Senior Airman Dillon Poole

by Senior Airman Brittany A. Chase
Stripes Japan

MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan --“There’s a saying, ‘success is a few disciplines practiced everyday, over an extended period of time,’ so I knew if I took consistent action everyday I would start landing all these different flips.”

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Dillon Poole, a 35th Maintenance Squadron electronic warfare technician and tricking practitioner, spends hours each day perfecting his craft by taking continual action in order to achieve new heights.

Tricking requires strict discipline, combining kicks, flips and twists from gymnastics, along with many dance moves and styles from breakdancing.

“The hardest part of tricking is staying consistent,” explained Poole. “Every day I come in with a positive attitude, give it my all and focus on the things I’m good at. I build on my strengths by training daily to further improve my skills.”

Poole didn’t start his journey of acrobatics in a typical fashion — instead, a high school crush pointed out his lack of dancing skills, inspiring him to take a chance with break dancing.

“In the beginning I actually started with break dancing,” Poole stated. “I really enjoyed the power moves incorporated into it, leading me into tricking which is all the flips, kicks and martial arts.”

Most moves take Poole months on end to perfect, continually attempting to maneuver through each trick until the outcome is a flawless execution.

“My favorite trick is the webster, it’s pretty much a front flip,” explained Poole. “It probably took me four or five months of constantly failing. The feeling I got when I first landed it though, felt incredible.”

Tenacity is one of the many traits he uses to push himself to greater heights and overcome his doubts of failure.

“The most rewarding part is conquering my fears,” Poole said with a smile. “It gets addictive after awhile and you want to keep going and keep pushing yourself. The best way I’ve learned through defeating fears, is taking action and pushing myself.”

Taking action and staying persistent has not only helped Poole excel in tricking, but allows him to stay driven in his professional life.

“It’s taught me to show up to work everyday with a good attitude and be consistent in all I do,” Poole said. “Striving every day to work harder on myself enables me to add value to other people as well as maintaining and trouble shooting pods to the fullest of my ability.”

With nearly 5,000 followers on Instagram, he is also able to make an impact on a group of people who share his passion of tricking.

“What inspired me to start posting to social media was giving others, with my same hobby, ideas of things they can do. I really wanted to build a portfolio on Instagram to help people push themselves harder and be inspired,” said Poole.

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. John King, the 35th MXS day shift production supervisor, stated he's always a great influence on the other Airmen and comes to work with a positive attitude no matter the work load or situation.

Although Poole inspires thousands of people on social media, one friend is motivated every day by his actions to help others.

“Absolutely, he inspires me,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Zachary Bowden, a 35th Force Support Squadron fitness specialist. “He challenges me and motivates me to get better every single day. He always does his best to add value wherever he can and to anyone he encounters, helping everyone around him get better. He is one of the greatest friends I have ever had.”

For anyone starting out tricking, or any new endeavour, Poole says it helps to figure out what their “why” is, and focus on it when things get hard.

“There’s that saying, ‘motivation is what gets you started, and habit is what keeps you going,’” Poole said quoting Jim Ryun. “So if you keep pushing, it will get to the point where it will feel weird if you don’t train and that’s where you want to get to.”

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