March 9, 2012
A Different Man: Ryan Davis
By Jake Woolfenden

"Ryan is truly a new person," his brother says.


“Some people lose 20 pounds and others get their first muscle-up and they consider it life changing. Although these are great accomplishments, Ryan has proven to me what the term ‘life changing’ really means,” Ryan Davis’s brother says.

There are many inspirational stories within the CrossFit community about life changing events, dramatic weight loss, and physical transformation. Rarely do you hear of a person who has recently lost more than 100 pounds and is now a contender in their region. Ryan Davis is that person.

Davis started his journey nearly two years ago with the simple acknowledgement that things had to change. He looked at his nearly 300 pound body in the mirror and knew that he wasn’t happy. 

Working late shifts as an EMS since 2007 had led to many convenient, but unhealthy, meals. “Convenience often won out over healthy alternatives especially at night,” Davis says, “At 3:00am I thought my only options were McDonalds, Hardees, and Taco Bell. Within two years my weight was at an all-time high.”

“My brother Chad kept insisting I try this stuff called CrossFit,” Davis says, “In February of 2010 I finally caved and attended my first WOD. I went through the warm-up, almost puked, and about eight minutes into some rowing and box jumps, I was puking.”

Two years later, Davis weighs 190 pounds and boasts a 2:17 “Fran,” 406 reps on Fight Gone Bad, a 445 pound back squat. He has also inspired many people at his box, CrossFit Springfield, including his brother Chad.

“What he doesn’t realize is that he has become an inspiration for a lot of people, including me, his older brother,” Chad Davis says, “Every day he has a smile and an air about him that was never there growing up. When he walks into the box, people huddle around to see what his times are going to be. He speaks to the newbie classes and humbly tells his story. Ryan is truly a new person.”

Davis is testing out his transformed body and mindset and gaining traction in the Open. Two weeks in, Davis sits in 193rd place in the region.

“I know I have my work cut out for me [to get into the Top 60 in North Central],” Davis says.

“I thought I would have done a lot better on the burpee workout (105 reps) but I made up some ground with 80 reps on the snatch workout,” Davis says. Yet he remains hopeful.

“I’m focused on my goal and realize three more workouts leave a lot of time for me to improve in the standings.”