Dan Vinson: Livin’ The Monkii Life


Manage episode 285689969 series 2421902
By Brad Kearns. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Dan Vinson is the Founder of Monkii.co, makers of unique, compact home fitness equipment that allow you to enjoy a full body workout.

He has also had quite the interesting journey as a young entrepreneur and lifelong athlete. He made an improbable progression at Georgetown University from walk-on lacrosse player to earning a starting spot and full scholarship. We talk about the unique mindset attributes he displayed as a youth to persevere and continue to excel. One interesting element of that story is how Dan got just a tiny glimpse of his potential with an excellent practice performance, but then took repeat poundings and rode the bench for a long time until he got his chance.

You may be familiar with Alex Honnold’s historic ascent of YOsemite’s El Capitan, as portrayed in the movie Free Solo, but if you want to climb El Cap the “regular” way, did you realize that it can take days to get to the top? You have to haul tons of climbing ropes and gear, sleeping bags, food, water, and clothing, hoisting backpacks up rope lines and continually stopping to regroup and climb a new pitch. After a couple failed attempts, Dan’s successful ascent (taking 31 hours!) was only a part way point in the awesome physical challenge. He and his climbing partner got hypothermic at the top. Instead of camping out, they had to hike 10 miles back to Yosemite Valley in the middle of the night with no food or water.

You’ll learn how Dan’s extreme passion for outdoors (check out his wilderness workout video from back in the day!) was the inspiration for creating Monkii, and how he leveraged the power of Kickstarter to quickly build Monkii into a home fitness powerhouse. Enjoy the episode, and if you enjoyed learning about Dan and Monkii and want to hear more from him, check out his podcast here.


Brad’s guest has many adventure stories to tell covering fitness mentality and competitive intensity. [01:14]

Dan talks about how he was able to build his business quickly. [05:14]

What is a stoic mat? It helps balance and stabilizes muscles. [09:05]

Dan and his partner have invented many different types of equipment with nature in mind. [13:11]

What will the future be in society’s approach to fitness overall? [18:56]

If and when we do get back to the gym, the social aspect and support will be there. [19:56]

The football winning streak at his high school worked because of the way the players trained. [22:41]

Dan played lacrosse in high school and college. He kept in shape in the summer in the wilderness. [24:05]

Dan is a good example of commitment the way he kept going to practice with hope of improving enough to make the team. [27:58]

It is a challenge to leverage the skills you’ve developed in one arena and apply those to another endeavor [31:34]

When you develop commitment as a skill as an athlete, you are a good candidate for any job. [36:46]

Dan talks about his rim-to-rim-rim trip to the Grand Canyon and climbing El Capitan. [39:09]

Dan describes the ordeal of his climbing El Capitan in Yosemite. [45:01]

Can a novice climb El Capitan? [56:04]

Repelling is much more dangerous. You cannot make a mistake. [59:54]

Is there a trend in the younger generations of how they plan their lifestyle? [01:07:22]



“The guys who could stay hungry ended up being the best players.”

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313 episodes