Our member, Taylor DiBiasio has a great story on how he began CrossFit.  He tells us how it helped him get through cancer treatment, lose almost 100lbs and create a family in a new city.

Here is Taylor’s story:

I went from the structure of college athletics, of being told how to workout and what to eat on a daily basis, to unmonitored adult life in what seems like the blink of the eye, and I was not ready. My nutrition and strength quickly went downhill, despite remaining recreationally active.  The extra weight I gained along with a lack of flexibility was also causing regular injuries.

I began looking into CrossFit, but the intensity scared me. I couldn’t do pull-ups or even know what a snatch was.  And walk on my hands?  No way that was happening.  So instead I tried 24 hour fitness, Orange Theory, personal training, but was really missing pushing myself.  It seemed like if I got better at running, I got weaker on the weights or vice versa.  I started at my local Crossfit gym and have been working hard ever since.

I was 315 pounds, and had next to no experience with any of the movements.  Great coaches convinced me that if I showed up every day and did the work, I would get better; and so I showed up. I showed up to the gym, but more importantly, the gym showed up for me. At the hardest points of workouts my gym fam would shout some words of encouragement, or yell an inside joke, or simply convince me that I could keep going, so I did. They applied this same level of support through 3 rounds of chemotherapy as well.

I had been diagnosed with testicular cancer and told my gym I would have to stop working out during chemo but they were not about to let me lose all of the progress I had worked for (I was down to 270 and feeling great!) So everyday, after chemo, someone from the gym would pick me up, we would go to the gym, and they would scale the workout for me based on how I was feeling that day. Sometimes that meant just letting me row the day away, or sometimes that meant pushing me into lifting just a little bit of weight. The workouts kept my appetite up, kept me eating, and got me through the hardest 6 months of my life.

Moving to Portland was exciting, but I was sad to leave my first gym. Crossfit changed my life. I was now down to 250 pounds, and every aspect of my health and fitness was improving. I came down to Portland to find a place to live and that’s when I came into Crossfit PE.  Katie gave me a tour, talked to the owner, Laurie and met with the Head Coach, Joey. I knew this would be my new gym home.  The cool thing about CrossFit is that you will meet people who show up every day to work hard and get better.

Every personal success is celebrated by the CrossFit PE family.  Every day feels like a PR day here.  I am now down to 230 pounds (partially thanks to living with Crossfit PE’s resident nutritionist.) I ran my first half marathon, lift weights heavier than me and now starting a journey to become a coach. 

Crossfit because it makes me healthier and happier.  Everyday I am with people who I want to surround myself with.  They make me better; what more can you ask for?

Taylor DiBiasio

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