jessie Graff on The Jedburgh Podcast from CrossFit Games 2023.

How do you stay focused on the extra work? It’s because this is something that is so critical when you talk about achieving elite performance. We can go out there and we can go to the prescribed practice. I work with collegiate athletes a lot, and I consistently tell them, “Your coach has literally a defined set of hours by NCAA regulation that they can spend with you.” It’s the same in the NFL and professional sports, but if you think that you’re going to be on that podium and you’re going to wear that medal, if you start and end on your coach’s time, you are absolutely wrong.

It’s voluntary hours. I called Coach Stanford for a couple of years after I was done competing. It’s something I would deal with the guys. You have to be here for a certain number of hours, and depending on what your goals are, there are additional hours that might be necessary to be able to achieve those things. One, I think it has to do with your level of commitment to what the goals are. What are your goals for yourself? Do you want to achieve excellence in terms of what you think your body is capable of performing?

My goal was always to achieve my human potential and to reach my human potential. I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to do that if I was sitting the standard. Whatever the minimum standard is was not going to allow me to reach my maximum human potential. I learned this from one of my idols in the sport, John Roethlisberger. He is a three-time Olympian. He is one of the American greats in the sport. He owns the facility where we have our Power Monkey campout in Tennessee. He is still very tied to the sport. He was all about that.

He was another guy that was not super talented but he maximized human potential by the way that he worked and I wanted to be able to do that. That meant extra hours, making sacrifices, and not doing holidays. I didn’t see my family for a number of years when it came to holidays. I lived by myself. I will say that while the sacrifices are critical and very important, they also let me break down. Before the ’04 games in Athens, I missed out on the Olympic Games. I was in the party of the Olympic squad that they picked from. They did go out to Athens to be with the team but I took it so far that I had a breakdown.

Power Money Fitness CEO Dave Durante joins Fran Racioppi and Jessie Graff on The Jedburgh Podcast from CrossFit Games 2023.

Was it physically, mentally, or emotionally?

It was more mentally. Looking back, I did it all wrong. Physically, I went as far as I possibly could. I was in the gym. I was sleeping in the pits at the gym. I thought that if I went overboard, it showed my coaches and my teammates that I wanted it more than they did, but I had nothing left physically and emotionally. I told myself over the next four years that I wasn’t going to do that. I wasn’t going to allow myself to go through that mental hell so that I could create more of a structure around overall well-being.

I moved to the Olympic Training Center and I created a way for me to be able to separate from the training. That’s what I think a lot of athletes need to be able to do. You need to be able to do things outside of your sport to make sure that when you’re in the gym, you’re maximizing that time. Now, some of it was that I was getting older. I ended up being the old man on the team with injuries. I was 28 or 29 when I retired and that’s fairly old for male gymnasts. They called me the grandpa of the team back then.

For me to be able to physically stay capable I needed to create a separation and find a hobby outside of the gym. Mine was art. I was into wine. I wasn’t drinking a lot while I was training, but it gave me the ability to separate from the gym a little bit so my mind was not constantly occupied with performance. When I was in the gym, I was fresh. I was able to make sure that every turn counted and that was a learning process.

I always look back and be like, “If I had known about that when I was twenty, how much more would I have been able to get out of my training?” For me, having something to separate from and being able to make those sacrifices at the same time is what I think athletes need to be able to do to maximize that human potential.

I was missing that piece when I was in college as well.

Are you always training?

Yeah. I had a formula for how many times I had to multiply the reps that I was given by my coach to make it sufficient. I had very similar burnout, but I don’t think I put the pieces together as well as you did.

How old were you when you retired?ower Money Fitness CEO Dave Durante joins Fran Racioppi and Jessie Graff on The Jedburgh Podcast from CrossFit Games 2023.

From gymnastics?

No. From pole vaulting.

At 22.

Right after college, were you done?


I didn’t find it until I was done. I didn’t make the national team until I was post-college. In the last competition I was going to compete and I was going to retire, I made my first national team, and then I ended up staying around for another six-plus years. I told myself, “If I don’t make the national team at this Winter Cup 2003, I’m going to be done.” I had the best win in my life and I made the national team. It skyrocketed from there, but after college, it was a little bit of a nomad. I’m sure we’re going to get into it but what do you do when you’re no longer an athlete kind of a thing?

It’s like every round of golf that I play. I get on the 18th hole and I’m like, “I’ll be back here next week. This is awesome.” It was a year later that I got back on the course doing the same thing. Talk about the experience on the Olympic team because it is an honor to be on the team. You’re at the best level and the international exposure. You get to go to these awesome places. You’re with the best of the best but you also talked about the burnout on the emotional side of that. You can think about Simone Biles. You brought up her name.

She came back. Her first competition back was at Core Classic in Chicago. It was her first time since Tokyo.

Talk about the experience. What takes you from a collegiate athlete to then take that next step and say, “Yes, I’m ready to go.”

My Olympic experience was fairly unique. In that, I was part of the team but I didn’t compete. I was a national champion the year before the Olympics in 2007. There was a lot of pressure that came along with that being the top guy.

What was your specialty?

I was a good all-arounder. I was an all-around national champ. I was more of an upper body guy. I’ve had three blown-up knees in MCL and meniscus over the years. Lower body events were not my strength like floorball, pommel horse, rings, parallel bars, and high bars. I am a little bit stronger in those areas but I was pretty good across the board. Somewhere, I contribute to the team in a variety of areas. In the Olympic process, I’ll try to go through this relatively quickly but give some context in terms of how the process plays out.

We have a couple of qualifying competitions that lead to how they do an Olympic selection. No longer is it that you compete and where you place, you make the team. There’s a selection group that picks the team. There are 1 or 2 automatically qualifying spots if you hit all these targets if you finish in the top two. In the all-around, if you finish in the top three on three events, you have to do these at these qualifying competitions.

