Danielle Sidell CrossFit athlete interview

danielle sidell crossfit interviewSGPT: Tell us about yourself.

DS: Well my name is Danielle Sidell, I am 25 yrs old. I’m from Ohio and grew up in a tiny town called Wakeman. We have one stop light haha, that’s how small our town is. Went to college at the University of Akron and got my Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology. I live in Akron, Ohio with my boyfriend/coach Phillip Campbell and my dog Tator.

SGPT: Did you have an athletic background growing up?

DS: Growing up athletics was all I knew of…. I did nothing but athletics/sports in my free time… I can’t really remember ever having a “normal/free” summer break. Mine were spent at some bball,vball, and/or track camp. Growing up I remember my mom measuring our circular driveway like it was a track and would have me run laps around it, 20 laps measured out to be a mile. If I wasn’t out running around our house 20 times, I was running 2miles from my house to a hill my mom had me run up and down. She would ride her bike to pace me, I think I was in the 7th grade when that started. I would always complain about how much I hated it and she would always tell me that other kids are working harder than me while I cry…. Haha… During HS, before I could drive myself, my mom would drop me off at my schools weight room at 7 and I would be stuck their until my oldest brother would wake up and pick me up, which was usually around 10am. I usually would workout with the football team doing some of their conditioning drills. During the actual school year my mom would drop me off at school early so I could get in the gym and practice me foul shots for basketball…. Never a dull moment in my life. I participated on my HS Volleyball, Basketball, and Track teams. I was All-Ohio in all 3 sports and won state titles in track for the 4×4, 800m, and 1600m. I earned a scholarship to the University of Akron and ran on their cross country and track and field team. It’s crazy to think that when I ran for Akron I weighed 133 lbs and thought I was way way way to heavy for the sport… Now I’m 175 and think I need to pack on more weight and get better weights,times,numbers lol. After I stopped running competitively I picked up Body Building and competed in a couple of local shows. That helped me put on that mass that I have today. But to answer your question, YES, I did have an athletic background growing up. That’s really the only background I have. I could honestly go on and on with stories of me growing up and sports, camps, training, ect.

Danielle Sidell CrossFit Central Regionals

Check out Kill Cliff 10% OFF – Coupon Code SEALGRINDERPT

SGPT: How did you get started with CrossFit competitions?

DS: I got started last February. My supervisor at my student intern convinced me on giving xfit a try. Funny story… I remember flipping through the channels earlier that year and seeing the 2011 games on ESPN and saying, OMG THIS IS STUPID! Why would anyone want to work out like this..??!! Haha… My first day at a “box” was the first day of the 2012 open. My first WOD was 7min of burpees =/ I have no idea why I went back haha. I’ve never actually had a REAL introduction to crossfit, I’ve never attended a crossfit class or anything like a typical crossfitter should. Right after my 12.1 workout SPC asked me to be on their team, I had no idea what that meant…. But I agreed not knowing what I was getting myself in to… They started sending me lifts and workouts, I had to google and youtube all of the movements and learned everything as I went. My first competition was regionals… My second was obviously the games, and we got 2nd =D My start to xfit is very strange haha I literally jumped right in going 100mph not knowing anything or anyone.

SGPT: Can you tell us about some of your recent competitions and placings ?

DS: My first individual competition was last Oct. 7 months after starting xfit, I did the Mid Atlantic Hopper. I wasn’t expecting anything from myself just doing it to gain experience. I remember seeing Gretchen kittelberger and Christy Phillips, I had no idea who they were at the time, but I beat them… Then my friend told me that I just beat 2 girls that placed in the top 10 at the 2012 Games. I was like oh cool… Is that a big deal? HAHA… No idea. My most recent competition was this past weekend, FC Summer Games, I placed 2nd. Not happy about my finish whatsoever, I’m a sore loser. I don’t handle losing well…. All through HS and College I won, I was a winner, and to lose is a feeling I struggle with. I’m learning to cope with that and grow as an athlete. But I PR’d in my snatch and got my first Bar MU this past weekend haha, so I can’t really complain.

SGPT: Can you tell us more about last years 13.2 CrossFit Open?

DS: 420 is possible… I did it. Yes I was “no repped” but that doesn’t mean I cheated. A lot of people get no repped during workouts; I wish my judge would have no repped me during the workout so I could have made those reps up. It was one of the hardest times of my life…… I received countless facebook messages from strangers all over the world telling me I was a cheater, this and that…. Like it wasn’t stressful enough being away from home for 6months, missing my family/friends/boyfriend, being yelled at by drill srgnts, and THEN being called a cheater/low life/scum… It was really hard to deal with. On the bright side, I also received a lot of recognition from 13.2! I received messages from hundreds of FANS that supported me and helped pick my spirits back up, it was amazing! Sam Briggs and Dan Bailey messaged me too; told me to keep my head up and stay positive…. I will forever be grateful for that!

SGPT: How do you typically train?

DS: hmmm. Well right now I’m training out of a gym call Powerhouse, which is a typical Gold’s Gym or Globo gym. I go to a box on the weekends, but during the week with work I literally do not have time to get in a box. I’m not over exaggerating when I say I literally do not have time, I honestly don’t. I wake up at 6 and my running or rowing intervals, get ready for work, leave at 8 work til 6-6:15, get to the gym and train until 8pm get home around 9pm and go to bed. That’s my day. I can’t say much about my training because I know it’s 10x different than what 99% of my competition is doing and I like to keep it a secret. But I train hard, hard hard hard. I beat myself up….. I love it. I no rep the crap out of myself, get in my own head like judges can and do! I train heavy too. After going through what I went through last year; I have to be over critical on myself. I never do a workout at RX weight….. For example, if I were to do FRAN I wouldn’t do it at 65lbs I would do it at 85lbs. I train like a horse! The way I look at it is I don’t want to be that girl crying at the end because I didn’t reach my goals…. I’m doing everything I can in my power to achieve my goals!!!! I also focus a lot on my Oly lifts…. I’ve only been doing Oly lifts since last March, I’m years behind everyone else, I’m trying to play catch-up on that one.

SGPT: What about diet – how do you eat and fuel yourself on competition days?

DS: My diet is pretty hardcore… It’s all about science baby! Everything I consume is for a reason… I never eat something just because mmm it tastes good. I eat because I know that eating THIS or THAT will help me perform during my workout in 4 hours. All my fats, carbs, and protein sources are timed up specifically around my workout times and phases. Do I do paleo??? HECK NO! I’m a machine and I need to fuel it… I eat to perform not to enjoy my food.

SGPT: Do you take any protein supplements or post recovery workout drinks?

DS: Yes. It’s my dessert for the day! I take a post workout protein shake with a scoop of dextrose.

SGPT: Have you had any injuries in the past and how did you deal with them in training?

DS: Yes I have injuries… Suck it up buttercup!

SGPT: Do you have any pre-competition or hard workout warmup or mental drills you perform?

DS: I usually will run for 5min to get my body going before workouts and stretch out a little and then hit the weights. I don’t really have “mental” drills….. I’m not really a mental type person. I just trust in my training and have faith that what my coach has put me through is going to take me to the TOP! I guess the only “mental” thing I tell myself before a workout is “Annie, Lindsey, Sam are all working out harder and are gonna kick my A$$”. I love telling myself that someone is always working harder than I am…

SGPT: What are you reading now?

DS: Nothing… is that bad?

SGPT: Thanks for the interview Danielle.

DS: Thank you!

You can find out more information about CrossFit here:

Related Articles:
Rory Hanlin CrossFit athlete interview