Superhuman 40 Transformation: Dan Morrison
My name is Dan Morrison, I am 36 and I grew up in Flagstaff, Arizona. I am married to Brenda and have 2 kids, Shelby (7) and Parker (6). I was always an active kid, it was easier because there were no IPads or cell phones, so everyone played after school. Flagstaff sits at 7,000 feet above sea level so when you are active at that elevation it makes doing anything at the lower elevations very easy. My summers were spent at Lake Powell and that is were I started riding jetskis at a very young age. I started racing them at the age of 11 and at the age of 12 I won my first state title. By the time I was 15 I had won 3 more state titles, regional titles, world records in slalom in the mens division and I was racing for national and world championships. There wasn’t another 15 year old on the planet ranked higher.
I was on the brink of something very special, but the next few years were littered with season ending accidents, bone fractures and tears in tendons and ligaments. Something else changed as well, the feeling of fear, the fear of losing, fear of not being able to walk, and the fear of not waking up after an accident. I played other sports as well, both wrestling and rugby, but I was never at the same level.
I fast forward 15 years. I finished school, started a family and moved to Florida for work. My wrestling weight of 125 was long gone and what was left was an older, fatter shell of a man. On the outside, I was personable and fun. A hard worker and good father and husband but on the inside I was lazy, scared and filled with excuses. I remember having a conversation with Buddy about wrestling. As we chatted back and forth, I began to realize that all of my stories were from when I was young.
Racing, wrestling, rugby were all from my teens and early 20’s. I hadn’t physically committed to anything for over a decade. The demons I had as a young adult had followed me. I no longer feared the pain or repercussions of an accident, I just feared putting everything I had into something and not succeeding. Its interesting because when you get married you understand you have a partner that is in it with you, they have your best interest at hand. They are there to look out for you, even when you are not looking out for yourself. Same goes for work, often times you have colleagues and employees that all hold a share in the work or task at hand.
When I moved to Florida I became C.O.O of a national restaurant group. This line of work was always easy for me because it involved food which I love and the ability to sell myself which I am good at. This is also a problem because what it allowed me to do was sell myself, to myself. As I spoke with Buddy that day I heard what I was saying, but I also knew it was a long time ago. I had been selling to myself what I used to be, but I had been living in the past. Thoreau said “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation”. That was me, I only did what I knew I could, I didn’t step out of my comfort zone. I had excuses if something didn’t pan out and it was all done to protect myself from failure. I was desperate inside to break free but didn’t have the testicular fortitude to do something about it. Even other Superhuman 40 challenges which I signed up for, I never completed, didn’t even attend the question and answer day before the start. My excuses were set, had I only done the diet part, or if I just had more time to work out, or I could work out harder, but I have to work late. They were all planned out, without having to admit it.
In April, I turned 36 and I could feel the build up of a change coming. I knew I wanted to feel better, to stop being so tired, but to also put myself out there with no other person to blame but myself. For many, the Superhuman 40 challenge is a great way to feel better and get in better shape, but given my past, for me it was more than just a challenge. It was the first time in a long time that I would stick to a program and let the chips fall where they may. If I didn’t complete it, the fault would be my own. I wanted to give myself every opportunity to succeed or fail, I needed to face what I had become which was a great sales man to myself, but in reality a sadly out of shape, unmotivated guy who needed to find the fire. I needed to break the cycle that I had let fester for years. I wanted the challenge, the adventure. I couldn’t leave myself a way out, I attended the Q and A session, Packed a lunch while at Disney World and Universal studio’s with the family and watched what I ate on a daily basis. I allowed myself a cheat day to prove I could get right back on track, and I involved my family in the goal. I wanted everyone to know, because I knew the results would either show success or failure. The accountability is what I had lacked, this was the shot it needed.
Over the course of 40 days, I dropped 17 pounds, increased all of my PR’s including a 265 front squat, completed the “Murph” workout on my own without scaling and more importantly I reminded myself that “History shall be kind to me, for I intend to write it” Winston Churchill. Instead of letting the past dictate my future, I need to be in control of what the history will be. It took a simple challenge that we do many times a year for 40 days, but often in life things that are small feats to some, are mind and body changing to others.
I appreciate everyone at CFPB that helped. Most of my friends are 3,000 miles away so to come to a new state, not knowing anyone and be accepted into a tight knit group like CFPB is great. All of the coaches have helped more than they know. Often for me its that they hold me accountable, even when I don’t want to hold myself accountable. That’s what friends do.