29 – Dave Castro on applying lessons learned as a SEAL, his daily routine, and directing the CrossFit Games


Dave Castro knew he wanted to become a Navy SEAL before graduating from high school, and it wasn’t long after that he enlisted in the Navy, graduated from BUD/S and began his service as a SEAL from 1998-2010. In 2005, he first caught wind of CrossFit and started following CrossFit.com to support his training. By 2006 he had begun training at the original CrossFit HQ affiliate in Santa Cruz, CA and was soon helping out at Level 1 seminars. The following year, he hosted the first ever CrossFit Games competition at his family’s Ranch in Aromas, CA. Since that time, the CrossFit Games competition has grown exponentially into a professional sport under Dave’s direction, and this year marks the 10th season of competition in CrossFit Games history. Now Dave serves as the Director of the CrossFit Games and Co-Director of Training alongside Nicole Carroll. I was excited to sit down with Dave to discuss what drives him, how he continues to use his SEAL training today, and his approach to programming and directing the Games. 

In this episode, we discuss:

  • His thoughts on the 2016 Regional Competition
  • His approach to programming events for various levels of CrossFit Games competition
  • How he uses inspiration from art, music, literature, and other sports to inspire CrossFit Games events
  • His daily routine
  • His experience dropping in to every affiliate in San Diego county this year
  • His current training regimen
  • What inspired him to become a Navy SEAL
  • How he applies lessons and skills learned as a SEAL to his position as a leader within CrossFit
  • How he found closure as a SEAL and transitioned out of the military and into his full time role with CrossFit HQ
  • What drives him to make the CrossFit Games competition the best it can possibly be
  • Three things he does on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on his health
  • The books he’s read most recently
  • One thing he struggles to implement that could have a big impact on his health
  • How he distinguishes health from performance
  • What a healthy life looks like to him

You can learn more about Dave by following him on Instagram, The CrossFit Games website, or by watching the video below:

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear all of your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #JFHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.
Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.

3 Responses to “29 – Dave Castro on applying lessons learned as a SEAL, his daily routine, and directing the CrossFit Games”

  1. Kaedra Jones

    Great podcast! This was fun to listen to and you asked some great questions! Lucky for us listeners that Dave considers you to be a good friend :)

  2. Beth

    Great podcast. It gave me a new perspective on Dave Castro, CrossFit and the games.Thanks!

  3. AJ Antenorcruz

    Julie: Great interview and I love your upbeat positive theme music! Another title Dave should be given is “Business Leader”. He does things that you could never learn in today’s business schools and shows how an organization should be run.


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