This is the story of how CrossFit, and in particular River Valley Club, set me on one of the most rewarding adventures of my life. Or, as I like to think of it, this is how RVC became a major part of my Mitch 2.0 journey.
Two years ago, I found myself driving over the White Mountains on my way to Dartmouth College for my first onsite interview for the position of Vice President and Chief Information Officer. While driving I got a call from Barry Mills, my boss for over 12 years while he was the president of Bowdoin College. Barry knew my personality and understood how stressful the interviews could be. I still remember that we laughed about how people at Dartmouth might not understand the high level of energy and intensity I tend to bring to meetings. Accordingly, Barry recommended that I burn off some excess energy by doing a workout before beginning my interviews. Barry had already talked with his contacts at Dartmouth, and he felt that this job was within my grasp. I just needed a way to fine tune my energy level for the interviews. Following Barry’s wise advice, I jumped on Yelp, found RVC and booked two times at the CrossFit Box. One was that night at 6:15 pm and the other was for 5:00 am the next morning.
That evening I headed over to RVC. I was introduced to everyone, a common practice at a CrossFit Box. By coincidence, I found I had signed up for what is known as a “Hero Workout.” As I quickly learned, a Hero Workout is a tribute to a fallen first responder or to a member of the military who died in the line of duty. I also learned that these workouts are especially challenging. Ralph Regione was leading the Hero Workout that night. As he walked by me, he noticed I was struggling a bit. In a calm voice, he said: “Just keep going” and then walked away smiling. As it turned out, Ralph’s encouragement was all that I needed to keep going and complete the workout. Having survived the Hero Workout, I was looking forward to what we would be doing tomorrow morning. Thanks to RVC, I was well prepared for my upcoming interviews.
My first interview at Dartmouth was over breakfast with Elizabeth Smith, Dan Rockmore and Martin Wybourne. I still remember Dan saying somewhat incredulously: “So you’ve been up since 4:30 am, you’ve worked out, had breakfast, and now you’re ready.” To which he added: “But, I’m just waking up.” It turned out we had a great conversation that covered everything from Elizabeth’s research to the beginning of a Dartmouth renaissance in research, teaching, and entrepreneurship and how Information Technology could fit into that vision. My other interviews went equally well. Success!
Not surprisingly then, the first thing I did after being selected as the next Dartmouth CIO was to sign up with RVC. I met with Kate and received a tour of the facility. I still remember being surprised by the experience. RVC was not like any CrossFit Box I had ever seen. RVC had swimming pools, saunas, steam, a cold pool, tennis courts, and a wealth of services including massage, physical therapy, and nutrition. Kate gave me a great recommendation for Enhanced Health where I met with my new Doctor, Cathy Beaver. Cathy soon became the progenitor of my Mitch 2.0 journey along with the rest of the team at RVC and Enhanced Health.
Having started on my Mitch 2.0 journey, I began working with Kate on such things as workout opportunities, nutrition, life goals, and weight control. Soon, I was also working closely with the physical therapist Greg Shea and my new coach Chris Wilder. Greg’s guidance and expertise turned out to be critical to my success. We started meeting once a week to determine where I was weak and where I needed flexibility, strength, balance, and speed. Once we had that information, we folded it into the Mitch 2.0 plan and started working together every other week.
As with Kate, from the beginning I also worked with Chris Wilder, one of the RVC personal coaches. My work with Chris was essential to keeping me on task, calling out achievements, and taking ongoing measurements of my range of movement, aerobic capacity, strength and flexibility. Chris kept my goals realistic, celebrated milestones with me, and made certain I kept moving forward. His attitude and creativity made this part of the journey both interesting and inspiring.
This story began with how RVC contributed to my success in getting the CIO position at Dartmouth. But the story goes on to explain how RVC helped me in my quest to secure my Mitch 2.0 vision. But these are really part of a single story. Tolstoy has a good quote that explains this perfectly: ““Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”” I had to embrace personal change in my life to create the version of myself that would be able to lead and create Information, Technology and Consulting at Dartmouth.
RVC allowed me to embark on an amazing journey of adventure and success. Remarkably, everything we originally started out to accomplish is done. But the journey is far from over. RVC is committed to helping people become the best version of themselves, and in my case, that means working with me to move on to Mitch 2.5. I can’t wait!
Thanks to everyone who worked to help get me here.
RVC is committed to helping people become the best version of themselves, and in my case, that means working with me to move on to Mitch 2.5.
Mitch Davis, Member Since 2017