Small Moments of Human Truth

Former “American Gladiators” Star Survies a Heart Attack—And Competes In WZA

Wodapalooza Bayfront Park

By: Ana Ruedaquintero

Some athletes come to Wodapalooza (WZA) looking for that sought-after podium win and the bragging rights that come with it. Others come to enjoy “the small moments of human truth.” This is precisely the case of Dan “Nitro” Clark, a first year WZA athlete competitor in the Masters 50+ division.

Clark is a retired pro athlete, fitness expert, entrepreneur, and television personality who made his name based on the smash hit TV show “American Gladiators,” where he played the iconic gladiator “Nitro” for seven seasons in the late 80s and early 90s.

After surviving a heart attack three years ago, Clark has devoted himself to enjoying and celebrating life’s smaller moments.

“Now I make a conscious effort to recognize and shine a light on those moments that may have slipped by before,” he said. “Being in Miami with the beautiful weather and people makes me feel so blessed. I am lucky to be with a bunch of athletes as talented as the ones competing this weekend in Wodapalooza. For many, the goal is to win a podium spot; for me, it is not to die, because I still have that thought in the back of my head.”

Unlike popular thought, Clark didn’t let unfortunate circumstances darken his life.

After obtaining the green light from his doctors to exercise again, he started training and looking for an event that could test the limits of his fitness while having fun in the process. In his search, he discovered WZA, diving into the opportunity head on.

“I became interested in this event because of the level of athletes Wodapalooza has gathered over the last five years,” he said. “You’ve got guys like Ron Ortiz who is just a monster. “

After studying his competition for WZA 2017, Clark knew he needed to have a strategic approach to succeed in the competition all weekend long. He adopted the mentality of outsmarting his competitors rather than outworking them, as he wanted to stay healthy and prevent any further injuries. He kept programming simple, focusing on basics like maximizing recovery and rest periods so his body was 100 percent every time he needed to get back to the grind.

“Wodapalooza has been amazing; I am having a fantastic time and I have been able to complete every fitness event thus far,” Clark said of the weekend so far. “The best thing about this competition is that it doesn’t feel like (a competition); there is so much camaraderie and human connection. I have made such good friends in the last two days and I am sure I will continue to enjoy my time here.”

If you like to follow Dan’s competition results, visit: http://leaderboard.thewodapalo...