By: Ava Sugar
The story of an amazing human and his journey of fitness
Running three miles in under twenty minutes, doing 50 pull-ups, or snatching 278 pounds. Dillon Youngman, 2018 fittest man in Kansas, two time Crossfit Regionals athlete, two time Wodapaloza athlete, and Granite Games athlete made a choice to do Crossfit. He made a choice to be a part of a community that changed his life. Growing up in Wichita, Kansas under the impact of his loving and compassionate mother and a father who showed him that being accountable for yourself is a great characteristic to have and chasing growth is always an attribute. Dillon began Crossfit as a way to help him get better at baseball. He gradually put more and more time into the sport until it became a large part of his life.
Once a year, the Crossfit community does a world wide series of events that anyone can do to test your fitness. Each event is posted online and the top 20 athletes in each region get an invite to participate in the Regional competition. In 2017 he got his first Crossfit Regionals invite “I worked extremely hard and was close to making it for many years before 2017”. In 2018 Dillon went to Regionals for the second time where he got 30th in the central division. Crossfit has since done away with Regionals.
Growing up in the midwestern state of Kansas: “It is not the flashiest place to call home” Dillon was shown that with midwestern values you are taught to “Work hard, live simply, show true hospitality,and treat every person with respect and dignity”.
Dillon at the 2019 Granite Games
Denver Colorado and school
“I think that daily acts of sacrifice and prioritization are vitally important to living a good life”
Dillon moved to Colorado to go to Regis Physical Therapy School and when I asked him what his most memorable life experience was he said “The Experience of applying to, interviewing for, and eventually getting into Regis PT school.” Each year 7,297 people apply for Regis Physical Therapy School with only a 47% chance to get in. “I want to be a physical therapist because it affords me the opportunity to blend my curiosity and passion for how the human body works with my love for coaching and helping people become their best selves.” Dillon’s girlfriend, Grace is a physical therapist. In December of 2019 Dillon took Grace to Yellowstone National Park. When asked why Yellowstone National Park is his favorite place on earth he said “It’s hard to describe why it’s my favorite place, just go and you’ll know.”
Dillon and Grace at Yellowstone National park in December 2019
“I am grateful that I got to experience Regionals in 2017 and 2018 before the season structure changed.”
In 2017 Dillon ranked 116th in the United States, qualifying him for the 2017 Central Regionals in Nashville, Tennessee. When asked about his experience at his first Regionals Dillon said “The first year was eye-opening to watch how the elite in the sport prepare and execute on the big stage”. With 40 men competing in the Central Crossfit Regional, Dillon got himself the amazing title of the 2017 19th fittest man in the Central division. In 2018 Dillon was granted the opportunity to compete in the 2018 Central Regionals after a first place finish in Kansas in the open giving him the title “2018 Fittest man in Kansas”.
Dillon Youngman in the 2018 Crossfit 2018 male open rankings in Kansas
Once Crossfit stopped hosting Regionals, they gave the opportunity for anybody who was willing to host another Games qualifier called Sanctionals. There are online qualifiers that people wanting to go to the Sanctionals can do. Dillon has gone to the Granite Games Sanctional where he placed 38th out of 1,923 men; The Wodapalooza Sanctional where his team got 6th place out of 21 competitive elite male teams. On February 22nd Dillon will be in Miami, Florida competing at Wodapalooza for the second time in hopes for a spot in the Crossfit Games.
Dillon and his team at the 2019 Wodapalooza sanctional
Life outside of Crossfit
“My favorite part of my day is the morning, I wake up early,make my coffee and my breakfast, journal and then read.” Starting his day off on the right foot so he can be ready to go to school, or Crossfit, or whatever chaos the day brings. “My morning routine helps me start my day off with a solid foundation, and I enjoy the quiet solitude before the chaos of the day”
When asked what the best decision he ever made was, Dillon said: “Switching high schools after freshman year. I transferred to a large inner city school from a small suburban one” By taking this leap, Dillon’s perspective on people changed. That decision changed the way he interacts and understands people. A positive outlook on life and the way you treat people is important, “Making small choices like slightly changing your schedule to accommodate your significant other and doing the daily activities of life in a way that lets people who are important in your life know they are important is just as important as grand sacrifice or devotion.” I believe that going to a bigger more sociable highschool shaped the way that Dillon acts as the kind human he is.
Dillons dedication to Crossfit and living a good life is inspiring to me, and someday I hope that I can be a Crossfit sanctionals athlete as well.
Dillon Youngman at “The Granite Games 2019”