In ’08, the two Hamm brothers are pretty famous within our sport. They were three-time Olympians themselves. Paul Hamm was an Olympic gold medalist in ’04. It was the first time that’s ever happened in our sport. These are legends in our sport. Both of them had made a comeback and were named to the Olympic team. At our Olympic trials, two other athletes were named as the reserve athletes, the alternates, but we knew that Paul had broken his hand at our national championship.

Power Money Fitness CEO Dave Durante joins Fran Racioppi and Jessie Graff on The Jedburgh Podcast from CrossFit Games 2023.

They put him on the team in hopes that he would get better because he was so good. He was so far above everyone else that if he were healed, he would be able to contribute. Unfortunately, he didn’t heal up in time. We had another Olympic procedure where we had to show readiness at the Olympic Training Center and show routines. I hit all my routines. I did very well at those. I made some mistakes at the Olympic trials that cost me an automatic spot. I fell on the pommel horse, where I was going to contribute quite a bit.

I thought I would be one of the ones selected. They selected Raj Bhavsar, one of the three of us. We went through another selection that normally doesn’t happen. When we got to Beijing, we were in China. The day before opening ceremonies, Morgan Hamm, the other Hamm brother, pulled out as well for another injury. This does not happen. You rarely do have one alternate go, let alone two. The night before the Olympic games, they had me and the other alternate, Sasha Artemev, show readiness for two events because they were ones where we needed the most help, floor and pommel horse. Both of us were not great on the floor. I hit my floor routine. I contributed as much as I could in that space.

This is your coaches bringing you in saying, “Show me what you got.”

The night before the opening ceremonies, we had to do another two routines at the Beijing Olympic Training Center where the Chinese trained. We had to go in with the judges and uniforms on. We had to show readiness. We perform and hit to be able to show that we’re ready to compete. I came down to the pommel horse and I hit a great routine. I’m pretty good on pommel horse. I was probably top three in the country at that point if I had a routine.

Sasha is one of the best in the world on pommel horse but he’s sporadic. He doesn’t hit as much. Both me and I were known for hitting good routines. He has a world medal on the pommel horse and he hit as well. They pick Sasha to go in. It was this roller coaster. It’s like, “I’m going to be in or I’m going to be out.” It was incredibly mentally draining. I remember being in the Olympic Village the night before the opening ceremonies and being told that we would not go in and that Sasha would be picked. I was having another breakdown. I was bawling.

I had a decision at that moment. Standing here in the Village being told I wasn’t going to go in the day before the beautiful opening ceremony of Beijing and deciding, “I’ve seen how other people have reacted to being an alternate in the situation in the past and it’s taking away from the team’s objective and making it about them. I never wanted to do that.” At that moment, I said, “I’m going to do everything I can to make this team succeed. I’m going to carry water bottles. I’m going to carry the team bag. I’m going to make sure that the team is ready to go. I will be here for the team to succeed.”

That was my decision to be able to say, “It’s not about me. It’s about the team.” I wiped my tears. I called my brother. I said, “This is what’s happening.” My whole family is out in Beijing with me and I said, “The team is going to succeed.” Some context as well. Nobody thought we were going to do well. Everybody thought we were going to have a terrible performance in the Olympics. Nobody thought we would finish in the top twelve.

We had a lot of confidence in ourselves. We were all new to the Olympics. Every one of us had never been on the Olympic team before. Raj had been an alternative in ’04, but that’s it. We didn’t have any turnover. Paul and Morgan were our only former Olympians. It was a completely new squad. We went out and those six guys that performed out on the floor with me up in the stands, cheering my ass off. We have one of the most impressive performances I’ve ever seen from any Olympic team in history.ower Money Fitness CEO Dave Durante joins Fran Racioppi and Jessie Graff on The Jedburgh Podcast from CrossFit Games 2023.

In fact, I would encourage the readers to go back and watch that performance in team finals and what those six guys did. The last routine on the last event was pommel horse and Sasha hit one of the best routines you’ll ever see from a male athlete in the Olympic Games. He secured a bronze medal for our team. That bronze was like a gold medal for Team USA.

I still get chills thinking about the moment. The very cool part of that story is Sasha was a kid at the time. He was 20 or 21. He was a superstar athlete and so capable, but a little bit of a kid mentally. He forgot his uniform for the Olympics. He had to use my uniform that day. My uniform was being performed by Sasha out on that. I feel very much like I was out on the floor with them that day. I told him when he got down. I was like, “I want to fucking uniform back. You better get that thing back to me.” I have it hanging in my house right now.

With what the team did out there, I feel so much still a part of that team. I got invited out to San Jose for the reunion of that Olympic team. Unfortunately, I can’t go. We have another event, but that team is still very close to my heart. While the experience for me personally turned out differently than I had imagined, being part of that team and watching that team on that podium with the bronze medal was a gold medal performance in my mind still.

What a great attitude.

The only thing that matters to me is how I present things in terms of how we do things with Power Monkey now.

It’s such an important life skill because you worked so hard. It didn’t go the way you expected and you made the best of it. It became an incredible experience.

It’s hard, but it made me the person I am now. That experience made me who I am now and how I deal with every piece of adversity because I know how to handle the situation. I’m very proud of how I handled it, and my experience was different. I’m not an Olympian. I’m an Olympic team member in terms of how you can use that name, but I still am very proud of how things turned out.

I want to ask you about doing hard things. We had a chance to sit with Chris Hinshaw. We had a great conversation about aerobic capacity and lactic acid threshold. I went real deep on rowing because I was a collegiate rower at the Division I level. I truly believe that I would not have been a Green Beret if I had not ridden in college. The fact that you are forced to push yourself as an individual further and much sooner than you ever think you can.

