Memo to fast-food junkies: Columbus’ Dan Newell gets you.

In fact, he’s one of you, even though he’s athletic enough to have won the first local Ninja Warrior competition earlier this year.

Soon after he set a U.S. Navy Seal obstacle course record, a friend told him about an obstacle course competition in 1999 in Southern California. He showed up at the venue and found other entrants had coaches and athletic product sponsors.

He had a McDonald’s bag and a couple of Egg McMuffins. Before the event was over, he also had the $3,000 top prize.

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So he wondered if he could rustle up some sponsorships with burger joints and candy companies.

“I felt like I should call up them and ask, ‘Hey — you guys want to put some logos on my back?’” Newell said with a laugh.

» Briefly describe your daily/weekly workout routine.

CrossFit, which mixes an ever-changing variety of strength training exercises with flexibility and aerobic activity. I’ve found that CrossFit keeps me very well engaged and allows me to feed off the camaraderie and the encouragement of others.

» What inspired you to begin a regular fitness routine?

I played football, wrestled and ran track in high school.

» Why is it something you have stuck with?

Because I realize that you have to find a way to live life. As you get older and you have kids and family, you sometimes have a tendency to take the things you used to do for yourself and put them way on the back burner. So I feel it’s very important to still make time for that because it puts me in a better physical and mental state to go to work and to go home and be a better father and to be a better husband. If I’m taking care of myself, I can better take care of them because I feel better about myself. If life is overrunning you, the day-to-day stuff can really grind you down.

» How do you make time to work out?

It’s tough running a business. That’s why I use Saturday as one of my workout days. And I go to a 7 a.m. CrossFit class on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

» What’s your favorite exercise?

It’s something called The Murph, named after a fallen Navy Seal. It includes two one-mile runs, 200 push-ups, 300 squats and other things. It pushes me.

» What’s among your least favorite exercise choices?

Well, I’ve done a full marathon. And that’s probably the last time I’ll ever do that.

» Do you listen to music during your workout? If so, what’s on your playlist?

In the gym (over the speakers). All I know is that it’s very upbeat. And loud.

» Do you follow any special diet or eating plan? If so, describe briefly. Do you “cheat” much?

I’m the worst eater. I still eat a lot of fast food. I drink a lot of soft drinks. And I love pizza. But at 5-foot-11 and 158 pounds, I’m not obese, and the doctor says my (health) numbers are great because I’m so active.

» What advice would you give someone who wants to begin working out?

Make a routine and find a way to stick with it. And remember that anything you start is better than what you previously were or weren’t doing.

Dan Newell

Age: 40.

City: Columbus.

Occupation: Owner of Columbus’ Carl Fox Custom Cabinets.

Family: Wife Christina. Four children from age 9 to 14.

Where you work out: Columbus’ 812 CrossFit.

Hours per week: About three, but sometimes makes time for mountain biking in Brown County, too.

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Brian Blair is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at or 812-379-5672.