Like most kids growing up in rural Oklahoma sports was a way of life for my high school years growing up in Wyandotte, Oklahoma, where it was no different than movies like Varsity Blues and Friday Night Lights. On Friday nights everyone in town would come to see the local team play their hearts out in an attempt to win the BIG game. It was in these formative years of my life that I learned the values of being involved in fitness, and becoming a strong athlete. I have always been a large person growing up I was the biggest and strongest kid in school. I played all sorts of sports in high school football, baseball, track and field, but power-lifting was where I excelled! Dead-lifting was my specialty the ultimate show of brute strength. Lifting a static object off the ground breaking its inertia while pulling it to your hips this was a true testament to the strength of a man. That was when I began my obsession with lifting. I was given a scholarship to play football at a NAIA College called Missouri Valley, but this was not the fairy-tale I dreamt it would be needless to after a semester I dropped out of college and went back home.
After working for two years at a local casino doing security my life as hometown hero, and state high school power-lifting champion seemed to be drifting away like ripples in a pond. So, I did something drastic, but also probably one of the greatest decisions I have made or ever will make in my life. I joined the U.S. Army it was during these wonderful and challenging years of my life that I learned what my body was truly capable of fitness had become a way of life. It was in the Army I develop the “Warrior” mentality to never give up and never quit on yourself. While in the Army I was given many opportunities including teaching “MACP” Modern Army Combatives Program basically mixed martial arts at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma. In the Army fitness is a way of life, but power-lifting is not something the Army really wants you to do. I put that part of my life on the back burner, and focused on just being as fit as possible. I deployed to Iraq in 2009 while there they had a small dead-lifting competition which I ended up winning. It ended up lighting a fire inside me that couldn’t be put out. I left the Army in 2012, and started working at the Federal Bureau of Prisons. While working at the prison I would get asked almost everyday by staff and prisoners “How much do you lift man? You’re huge!” it got old after a while. After hearing these questions countless times I thought maybe I should do something with my size and strength. I began training for power-lifting again, but I didn’t enjoy it I wanted more than just to be strong I wanted to be athletic too. Then I saw a documentary on Netflix call Born Strong. Watching this show I thought I’m the same size as most of these guys I’m close to being as strong too. I should give this a go. In 2018 I decide to start training for Strongman which I really enjoy. In Strongman I’m able to get both strength and conditioning training out of my workouts. Now I have decided that 2019 is going to be the year I start to compete, and see how far I can take this dream to become one of the Elite Strongman in the World. Time will tell I look forward to sharing my experiences with you on my journey to become a Pro Strongman.
-Daniel Pledger, Frost Giant Fitness Athlete