Every day, when you leave training and you say, “I can’t do more,” you go back the next day and somebody says, “If you want to win, you got to do more.” Gymnastics is very much like this. When I compare it, I’m talking about the burn. I’m thinking of you on something like the rings where that burn or lactic acid buildup is becoming the forefront in your mind.

Our job as elite athletes is to find the point in time in which we can push that failure point further and further, but also, it’s the mental side of understanding, “I have so much more to go before I’m truly in there.” Talk for a second about that burn. Training yourself to increase that time span between, “This is starting to hurt. Now my arm is literally stuck.”

I don’t know how much you can teach that push beyond that failure point. I think some of it is innate. Within this space and the CrossFit world, we see it all the time. It’s part of the nature of the sport. The people who gravitate towards wanting to be a CrossFit athlete are the type of athletes that do that. They’re used to pain. They enjoy the discomfort that comes along with doing a Murph or whatever the prescribed workout is.

That one is horrible.

I love the Murph. I did 30 days of Murph in 2022. It’s one of my favorites. I love doing hard things like that but I don’t know if you take someone that despises that and turn it into someone that loves it. However, I do think you need it to be able to succeed at high levels.

You need to be able to succeed in life.

For some people, it’s not always a physical push to the brink. Sometimes, it’s a mental push to the brink. Right now, I still enjoy doing that. I’ll talk to my team every week and be like, “I did something stupid. I did 1,000 burpees for a time. I did 1,000-plus of the handstand.” They were like, “Why?” I’m like, “I don’t know. I enjoy seeing whether or not my body is physically and my mind can push past what I think is physically possible.”

[bctt tweet=”It’s not always a physical push to the brink, sometimes it’s a mental push.” username=”talentwargroup”]

I still enjoy doing them from a physical standpoint, but I noticed it happening a lot on the business side, too. Running a small business right now, I come up to those barriers all the time of, “I don’t think we can keep going.” I don’t think we have the ability to go past this point. It’s like, “We figure it out.” With a small budget, we figure it out the same way you figure out how to go over another burpee or run another mile.

You’re describing my days.

We were talking about it on our call. Sometimes, it’s like, “I don’t think I have it in me to wake up another day and do this,” and then you say, “I absolutely am. I’m built to do this. If I’m not, who is?” For me, it comes from having done it as an athlete and translating that into other aspects of my life. It’s like being a dad now, having two kids, waking up, and getting punched in the face by my three-year-old all night every night.

Dr. Allison Brager, who is an incredible neuroscientist on the sleep side, says, “7.6 hours of sleep is optimal or 8-plus hours optimal.” I get four good hours and my daughter is kicking me in the face. Can I still wake up every day, run a business, and get a workout in with what I have available to me? It’s very easy to say no, but at the same time, I’m someone who says yes to those challenges. I wake up and say, “I can still achieve even though things are not optimal.”

Power Money Fitness CEO Dave Durante joins Fran Racioppi and Jessie Graff on The Jedburgh Podcast from CrossFit Games 2023.

I enjoy the hard aspects of running things and physically running a team. For me, the challenge that comes along with it is something I crave. I don’t know if it’s something you can teach. I hope that it is because I don’t want to be something that’s innate, but I know the physical side is sometimes hard to see people overcome unless you do a small incremental step and say, “Can you get out of this chair ten times? Let’s see if you can do that. You thought that maybe it’s impossible but you did it. Maybe tomorrow, we’ll take on eleven and see if we can slowly build up on these things.”

Do you remember when Flip told us how he teaches his kids? One of our ninja friends, Flip, trains lots of ninja kids, so he’ll have them test their dead hang. He will be like, “You’re going to hang on this bar as long as you can. I don’t care if you scream. I don’t care if you cry. You’re not coming off of this bar.” He has these six-year-old kids with tears streaming down their faces, but they won’t give up. They’re crying until their fingers peel off, and these kids get up to 30 minutes because they are so used to pushing themselves in that way. It was cool to see how he’s teaching the kids to have that mentality.

I love hearing that. I think we’re in a world right now where it’s a little bit harder to push kids to the point of, “Am I pushing him too much? Is it not a safe environment anymore?” However, for me growing up, I was pushed like that. I was put in an environment that was challenging and made me appreciate the shittyness that comes along with having to struggle. I love that mentality. Sometimes, tears are too much. Sometimes, tears are okay. It’s part of the process. There’s this kind of balance, but I love the idea of being able to push people to the brink and say, “You’re probably going to be able to go a little bit further than you think.”

One of my favorite parts of gymnastics is how it forces us to face our fears. Do you have any strong mental blocks that you had to overcome and lessons you gained from them?

It’s the nature of the sport. There’s a lot of fear. It’s scary. You’re sometimes 15 feet in the air flipping and twisting, having to reach an apparatus, or throwing yourself through the air, double-twisting, double flipping, and landing perfectly in one place. The perfect example is what happened to Simone Biles in 2021 in Tokyo. She had what’s known as the twisties in the gymnastics world. When you lose air sense, you lose the ability to know where you are within a space.

Why does that happen?

I don’t know. It just does, and sometimes, it happens with enough time to figure it out. Sometimes, in cases like Simone, it happens right before you’re about to get up or raise your hand in the Olympic Games. It’s tough to figure out. Sometimes, it takes a turn to figure it out. Sometimes, it takes weeks or months, or you never figure it out. Every gymnast goes through it in some form or fashion and some more severe than others.

Leading up to Beijing, it happened to me on a movement on the high bar. It was smooth. It’s not a super challenging movement. We once called it the catch over reverse hack where you release over the bar, you straddle over the bar, and then you catch it again. What I was doing was I would come over, miss, and do a front flip out of it. I had this little tick that was forcing me to do a front flip. You would never do that.

In fact, it would potentially force you to land on your head most of the time. I couldn’t stop myself from flipping out of it, and it was having this added hiccup to the already complicated and stressful training environment to have to go through this. Long story short, the best way to deal with these mental challenges is to take a step back. Always go back to a part of the process in terms of learning that particular movement where you’re comfortable with that skill.ower Money Fitness CEO Dave Durante joins Fran Racioppi and Jessie Graff on The Jedburgh Podcast from CrossFit Games 2023.

