2014 Pensacola Beach Brawl: Dale Meitzler, Elite Men

Janice Ferguson
July 31, 2023
2014 Pensacola Beach Brawl: Dale Meitzler, Elite Men

Dale in the final WOD of the 2014 Mako CrossFit Summer Team throwdown. Dale teamed up with fellow Bandit, Josh Ladner, and took home a first place win in the highly competitive RX male team division. (Photo courtesy of Norman Holmes)

Everything happens for a reason. That’s what Dale Meitlzer would say if you asked him about CrossFit, his life, or how he became part of the Bandit CrossFit family. Dale was born and raised in Picayune, Miss., where he played high school football for the Maroon Tide. He continued his football career at Mississippi College. While he was in physical therapy school, at the University of South Alabama, he found CrossFit and started training at CrossFit Mobile after several months of doing CrossFit alone. His goal? Qualify for Regionals. When Dale finished school and moved back to Mississippi for work, he was looking for a CrossFit gym to call home on the Mississippi Coast that fit his competitive goals. Dale fit right in with our competitive team and has been a great addition to our gym family. With his long hours at work in Pascagoula, the only time he’s able to train is early mornings and/or after 7:30 p.m. at night. You’ll find him at Bandit every night after all the classes have finished, getting in his work for the day. Dale is new to the South Central region, but he’s no rookie to competition. In the 2014 Open, he was ranked in the top 200 in the South East region, and he has gained experience through several other local competitions. Dale works as a physical therapist, and is married to Jen, who is also a member of Bandit CrossFit. More about Dale:

How long have you been doing CrossFit?
The spark for CrossFit started in a conversation I had with one of my classmates in physical therapy school. We were talking about CrossFit, and I mentioned that I wanted to try to make it to regionals. He basically gave me a doubting glance and a smile, and suggested that it would be really hard for me to do that. I love it when people tell me I can’t do something, because then I think to myself, “Are they right?” And then, I have to prove to myself that I can do it.

In February 2013, I started following The Outlaw Way off and on, completing workouts at South Alabama’s rec center. I realized how out of shape I had gotten since I stopped playing football, and I wanted to make sure I didn’t embarrass myself before I joined an actual affiliate. I joined an affiliate in August of 2013 and have been hooked ever since.

Is this your first CrossFit competition? If not, what other competitions have you competed in?
My first competition was ironically the Beach Brawl last year. I competed on an Rx Male team of four. I had been doing CrossFit for about one month at this point. Other competitions include: Iron Tribe Invitational in Birmingham, AL; Biloxi Blues, Mako Summer Showdown.

Why did you choose to the do the Beach Brawl?
It’s one of the biggest competitions in the South East, and there are so many talented guys that compete. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to compete alongside regional competitiors, because I want to get better. There’s an old saying: If you want to be a lion, then you must train with lions. If I want to make it to regionals this year, I have to keep pushing my limits and surpassing my boundaries. Competing against the best can only help me, not hurt me. I am looking forward to this experience because I know I will grow a lot from it.

Why do you want to do CrossFit competitions?
For me, CrossFit competitions fill the void that was created when college football ended. I have always liked competing, pushing myself, and testing my limits. In reality, every day of training is a competition for Josh (Ladner), Jason Edwards, and all the Bandit competitors. We’ve kind of adopted the verse in Proverbs as our identity: Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17. Also, competition is a great way to see the results of all the hard work that you’ve put in, and it’s a nice stimulus/change of pace from the daily grind.

What are your goals in the Beach Brawl competition?
Just to perform the best I can. I don’t want to pigeon-hole myself with a placing goal, or a weight goal. On Saturday night, I just want to be able to say, “I competed as hard as I could and had a blast doing it.”

What movement do you hope to see?
Weighted pistols, 30″ box jumps, heavy thrusters

What movement do you not want to see?
I don’t really dread any movements, I’ve grown to like the ones I hate. Embrace the pain!

Why do you do CrossFit? What do you like most about it?
To me, CrossFit is a way of life. It’s the daily grind; the peaks, the lows; the triumph, the heartbreak; learning how to deal with adversity. It’s funny, if I could think of one movement that everyone associates with CrossFit, it would be the burpee. And to me, the burpee is pretty representative of life. When you get knocked down, you have to get right back up, and what is that? A burpee. CrossFit forces you to fight, to adapt. It’s made me a stronger person in all aspects: mind, body, and soul.

Why Bandit CrossFit?
You won’t find a more cohesive, tight-knit, gym family than Bandit. We not only push each other to be better athletes, but better people as well. We leave our egos at the door, and when we step inside the gym, it’s time to work, and there’s a lot of fun in that. We hold each other accountable, and our attention to detail is our strength. At Bandit, we compete every day because we want to be the best.

The “Issues Crew,” Dale Meitzler, Jason Edwards, and Josh Ladner (l-r)

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