Two topics I love the most to talk about : WORLD TRAVELING & SPORTS.
Strong reasons to get together with this sports globe trotter specimen and find out about his adventures. Crossfit level 1 trainer, crossfit gymnastics trainer and calisthenics elite specialist, David is a young passionate guy who loves outdoors.
We met thru a mutual friend who introduced us since he knew we have stuff in common: Love for Movement.
We spent almost 2 hours talking about his adventures and his love for freedom & sports. After that, we quick ( I quick) set up a training together. Days later, I was with him and his buddies jumping beams for precision and walking cat for balance… besides the bodyweight training which consisted pretty much of lots squats, pistols, cleans and jerk, cleans and throws, pushups, pullups; all this in a period of time and; for fun… human flags, handstands and so on.
David Dietrich has traveled around the world, his goal: Sports adventures.
Born and raise in Austria (no kangeroos), David was into sports since little, soccer was his first love.
AF: Tell us about yourself…
Where should I start? In my youth I was always a quite sporty guy, I grew up in upper Austria, on the countryside, in a small town. We have a school, a forest, a couple of hills, our playground. I could do whatever I could, I started with mountain biking then to play soccer, track & field, gymnastics.
My main sport was soccer, I played 3-4 times a week until one day was an accident; one guy jumped from behind on my knee and I had to have surgery, I couldn’t play soccer anymore…it was over…
After that I decided to go for different sport, one where I could be responsible from my own; doing pakour or mountain biking, at least if I would/could crush into a tree, it would be my own fault.
I decided that I will try out everything
I had rehab for quite some time then I moved to Vienna to start studying business and economics. The university offers different type of sports during the studies, starting from yoga, pilates to rugby and football so I decided that I will try out everything from shooting to climbing and rowing. One day I had the idea to play basketball; I am not the tallest guy; I played for 4 weeks, until one day I tried to do a dunk and I smashed down and I injured myself; I had the whole story again: hospital, surgery and rehab…
2 weeks after the surgery, a friend of mine told me about crossfit and I thought I can’t do crossfit I cannot even walk but then she kept me telling me about it and after 2 months I said: ok, let’s try crossfit.
The guys did a pretty good job taking care of me since I was injured, we did lots of structure muscle building so we really worked on that knee, on the whole complexity of the knee. I think it was probably the reason why I got so strong afterwards.
In 2013 I was bored of Vienna, I have tried already a lot of sports (wakeboarding, pakour, climing, crossfit) so I decided to go on a vacation, a surf vacation. I started to look for flights to Bali, I saw the map, and I thought New Zealand is not to far from Indonesia and I always wanted to go to New Zealand so I thought ok, let’s go there and there and there…
I came up with some more destinations then I found out that you can put together some “around the world ticket” then I booked for the whole year, at the moment nothing was holding me back, I flew to Indonesia, found out that surfing was not really for me, Indonesia was too chilli for me, I kept traveling, walking, running almost all day, since I already knew that I was going to the US, I always wanted to do Spartan Race actually I did one in the Czech Republic it was a very cool experience. At one point I thought I have to train, I was in Malasysia and I signed up for a 22K race in the jungle/mountain, the day before the race briefing I found out it was a 60K race and the 22K was one part of it. So there was 30K up the mountain, and I ran for 12 hours, a really long day.
AF: What motivated you to participate on the Spartan Race?
The fun thing about the spartan races are the obstacles, they captured me a lot, been a parkour guy. At the beginning I just wanted to try it, I wanted to complete one. I heard they were so hard but I finished and, I thought ok, I want to do better. I didn’t give my best so I thought let’s do another one and I will run faster, finish the obstacles without doing burpees for penalty.
Now for my next race I feel like competing I want to be even faster and been along with the best 50 or top 100. So we will see next year.
For the long distance races like 60K or so I always ask myself if I can do it, probably because my injury, people told me no sports for you for the rest of your life, your knee is done. I want to prove to myself that I can do it. Partly I fail, partly I success.
Because of my injury, people told me: No Sports for you
AF: It was like knowing your limits?
Yeah, my limit was running 20K but running 60K, it was a big deal, it didn’t kill me, I was “Oh wow!” what else is possible? what else can I do that I do not know yet. So after this race I looked and signed in for everything I could find in my route.
I did around 15 races in New Zealand, maybe 10 in the US and a few other ones more and; a big one in Peru.
I did around 15 races in New Zealand, maybe 10 in the US, a few other ones more and; a big one in Peru. I wanted to find out about how far I could go beyond my limits, doing such a race you find your limits and, how far you can push it, how far is really possible.
AF: How did you train yourself? How did you prepare for the races?
I never looked up for any training plan, I was never interested in that. I just combined crossfit, calisthenics, bodyweight and running in between. I ran 2 miles (4K) doing a combination of squats and planks ran another 2 miles, 100 burpees and ran 2 miles again.
In New Zealand there are tons of mountains where you can run up or hike up.