That’s why progressions are so important. As a coach and someone who understands how to teach, progressions are part of the building process, not only so you can have a stepping stone forward but also so you can step a stone backwards. If something does get in the way and you have this little mental twitch that happens, you have the ability to go back, “I can go back to this step of the process, feel comfortable, and then go back up that step again,” and be able to say, “I can go from step A to step B and build back up from there.

If you have good progressions and a good coach who can help navigate those mental barriers, that’s the way to do it. Go back to something that feels comfortable and build back up from there. Progression is a critical step in getting over these mental challenges. I don’t know if you felt the same way in terms of maybe dealing with some mental step barriers that came up.

For me, it was a layout full. It was full on the floor and I wanted to twist so early right off the ground.

Was it going back a step? Was that helpful for you like, “Let’s work on layouts?”

It took a few cycles because I started lying to myself. I went back and I do layouts. The layout would be fine. I do a half and the half would be fine. I decided to do a full and go too early. I’d be like, “What if I’m just going to do a half,” but in the back of my head, I was like, “I’m going to do a full.” I’d say, “I’m going to do a half. I meant I was going to do a half but I think I was tricking myself and then I would do a full too early.” Every time I try to do a layout, I do it an early full. I don’t remember how we eventually resolved it.

That’s a very common mental gymnastics that happens with these skills. It happens quite often in the sports. It’s not something that’s easier to overcome. Again, the context. Watching Simone and people saying, “You’re the best in the world. Just go and do it.” The things that she’s doing then and still now are from another planet. She’s leaped generations of what current gymnasts are doing so much that to ask her to figure it out is a pump. You have no idea what you’re talking about. It’s something you can figure out an alternative. Some appreciation for the complexity that goes along with what she’s doing in relation to how long it takes to figure these things out.

It’s like if you were to jump up in the air and spin as much as you could. If you jump and do a half-turn, it’s easy. You jump into a full turn, you know where you are. You jump and do a double turn. Can you keep track of where you are the whole time? How about a triple-turn? Now, imagine you’re flipping and doing a triple turn or doing a double flip with a triple turn. There are so many different planes of movement and the whole world is moving. How do you keep track of it?

It’s because you got to land on your feet.

Don’t die, land on your feet, and then stick the landing.

Let’s talk about transition because the fun is going to come to an end at some point, and you are going to take on a new challenge. You talked about the mindset that you have of going in. First of all, Dave had to text me because I was in complete disarray. He’s like, “I’m on the call. Are we still doing this?” I’m like, “Oh my god.” This was about five minutes past the time we were supposed to speak but three minutes prior to the time we were supposed to talk. I said, “I have to talk to David in three minutes.” In those three minutes, I completely lost everything.

I get on the call and I’m like, “I’m sorry. This is one of those weeks where I’m literally questioning everything that I’m doing. It’s the life of the entrepreneur. The show sucks. We have no support. Everybody hates us.” By noon, I’m like, “We have the best show ever. Everybody supports us. We’re doing all these things.” By dinner, I’m like, “Shut it down. It’s over.” You’ve gone off and built Power Monkey.

It’s such a good name.

Thank you. It was an existing name. It was an existing mom-and-pop shop that makes rigs down in Florida. We brought our ring thing to them as a piece of apparatus that we thought would be great for the CrossFit community many years ago. They brought us on as partners and then we brought them out and turned it into what it is now, which is education and events.

Let’s talk about because you have these three pillars. You have events, the camp, and retreats, and the functions that you do. Talk about the vision behind the company, what you saw, where you saw the opportunity in the market, and say, “I got the experience. How are we going to do it?”

This transition is important. As a quick little segue on the transition, it’s very challenging. You talked about it for the military side and how it’s very similar to being a collegiate or an elite athlete and transitioning when your identity is attached to this particular thing of being an athlete. Who am I without being an athlete? I was fortunate to have an education along with it. I was considering going to medical or PT school. My area of concentration is in human biology and psychology.

Power Money Fitness CEO Dave Durante joins Fran Racioppi and Jessie Graff on The Jedburgh Podcast from CrossFit Games 2023.

I didn’t go on to those things. To open up a business, I have no business background. I didn’t have the necessary tools to be able to be an entrepreneur. For me, while I felt like I was in a little bit of a better situation, a lot of athletes homeschooled. They didn’t go to college education, and then they are done with their Olympic journey. Maybe they won a medal.

Maybe they didn’t. Maybe they’re a gold medalist in a sport that may be a niche sport. It doesn’t have a ton of support. Even a gold medal doesn’t guarantee very much in terms of the next steps. It’s the reality of the situation. Very few of us are Michael Phelps, where you can build a brand around it and where you have sponsorships that will put some money in your pocket.

Also, post-competition.

The life span is short.

It’s one of the biggest reasons why I love speaking with former Olympic athletes almost more than any other professional athletes because you share this background that identifies with the military and what I’ve gone through. I’m seven years out and I still wake up every day and say, “What am I going to be when I grow up? What’s that Network going to look like? How am I going to get through this?”

We’re sitting in front of the Army truck. Have I ever truly gone around and looked at guys going, “I’m going to tune this guy up.” You’ll be like, “You can’t. You’re not even in the Army anymore, let alone in the security command.” Do you ever really separate from that? What they have in common is unlike professional athletes, baseball players or football players, people say money doesn’t change things but money does change things.

When you’ve made millions of dollars, assuming you haven’t squandered it during your playing days, you have runway sure and comfort to figure it out. When you leave the military, it’s in the rearview mirror and you’re breaking it down. It’s not that large like Olympic athletes. You have all of the challenges of the mental and emotional struggle of identification without the financial support of, “If it takes me three years to figure it out, I still got millions of dollars in the bank.”

