Episode 06: GRIT League
Build anything, explore everything
Do you remember what it’s like to climb on things and get dirty and be physical? So many of our kids these days aren’t having that experience. Dan Beck is hoping to change that with GRIT League. GRIT League is an obstacle course for kids. “To me it feels like something my life has been directing me to”, Dan says, “I love teaching kids, I think like a kid.”
Dan has had a lot of experience with coaching and leading kids to accomplish goals. “I like to coach kids and see them progress over the season and even see them a few years later and see how they’ve grown up, for me that’s an amazing thing,” says Dan.
Dan himself got into obstacle course racing after years of sedentary work and he realized that he had missed playing in the dirt, jumping in mud puddles and being active. Some years ago Dan was playing soccer with his kids and ruptured a disc in his back. After physical therapy, steroid injections and threats of surgery he asked his doctor how to prevent this injury from happening again and she told him to strengthen his core, lose some weight and stay active – so he did!
After beginning with ½ hour of exercise 3 times a week he saw progress and eventually was inspired by a Spartan race he saw on TV. Without thinking much, he signed up for it. “All the sudden my workouts improved,” armed with the fear of collapsing from exhaustion he knew he needed to step up his game to participate. Once he did that first race, he was hooked.
It’s All Been Downhill From There
Trail2Sparta is the other company Dan has where he trains adults for Spartan races. He’s taught courses at local CrossFit gyms and also has training sessions at his home. “Every Thursday morning at 5:30am I have a workout in my yard”, Dan says.
Obstacle courses are now in his blood and he loves sharing that love of the sport. For the kids GRIT League is a weekly race through the obstacle course set up in various locations with different obstacles. Kids as young as 4 can participate but it’s also for high school aged even competitive cross country athletes. In addition, Dan has been able to accommodate kids with special needs. The kids feel the support of one another and are really just competing against themselves and the course. They are encouraged to just do their best.
In addition to the league Dan helps schools do fundraisers. Using his obstacle course Dan can do a more challenging and fun version of the old walk-a-thon. Parents, friends and other “pledge” to support the kids based on the amount of laps they complete. In addition businesses partner with the schools and can “match” funds that are raised. In this way the kids learn the power of teamwork and partnering together to improve the world around us. To reinforce the message, Dan presents a GRIT program that helps inspire the kids to believe in themselves and to be tough in the face of challenges.
One of the things that sets GRIT League apart is the quality of the obstacles and the fact that the set up and take down are rapid and they can do several events in a day. Dan has experience setting up in many different areas including indoor venues.
Leap of Faith
Dan has set a big goal of leaving his attorney career on April 1st, 2019 and dedicating his time to GRIT League and Trail2Spartan. “You’re never ready, if your dream is to start a business, set a date and do it”. The vision for the business is to have strong partnerships with schools and other companies and to be able to do this work year round. Dan is looking forward to his own Spartan tattoos from this adventure. If you are looking for more information contact Dan Beck at www.gritleague.com or www.trail2sparta.com.