Ready for Battle
Our CrossFit community has been around for several years now. As with any family, we have experienced joy, pain, loss and success. We have laughed and cried together.
We are not strangers to sickness. Our community has supported athletes through birth, chemotherapy and surgery. We cook and deliver real food or whatever else needs to happen. It’s what we do. We are a family.
Unfortunately, this reality has presented itself yet again. After his amazing transformation and weight loss, Charlie noticed a lump in his neck. He had it checked out. The news was not good. He quickly had surgery to remove the mass. Again, the news was not good. With less than a 5% chance of cancer, that is the call he received. He is currently undergoing chemotherapy.
This is a classic case of bad things happening to good people. Charlie is an incredible, generous, and uplifting presence in our box. Simply put, he cares about people. If you are not careful, he will hug you...often. He is married to his soulmate, who also enriches our lives at CFJ. Charlie has four talented, healthy and happy teenage children. One will be heading off to college in the fall. Charlie is a hard worker, coaches his kids’ soccer teams and loves to surf. He just participated in the 2016 CrossFit Open as a strong, fit 40 some year old man. So when he got this diagnosis, we were all floored. The thoughts echoed through all of our minds.
“How could this happen to Charlie?”
“He is so healthy. He has never looked better!”
“Charlie has incredible nutrition!”
We were stunned. This did not make any sense. We will never know any other storyline because this is the one we were dealt, but I do know this. Charlie was ready for battle. Yes, he was strong, healthy, happy and working hard to build a better version of himself, and maybe that put him in the best possible situation to become an everyday warrior.
I cheered as Charlie and Tracy worked through partner “Murph” on Saturday. Charlie had another round of chemo on Memorial Day, but he wasn’t going to let that keep him out of the game. Vince Lombardi said, “It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get up.” I might argue that Charlie was never even knocked down! Holding Tracy’s hand, he walks into the box smiling several times a week.
We all use our time in the box for different things. Maybe it is a place to not be a dad, or a husband, or a banker, or a lawyer. Maybe it is a place to not be a patient. Instead, it is a place for Charlie to be himself, a man with an infectious smile and a textbook air squat.