Power Money Fitness CEO Dave Durante joins Fran Racioppi and Jessie Graff on The Jedburgh Podcast from CrossFit Games 2023.

We don’t have that in gymnastics or even the best of them. Maybe you’re Simone or the few that are generational athletes. I was not one of those. If you want to stay involved with the sport because you can go on and do other things, there are three paths. You can open up a gym and become a coach. You can go to the stunt world, which a lot of our gymnast friends go on to do, or you can go to the circus. That’s a very real path for a lot of former gymnasts.

My college teammate is in his twentieth year in Vegas. It was a great show. I’ve seen it many times over the years to watch him perform, but those are the paths if you want to stay involved in your sport. I feel very fortunate in the sense that right when I was finishing my competitive career, CrossFit was emerging. CrossFit has created a fourth niche. An area for us to stay involved in our sport to be able to teach that doesn’t require us to teach kids. Teaching kids is fantastic

The next generation, I want to help out absolutely, but this is a whole new demographic of athletes that are in love with our sport that didn’t grow up doing it. For me, I looked at the CrossFit space as an opportunity. I didn’t look at it the way that maybe a lot of gymnasts and gymnastics coaches and even weightlifters and weightlifting coaches did early on saying, “They’re bastardizing our sport. What the hell was that snatch? What are they doing on the rings? That is disgusting. Why would they ever do that movement?”

I looked at it as an opportunity to be able to say, “We can help you get better. This is amazing that there are rings hanging from gyms all over the country, and now all over the world. This is incredible that people want to do handstands. How can we get people to understand how to do them better, more technically sound, and for longevity?” For us, it was an opportunity to be able to say, “There’s a whole new space for us to be able to give our expertise to the world.”ower Money Fitness CEO Dave Durante joins Fran Racioppi and Jessie Graff on The Jedburgh Podcast from CrossFit Games 2023.

It opened up an avenue that was not there prior to being able to for us to continue with our passion and to teach in this new space. For us, it came out at the right time. I fell in love with CrossFit. In 2008, I started doing this in my own gym when I was coaching at Stanford. The CrossFit headquarters was right down the block in Santa Cruz. I started doing some videos for them and getting more involved and getting involved in CrossFit gymnastics, teaching seminars, and writing the level 2 course for CrossFit gymnastics.

For me, it was a natural fit at the right time. It was a little bit of capitalizing on this niche happening with me trying to figure out what my next step was. I look at it as an advantageous time with me being able to say, “I want to continue my sport but I don’t want to take those other three existing paths.” CrossFit was the right niche for me.

Especially with teaching adults, there’s a different level of gratitude where kids expect to be learning things all the time and to see an adult gain a new skill, a new ability, and a superpower.

It’s totally different. I agree with you 100% because they want to be there. A lot of times, kids are forced to be there. Maybe their parents want them to do a sport. I coach the national team. I help with the Olympic team. I help with Stanford. I help some of the best athletes in the world, but a lot of times, maybe their passion is not there. They’re doing it for different reasons.

However, if you find someone who, later in life, doesn’t have to be doing something but decides, “Five days a week, I’m going to go into a gym and work on handstands,” that’s a special group of people. That’s someone who has your attention. For me, working with adults has been an incredible demographic. It’s a type of person and athlete that didn’t exist prior to CrossFit and has given me this newfound or continuing love for teaching. In fact, I hated the idea of coaching. I never thought of myself as a coach. When I was competing, I was like, “It’s about me.”

In fact, you have to be very selfish when you’re an athlete. You have to be all about you if you want to be able to succeed. Everyone’s surrounding you as an athlete to be able to achieve that thing, and I never thought I had it in me to be like my coach. I moved to Italy for a year and I was planning to step away from the sport. I got injured. I went skiing for the first time in Austria. On my first run, I fell and I blew my knee out in the first 50 feet of skiing. I said, “I’m never doing this again,” and I had to have knee surgery for the third time in Italy.

While I was recovering, while I was going through rehab, I started coaching at a local gym in Rome. I was coaching kids and there were some adults there. I started to enjoy it and find this love for coaching people who were doing it because they enjoyed flipping and doing handstands. I couldn’t believe how much joy they were having. It made me find this love for coaching that I never thought I had.

CrossFit extended and exploded it. Now, I love waking up every day and being appreciative of the fact that I get to do something that I enjoy so much. Mondays are my favorite day. How many people get to wake up every day and say, “Monday is the day that I look forward to the most because it’s the day that I get to start my week coaching and start working with people.”

Power Money Fitness CEO Dave Durante joins Fran Racioppi and Jessie Graff on The Jedburgh Podcast from CrossFit Games 2023.

Don’t get me wrong. There are shitty days and days that I don’t want to be doing things. It’s part of the deal but I despise the idea of retiring or looking forward to the day when you don’t have to do the thing that you do the majority of your day. For me, it’s such a missed opportunity of what life should be about. CrossFit has afforded me the opportunity to find a passion beyond being a competitive gymnast.

[bctt tweet=”It’s such a missed opportunity of what life should be about when you look forward to the day you don’t have to do the thing that you do.” username=”talentwargroup”]

Do you know what they say about retirement? Retirement is an employee mindset. It’s not an entrepreneurial mindset or an elite mindset.

The challenge is getting the employees to buy into what the entrepreneur, model, and business is trying to achieve. I struggle with this, too, because I love my team. They love what our business model is about. It’s creating community and teaching but you need equity and feel like it’s a part of you. Being able to get employees to buy in beyond just checking in, checking out, and getting a paycheck every month is a real struggle. It’s something that I am trying hard to be able to. I feel like my team does but it’s something I asked other entrepreneurs, too. How do you get your team to buy in as much as you do? How do you get them to care?

