"I'm happy with how I finished, but more than anything, just being out there with all the guys — there's nothing like it. It's a huge motivational push, and I want to do everything in my power to get back there this year."
He may have been down earlier this year, but he’s not out.
Two-time CrossFit Games competitor, Chase Daniels, is back to training for this year’s Open after suffering a shoulder injury following the Games last July.
“Not one thing caused it, just wear over time,” Daniels says. “On the last day of the Games last year, I knew it was my last day. My body just couldn’t keep up. Thankfully, I didn’t tear anything, and I didn’t have to have surgery, but the recovery has been just as long, if not longer, from it all.”
Despite his injury, Daniels still managed to take 19th place at the 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games.
“I’m happy with how I finished, but more than anything, just being out there with all the guys — there’s nothing like it,” he recalls. “It’s a huge motivational push, and I want to do everything in my power to get back there this year.”
Daniels says he had no other choice than to take time off in order to let his body heal. Being an athlete all his life, Daniels says he feels confident he will get back to the competitive level. With his doctor’s go-ahead, he is now working on rebuilding the strength he’s lost over the past seven months.
“It’s definitely been a hard year and while others may have gotten to progress, I haven’t been able to compete or work on the things I needed to work on like my snatch, clean and jerk, muscle-ups,” Daniels says.
So how has he been training?
“Lots of squatting and conditioning, but not really my weaknesses,” he admits. “I am just now getting to the point where I am able to clean again and swing a kettlebell. It feels good to be back, and I’ve got some work to do … lost time to make up for.”
Part of Daniels’ training regime includes trips to Miami where he works out with fellow competitors, Guido Trinidad and Noah Ohlsen.
“I look forward to those training sessions. They are like tradition now.”
Daniels has also kept in touch with fellow South East Games competitor, Brandon Phillips, who is also overcoming shoulder injuries.
“We talk and keep up. He’s been encouraging over the past year for me to keep my head up, and being injured is something we can definitely both relate to,” Daniels says. “Although Brandon, he’s a machine, and he’s still super strong in spite of both of his shoulders being injured. Me, not so much.”
While sitting on the sidelines has been tough, Daniels says there is always a silver lining. For him, it’s his new job at West Palm Beach Fire Department.
“I recently finished fire school and am so fortunate to have gotten a job with such a great department,” he says. “The days are long, 24 hours on, 48 off. And my schedule is kind of crazy, but I am really enjoying it.”
Working at the fire department is also helping his training.
“The guys I work with are in great shape and very like-minded … Sometimes we workout together, and even days we’re not training, we’re lugging a big fire hose around or something else heavy or strenuous. I think CrossFit will help me do my job well, and my job will help me with CrossFit, as well.”