Dave Driskell moved from California two and a half years ago to open a bar (Royal Oak) with a friend. He’d always been interested in fitness, but working long hours at the bar made it a bit difficult. “I loved working at the bar, but eventually my passion for travel took over, so I decided it was time to see the world and get fit while doing it. I got my LEVEL 1 Cross fit certification before I left,” he shares. His plan was to teach while he traveled, but he started casually posting travel and fitness pictures on instagram™ and before he knew it, he had a following. “The response has been mind-boggling. Now I’m inspired to teach, I love it!”
Are you interested in eventually doing training programs in various parts of the world?
Absolutely. What I’ve noticed is that people are very curious about my workouts. When they see me doing my routine, they stop me and ask me what I’m doing. Often people tell me that they don’t have anything like that and they want to learn, so I teach them. So, yes, I see the potential. My training is unconventional as far as the traditional gym experience goes, so for them it’s something new. I just booked some stuff all thanks to Instagram. I’m actually flying to NY to dosome boot camps with a fellow Instagram friend (@kmaecags) that I’ve never met; she also happens to love Cross Fit and has plenty of followers herself. We are planning on hitting California and Texas next.
So this is becoming more like a career or a business rather than just a hobby?
Yes! At first it was just out of passion. I wanted to show people what I did; it was also a good way to keep myself in check while I traveled. But now it’s turned into something much bigger.
How did you get into Cross Fit?
It was here in Houston. I’ve been following the sport for more than three years. It was actually because of the movie 300. I was watching the pre-production stuff and how they got Gerard Butler to get so fit. Then I stumbled across Skyline CrossFit gym that offered Cross Fit and have been doing it for about a year and a half.
So, did your passion for traveling inspire the fitness idea or was it the other way round?
Yes, I’ve always wanted to travel. Before I moved to Houston, I was planning a trip to Thailand, and then I got very, very sick. I almost died of E. coli poisoning. I was in the hospital for 11 days. I lost about 25 pounds. It was awful! So I had to cancel my Thailand trip. It took me a few months to recover; it was a big life-changing experience. That is when I got the job offer to open Royal Oak. I focused on my recovery and after two years I decided it was time, and I took off to Southeast Asia.
What inspires you?
It’s my wonderlust. It’s a combination of my irresistible impulse to travel and the desire to embark on a journey to figure out one’s self-existence. I never thought I would leave Orange County to be honest; if you would have told me ten years ago, that I would be living somewhere other than California, I would have been like, “you’re crazy, why would I leave, I love it here.” In the last six months I got a taste of what’s out there, and I realize there is so much more to see and do. I just want to see everything.
How do you afford to travel if you are always on the go?
I definitely travel with a limited budget; the key is to stick to it. It consists of about 30 to 50 dollars a day. That covers my rent, transportation, food and, yes, in most cases I even have some left over for a night on the town with friends. I pick up jobs wherever I’m at, so that secures an income to keep me moving. I recently looked at some properties in Bali and realized that they don’t have Cross Fit gym there, so that is definitely something I would like to explore. It’s heaven!
Do you follow a specific diet?
Predominantly I stick to a Paleo diet, or the “caveman diet” as some call it, at least eighty percent of the time. It consists of no dairy, sugar, starches, processed foods, grains, legumes, coffee or alcohol. It gets a little hard when you are traveling and surrounded by amazing food, but I also allow myself to break the diet every once in a while.
Do you stick to a weekly exercise routine?
As of late, I’ve been traveling a lot, so I don’t have a routine. The thing is that with the way I train, it always varies; there is no routine. I incorporate a lot of running, rowing, jumping as well. It all depends where I’m at and the landscape. That is what is so cool about Cross Fit; my workouts are different every day.
Tell me a about your tattoos.
I got my first one when I was 19, then over the past thirteen years I’ve been getting more here and there. It’s been a work in progress. The writing on my arm is one of the most recent. It’s funny; it’s actually a quote from the movie Point Break. Bodhi, who was Patrick Swayze’s character, would say, “Little hand says it’s time to rock and roll.” It struck a chord with me.
To follow Dave, please visit his instagram @davedriskell
By Pixie Ibañez
Photography by Cody Bess
Sports attire provided by Lululemon.