It’s very challenging. When I talk about the struggles that I have in building the podcast, my security business, and my leadership coaching business, somehow, I decided it was a good idea to try to start three businesses all at once and quit my other job. You got to make that commitment sometimes. You have to say, “I have an opportunity cost that I’m losing right now. Is there going to be short-term or what’s turning out to be medium-term discomfort financially and emotionally.” Often, it takes a toll physically because I too am getting kicked all night by little children.

However, you have to make that commitment sometimes and say, “I wear this bracelet on my wrist that says, “Whatever it takes,” because every day, I’m going to get up and I’m going to put this on. I’m going to say, “I don’t know what’s going to happen now, but whatever it takes.” Something is going to happen if I continue to put the work in all day long and do this, and good things are going to come.

At the end of the day, I know that when I go to bed, nobody cares about it more than I do. I have to own that. There has to be empowerment and comfort in myself knowing that the person right now who’s going to do the work to get me there has to be me. There’s no one else now that I can rely on. Will I get there? Yes. Will I find those people? Yes. Will they care as much as I do? Hopefully. Will I need 100 people? That would be amazing but that’s unrealistic.

Power Money Fitness CEO Dave Durante joins Fran Racioppi and Jessie Graff on The Jedburgh Podcast from CrossFit Games 2023.

Can I find 1, 2, or 3 in each of these things who will look at it and say, “Yes, I take ownership of this as much as you do and I’m going to put that same level of work in?” That’s where it’s all going to turn the corner. In the military and the Special Forces, we talked about relentless pursuit. We won the global war on terrorism. We won because we have a relentless pursuit to track down and destroy our enemies. When we build a business, we have to have the relentless pursuit of precision execution knowing that we’re going to fail and make mistakes but getting up day in and day out and saying, “That shit sucked. Let’s do it again.”

I completely agree with you. We’re a small business but one of the things I’m proud of is that we’re still here. Our first time presenting at CrossFit Games was in 2013. I had a booth at a lot of the games over the years. A lot of businesses that have been here over the years are big businesses but not around anymore. For us to still be around, I’m proud of that. We’ve taken small incremental steps. We haven’t made any gigantic leaps and bounds. We’ve changed a lot of people’s lives. We’ve created a strong community and we’ve done it on an incremental basis. The fact that we’re still here and we’re still growing as slow as it is, that’s something I’m proud of.

Can you tell me a little more about how the Power Monkey Camp works?

You’re mentioning a little bit about our events. That’s one of our pillars. The camp is what most people know is for. We do two years, one in the fall and one in the spring. Our anniversary is coming up. We’re sold out. We’re very excited but the camp itself is a full week-long adult fitness camp.

The facility is a kid’s gymnastics camp in the summer. It’s called FlipFest. It’s one of the best gymnastics camps there is. If you have a kid out there doing gymnastics, I would highly recommend checking out FlipFest. It’s owned by two Olympic gymnast buddies of mine, John Macready and John Roethlisberger. I’ve been going out to this facility for years. It’s beautiful. It’s a 150-acre camp with a 32-acre lake.ower Money Fitness CEO Dave Durante joins Fran Racioppi and Jessie Graff on The Jedburgh Podcast from CrossFit Games 2023.

We expanded the gym space. We have 50,000 square feet of gym space now. We have seventeen cabins. Rosie Jo is one of the providers of meals to all of the athletes out here. It’s our chef for the week. We have amazing food. Some of the best coaches and trainers in the entire world in specialty areas come out. We have about 40 coaches in all different specialties. Chris Hinshaw is our endurance coach.

We live, train, eat, and learn from each other for an entire week. When we first did our camp, I thought that if we put together great information a week, it would be incredible. We could bring in these great minds and teach people in an environment that was like no other. It’s like a kid’s camp. If you ever went to gymnastics camp when you were a kid, it’s something that maybe reminded you of what it was like to be a kid. We have s’mores at night, hanging out, going by the lake, and all those fun things.

What I didn’t expect was the experience that came about organically because of the people that were there. What gave me this idea that maybe we had something special on our hands was that on the last day of our first camp, we had the bus come and pick people up to take them back to the airport. On that first camp, we had 30 people, 30 participants, and 30 coaches. The ratios are pretty amazing. People left not wanting to tell anyone about it because they’re like, “We want this for ourselves. We have one-on-one coaching all week.”

They don’t want to tell anyone, but everyone is getting on the bus and crying after a week of being together. I couldn’t believe that these participants and coaches were crying about what a week could do for the bonds that could be created in that type of environment. I saw people get on the bus crying and I said, “This is bigger and more impactful than I could have ever written down on paper.”

While the information is amazing, and I think it’s something that is better than most weekend courses out there because of how in-depth you can get over the course of a week, everything that you get from an informational standpoint is tenfold on the emotional impact and the human connection. Wi-Fi is not great out there. The cell phone service is not great out there. We recommend you put your phones away and be with people for an entire week.

You don’t get that too often these days. The camp is something that has exceeded all of our expectations in terms of the human impact. It’s something special. It’s one of my babies. It’s my third baby. I have two little girls and camp. Me and my wife are very proud of it. She’s a part of Camp. She helps run it. She’s been there from the beginning.

My partner, Shane Geraghty, was a stuntman in New York, Hollywood. He went the stunt route after his gymnastics career. We’re so proud of what Camp has become. We’re so proud of the fact that we get to celebrate it for many years, but we hope that we have many more ahead of us because it is something that I think the community needs. The community has grown because of it.

It’s so magical.ower Money Fitness CEO Dave Durante joins Fran Racioppi and Jessie Graff on The Jedburgh Podcast from CrossFit Games 2023.

It is.

I am so sold.

It’s an awesome week. I know this comes off as a sales pitch, but it’s my favorite two weeks out of the year. I love going. It’s like a big family reunion.

It’s the experience. We can go out there and develop training courses. We can put them online or send them out. People will do them. They’ll make improvements and do great but when you immerse somebody into that environment, you take away their external communication. You force people to talk to each other.

Jessie, we interviewed Michael Chernow at Sandlot. He said, “What happens when you go into a crowded room and you don’t know anybody? What is the first thing you do?” You pull out your cell phone and you pretend to look cool. He said, “What if you put that phone down? Put it in your pocket. Don’t do it and go talk to ten people. Can you challenge yourself to talk to ten people and what’s the connection that you’re going to find?”

It’s challenging to do though. It’s hard, especially for people who are a little shy or introverted. It’s not the easiest thing to do. It’s important. What we do is we force it a little bit at Camp. We put everyone in groups and on the first day you arrive, we go through introductions. We tell people what the week is going to look like. We get you into your group that you’re going to stay with throughout our sessions and we do little games.

We do a couple of hours of games to get to know each other to build that connection right off the bat. We have to learn that. In the first few camps, we didn’t do it and it took until Wednesday for people to feel comfortable, and we started to learn. It sucks that we miss out half of the week for people to open up. These games have accelerated that process. We’re like, “You got to get hands-on with this person. You have to hold hands with them. You got to work on these stupid little games that force people to get to know each other’s names. Where are you from? Why are you here? What are you trying to get out of this?” It’s allowed us to accelerate that process a little bit.

What I do in my leadership seminars is we bring them in, and we go through a quick, fifteen-minute welcome. We do a quick intro, and then we talk about the mission. We talk about our values and tie into why the mission is important in an organization because that’s how you get everybody aligned to that mission. We then do a workout. That workout is about an hour depending on the fitness level of the group. We scale it and there are three components.

We start as individuals. We spend about fifteen minutes doing squats, push-ups, sit-ups, and all individual stuff. It’s cadre-led. It’s up and down. We say, “Break up into teams of 3 to 4.” Now, we introduce a log or some sandbags, but some of them are de-ring together or a loaded bar. We’ll put three people on the bar and say, “Do a squat.” All of a sudden, you have people who can’t do a squat.

It’s like, “You guys don’t know each other but you now have to make a transition. You just did 80 squats five minutes ago. How can you not do a squat right now?” It’s because you’re not communicating. You’re not working together because you don’t know each other. We do about twenty minutes of these events that all team base, small groups.

After that, we do a relay where we break them into two groups and they get to compete, but it’s a relay. It’s 3 or 4 events. Push the sled, do the kettle, and do some pull-ups. Come back, but now they got a cheer each other. They got to work together. What we find is at the end of that hour, this group that an hour ago didn’t talk to anybody came in and sat down. I am always asking, “Who’s forced to be here? Who volunteered to be here?”

ower Money Fitness CEO Dave Durante joins Fran Racioppi and Jessie Graff on The Jedburgh Podcast from CrossFit Games 2023.

Now the phones are away and they spend that next little break that we have laughing, joking, and getting to know each other. It opens up the entire leadership seminar for the rest of the day as an environment where they’re ready to work together because then, in the afternoon, when we kick him out in the field to do some Special Forces team-building events, they’re working together.

It doesn’t take very long. You have to have the right stimulus to be able to get people to find that bond. The one thing I will say about Camp, too, is that people will think that it’s for elite athletes. I’m intimidated by promo materials or seeing some of the game’s athletes there. We have people or teenagers all the way to mid-80s come out and hang out with us. They’re all put together. You’ll get a games athlete in your group with somebody in their 80s who has never got into a handstand before and is scared to pick up a barbell.

Your fitness level does not matter. We gear it towards the most beginner-level athlete and build up the foundation from there. I want people to understand. Don’t be intimidated by thinking that it’s out of your league from a fitness perspective. Everyone is 100% welcome, and I guarantee you we will find a way to make it appropriate for wherever you’re at. It makes it more accessible to everybody.

Have you seen Jessie’s mom?

I have to see her. She is freaking phenomenal. She’s an impressive athlete.

She could use some help on her handstand.

I’m sure you could help her yourself but if you want to bring her to Camp. That’s my session at Camp. We have ten breakout sessions that people go through for two hours. There are three gymnastics, three weight lifting, a running station, a kettlebell station, a rowing station, and a jump rope station. I teach the handstands. Being upside down is what I very much enjoy during my days, but the technical side of gymnastics is my passion. It’s breaking movement down, analyzing people’s movement patterns and being able to give appropriate progressions and ways that people can go back home and be able to work on these things. I’m happy to help her with her handstands.

What’s next? I know you’re developing the app and that’s the next focus. Where’s the company going over the next years?

The other side is events education. We did have equipment. Our ring thing, which you brought up in the beginning. It’s the only piece of equipment that we have right now. It’s more of a marketing tour. It’s a great piece of equipment, but the events will continue to grow. We’re still doing the camp twice a year. We do our courses. We teach 1 and 2-day weight lifting, gymnastics courses, and kettlebells all around the world.

We normally do about 20 to 25 of those around the world each year, and then we have retreats. It’s higher-end fit vacationtype things. We just came back from Crete, Greece. We did two out there. It’s spectacular locations. We had smaller groups of 10 to 12 people, me, Hinshaw, and Mike Cerbus, one of our weight lifting coaches, endurance, gymnastics, and weightlifting all together. We bring out some doctors and a masseuse.

It’s spectacular. The location was amazing. The food is great. We go on boat trips. We go hiking. It’s a very luxurious type of fitness vacation. We offer those as well. On the education side, we’re expanding more. We’ve unveiled our app, Power Monkey Training. It’s a way to work with us in a more advanced way. We have a lot of skill development programs in there like learning to handstand for the first time, learn to pull up, learn a pullover, and learn a press the handstand.