AF: So you only train outdoors, did you look for any crossfit box or regular gym?
At the beginning I looked for some crossfit gyms but they charge like 25-30 USD a visit. So I said no, I can do it anywhere, I hooked up with some calisthenics guys, did street workout and met parkour guys in Indonesia.
In New Zealand the calisthenics guys showed me crazy stuff, jumping around bar and combining the pakour and free running with calisthenics on the bars, flipping off bars and doing hundreds of muscle ups.
I started to do that actually in Malaysia, I was in Kuala Lumpur I met up with the parkour guys; I became friends with one of them, he drove me around all day, we went hiking, training, he showed me the city a little bit.
I wrote the calisthenics group via facebook, we met up and trained, the funny thing is that the parkour guy was bringing me there, they didn’t know each other, they didn’t know what parkour was or what calisthenics was so we had a big session, a mixture of everything I think those guys are pretty friends now. They mix the trainings now. It is quite funny.
My training plan was mainly with calisthenics so I was looking for a pullup bar, and somewhere I could run. When I was running up mountains either I found a tree or a bench that I could use as a training tool.
I always did the combination of running and gymnastics/bodyweight workout.
AF: I read that you got lost in the Amazons…that sounds like ok tell me about it!…
haha…it wasn’t that bad…
AF: ok, no anacondas or anything like that because I am so effing afraid of them?
No, but coral snakes, and huge spiders, lots of ants, really big ants…
I am somewhere in the middle of the Amazon, I can barely walk, running is out of question, a little of water left. I had no idea where I was
So I was in te Amazon in Peru, day race for 230K we ran like every day marathon. I ran first day, cool, second day my knee started to hurt, it wasn’t the injury it was something in my muscles, they got inflamed I finish a stage and did a lot of massaging and rolling. Next day couple of steps I realized that I couldn’t run at all. So I had to walk all the 40 kilometers, I took down some bamboo sticks and walked with them, the medical station waited for me 2-3 hours, I was so far behind, the second last guy, in between I took a wrong crossing in the jungle until I realized there were no more marks on the road. I thought ok I am somewhere in the middle of the Amazon, I can barely walk, running is out of question, a little of water left.
I panicked for maybe half an hour until I found back to the track where the cross marks were, I was so glad that I was back.
AF: you didn’t have any GPS, radio, or anyway to communicate?
We didn’t have any electricity for 45 days, I had my watch but it died after 2 1/2 day.
Unfortunately I didn’t finish the race but it was a really cool experience. I really enjoyed it.
AF: What are you planning to do for next year?
Yeah, the stage race is pretty cool, I want to do it at least once next year, some, also I want to do races here in Europe, in the alps, in Switzerland, mainly in France. I will do a lot of spartan races here in Europe too.
I became a vegetarian 2 years ago, exactly on my second surgery, I was on the hospital at the same time my father died at home. It was a weird state of mind, I told the guys at the hospital I am vegan I don’t eat animal related. I was 3 more days there and they brought me the best food ever. I was getting fresh fruits and veggies, quinoa and lentils.
I said ok let’s try for 30 days, challenging myself, after that time I informed myself about the animal treatments, how the food industry works. the moral and ethics behind it. I said let’s keep on going.
I never did the transition to vegan but I am most of the time, I don’t eat to much diary.
I make smoothies, i just throw stuff to my mixer then I eat legumes, couscous, quinoa and salads. And somewhere in between some cheese, but not often.
Diary I substitute with coconut milk, coconut oil.
This is what my diet looks right now.
AF: Fav healthy receipt?
You cook the couscous and you can throw pretty much what you want; I add avocado, tomatoes, rucola, cilantro, parsley, indian beans, cashew nuts, goji berries, either mashed almonds and then I play around with the herbs, curry and cardamon masala. I am always playing around with it.
AF: How your training looks like these days?
I train twice a day.
AF: Healthy living tips:
- Drink water instead of anything else. Leave away sodas, ice teas
- Find someone or group to start with movement. The one that motivates you
- Go to Movement workshops (handstand, parkour, yoga, gymnastics)
- Make a decision, make new friends doing sports, its so easy; you have the same interests
I saw people getting hooked on MOVEMENT, might not become runners or anything. But it is fun to jump around and do a little bit of flipping, handstands.
AF: What are your projects in Vienna?
I figured the Business and Economics is not for me, I am not going back to my suit and tie job. I am building up a living around sports and teaching people what I learned and what I am quite good at the moment: Parkour, Gymnastics and also Running.
David Dietrich offers Parkour basics Workshop in crossfit boxes. Yesterday was at Triller Crossfit. We had 30 minutes warmup, followed by training skills on:
- Precision Jumps
- Palm Spin
- Bar Swing
Finishing with Parkour WOD. A great experience that I will repeat again.
Pics source: David Dietrich and Angie Fliehser
Want to know more about David Dietrich? Check out his webpage: