Do you think you can still compete in the CrossFit Games if you’re legally blind? Well, it may be a challenge for most people, but Sam Dancer is not like most people. The former collegiate football player and weightlifter not only competed he also helped his team finish second in the 2014 CrossFit Games.
Intrigued? Well, continue reading and know what makes Sam Dancer tick.
Sam Dancer: Life Before CrossFit
Sam Dancer was already a strongman even when he was young. Born in Quincy, Illinois, the unassuming do-gooder was a football player ever since he was 10 years old. While he also played other sports, including hockey, basketball, and soccer, Sam loved football and dreamed of playing professionally in the future.
While in high school, Sam already showed his strength when he was able to bench press 500 pounds. This allowed him to compete with the seniors even when he was still a freshman in high school.
When he reached college, he developed a 700-pound back squat while playing collegiate football with the Western Illinois University. He could also deadlift at least 600 pounds. These feats were somewhat easy for the 270-pound athlete.
But he was more than just an athlete since Sam Dancer an art major. He was into ceramics, 3D design, and drawing. It was a strange combination for him being a football player who was into the arts.
Sam is also legally blind due to keratoconus. This eye disease affects his cornea and developed the end of his collegiate football career. While it wasn’t really much of a problem at the start, it started to affect him after college.
The condition compelled him to rely on his other senses rather than just his vision. He also started to surround himself with positive people who nurture his goal of living a happy life.
After he graduated, he knew he didn’t have any chance of getting to play professionally as a football player. So, he returned to his hometown and tried to figure out what he wanted in his life. He felt lost since football was his life since he was young.
So, he looked for a sport where he could continue competing in.
And he found CrossFit.
Sam Dancer and CrossFit
He was introduced to CrossFit by his cousin Taylor. Sam considers her as his hero and idol. She encouraged Sam to get into CrossFit.
Since he wanted to do what she was doing, Sam joined CrossFit. He started to research about the sport and identified his weaknesses. Sam worked on these weaknesses and recognized his own potential in the sport.
He later earned a Level 1 Certification and started coaching. In 2012, he opened a gym with his wife, Jennifer Nobis-Dancer, in his hometown called QTown CrossFit.
In the 2014 CrossFit, Sam helped CrossFit Conjugate finish 2nd place by deadlifting 655 pounds. It was probably one of the most memorable moments of Sam in the sport. He went on to compete as an individual in 2016 when he finished 32nd overall.
Passion for Helping Others
Aside from coaching at their gym, Sam and Jennifer also established an organization that encourages, educates, and funds expressions of fitness for people who struggle with physical, intellectual, and emotional disabilities.
The organization, the Dancer Love Foundation, works with Special Olympics athletes with the help of the Area 11 Special Olympics program.
Sam and Jennifer also want to spread love and positivity as much as they can. Due to this, they have a stance against bullying in all forms.
Sam Dancer’s Stats
Weight: 225 pounds
Country: United States
Check out the results of Sam Dance in some popular CrossFit exercises:
Back Squat: 535 lbs.
Clean and Jerk: 365 lbs.
Snatch: 315 lbs.
Deadlift: 655 lbs.
Fight Gone Bad: 484
Max Pull-ups: 65
CrossFit Games Results
2014: 2nd Team
2018: 2nd Team
2019: 7th Team
Even as Sam Dancer was part of two teams that placed second in two editions of the CrossFit Games, he also figured prominently in a couple of regional competitions. He finished 5th in the Central Regionals in 2016 and was a part of the team that topped the West Regionals in 2018.
CrossFit Tips from Sam Dancer
Sam Dancer can be considered as an all-around athlete. He was a football player, a weightlifter, and a bodybuilder long before he was a CrossFit athlete. With this in mind, you can bet he can give some practical tips to anyone interested in joining the world of CrossFit or who wants to be fit in general
Check out some tips you can get from Sam Dancer
#1: Stop Making Excuses
Even though Sam Dancer may have some disappointments in his life as an athlete, he has never used these as an excuse to stop competing. He had arthritis, asthma, torn muscles, and he is also legally blind. Instead of letting these things keep him down, he uses them as learning experiences.
He focuses on the positive things in life to reach the current level he is in right now. New athletes should avoid giving in to their negative experiences and treat them as learning experiences to become better in the future.
#2: Develop Your Tools and Skills
To become successful CrossFit athletes, people need to be aware and develop the skills and the tools they have. They don’t need to focus on their protein intake or the conditioning programs they’re following.
In addition to their skills and tools, they should also focus on character development. Character allows them to follow through on their plans and goal in the sport. It also allows them to plan out what they need to do every day.
Working out without character and the ability to follow through with their plans and goals will make any programming, conditioning, or nutrient plan useless.
Sam Dancer’s Diet
With Sam Dancer’s performance in the games, you may be wondering what he eats. Well, Sam is following a Paleo diet. The only thing that changes in his diet is the micronutrient ratio.
Sam tends to be lean, efficient, and effective when he’s eating low carb, moderate protein, and high-fat dishes. He also uses BCAAs and HMBs.
He usually eats fresh, natural food such as meat, fruits, and vegetables. Sam also chooses nutrient-dense food containing a good amount of naturally-occurring vitamins and minerals and he is also careful with the source of the food and opts to buy organically and locally-produced food.
Training with Sam Dancer
If you’re want to have an idea of how Sam Dancer trains, check out the video below:
Sam Dancer’s Instagram
Sam Dancer currently has over 194,000 followers on Instagram. If you’re interested in what Sam is up to these days, you can check out his Instagram account below:
Have your Say about Sam Dancer, CrossFit Athlete
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