We built out from there. We have a GPP, Gymnastics Program, that is 3 to 6 days a week that we call Monkey Method that incorporates all areas of being a better gymnast for the fitness type of approach. Handstands, bar work, ring work, mobility, core work, and all the things that go along with being a good all-around gymnast within the functional fitness space.

We have volume plans. If you’re a competitive athlete who wants to take one muscle up to 5, 10, to 20 unbroken, how do you do that? We have volume plans for skill-specific training, which is something that we’ve been talking a lot about with somebody like Chris Hinshaw, who spins his world around capacity training, but with very little discussion about how you build capacity for skills. There’s never been a reason why we get that question all the time as a gymnast from a CrossFitter. It’s like, “What’s your 30 muscle-up for time?” I have no idea. Why would I ever do 30 muscle-up time for CrossFit?

There is no reason, but we built out ways to be able to approach it rather than a sledgehammer approach of saying, “I did ten last week. I’m going to try to do eleven this week.” It’s a much more scalpel approach to volume building within skill-specific capacity. We have a fourth one that we call 365 Plans. It’s little bite-sized plans that are meant to be done every day. The consistency around these things is so critical. The first one is Core 365. It’s a 5 to 10-minute core workout every day and that comes up free on the app.

You sign up and create an account. You get a free workout and access to our video database. For us, that way of extending our tools, starting with gymnastics in the app, building to weightlifting, and then building plans with our other Power Monkey coaches at Camp is going to be where we’re going to be going in the future. There will be a kettlebell, endurance, rowing, and jump rope plan.

For all the experts that you see out here, there are all of our coaches in the Power Monkey world like Chris Hinshaw and Dave Newman, who owns Rx Jump Ropes., It’s the best jump rope on the market. Jeff Martone has been an SME for CrossFit Kettlebell for years. He and his staff are our kettlebell coaches. We have an Olympic gold medalist rower. He is our rowing coach.

We have a very elite staff when it comes to coaching. Again, all former elite athletes transition into being elite coaches. We feel like we have a very unique staff in terms of how we present our coaching materials. Our app is something we’re very proud of. You can find an iOS and Android. You can come to hang out with us virtually if you can’t hang out with us in person.

I need to get it. I like the five-minute core.

It’s every day. It’s a touch of the importance of building a strong core. When we say core, it’s not just your beach muscles. It’s not only your abs or maybe your hip flexors. It’s rotation, lateral work, oblique work, and posterior chain. It’s everything that comes along with a strong core. Gymnastics and strong cord leads to all of our movement. Without that, you’re missing out on the fundamental piece on being able to create good shapes. For us to do something 5 to 10 minutes every day, you can supplement to whatever your want is for that day.

Dave, as we close out, the Jedburghs in World War II had to do three things every day to be successful. They had to be able to shoot, they had to be able to move, and they had to be able to communicate. Those were their habits or their core foundational tasks. If you execute your core foundational tasks with precision, as you said, that’s your core that you don’t have to think about in the moment of execution. You can focus on more complex challenges like the pommel horse, the vault, or something.

Power Money Fitness CEO Dave Durante joins Fran Racioppi and Jessie Graff on The Jedburgh Podcast from CrossFit Games 2023.

We had Buzz on our podcast, and Cody Anderson, former games athlete and gymnast, did circles and a pommel horse movement on some plates. I asked Buzz when are we going to see that in the games. “It’s possible in the future.” To all readers out there, start training your pommel horse moves because we might see the games in the near future, according to Buzz. You never know.

What are the three things that you do every day in your world to set the conditions for success?

One is spending time with my kids because that’s my separation from the business side. Being a dad is something that no matter what the business is, on an up or on a down, being a good dad always resets me. I want to be there for my kids. I want to be able to give them the ability to present someone they’re proud of and know they can come to if they have struggles. For me, spending time with my kids is hugely important on a daily basis. I feel like being able to work from home allows me to do that. I travel a lot, but when I’m at home, spending time with my kids is hugely important, and with my wife.

Number two is working out. I have to get something in each day to be able to feel like I’m mentally capable of getting after the day. My wife will tell me sometimes, “You need to go work out. You need to go do something because you’re annoying all of us right now. Go reset. You need to be able to be here present with us. Go do your handstands for half an hour or whatever you’re doing. Come back and then be present.”

Lastly, it’s to check in with my team. I check in with my team to make sure that they’re on point. They know what’s going on. It doesn’t take very long. I don’t think of daily hour-long meetings. Hours-long meetings are important. A small check-in to make sure everyone is on task and to make sure everyone knows what the objectives are for the week. I think checking with them, being present with my kids, and working out are three things on a daily basis that I try to achieve.

I 100% agree with you. We don’t have to have long meetings.ower Money Fitness CEO Dave Durante joins Fran Racioppi and Jessie Graff on The Jedburgh Podcast from CrossFit Games 2023.

No, they’re not helpful. They go off into no man’s land most of the time.

What are you doing for the rest of the weekend here?

We’re coming to close another great game. I’m going to spectate. I love watching these athletes conquer the world and do the amazing things that they do. I am doing more activations with great sponsors that we have on board with our Power Monkey Camp, like the Victory Grips, the Rx Smart Gear, FITAIDs, and the people that we are tied closely to with our Power Monkey Camp. For us, it’s a reunion. Shaking hands, kissing the babies, and all the things that we do and then teaching. Hopefully, we’ll be able to do a handstand seminar here with the Army and then teach other people what Power Monkey is all about. I’ll be here for another day. Hopefully, I will be in contact with as many people who want to be a part of what Power Monkey is doing before I head back out.

Everyone wants to be a Power Monkey.

We’re going to start with me because I need some training in handstands and some gymnastics.

It was fun to see big dudes, the rowers and people who don’t anticipate getting upside down do a beautiful handstand. That makes my heart happy.

Let’s make it happen. Thanks, Dave.

You got it. Thank you guys.

Thank you.


Important Links

To Top of Webpage