Today I am taking a break from talking about CrossFit (mostly), Jiu-Jitsu or other competitive sports for a moment – to write about what happens when the competition you face is one for your life.
One of the reasons many of us spend countless hours in the gym, is because of the benefits it gives us in our day to day lives. The health benefits, the more balanced mind, the confidence. But what happens when you don’t ever get the chance to experience that – and find yourself in a battle for your life – before you are even old enough to process what that means?
For those of us with children – the thought of them battling a serious illness never really crosses our minds. They are babies, we fret over them, we worry constantly every time they cough or have a stuffy nose – and then they grow up, healthy, maybe break a bone on a playground – and we stop thinking about the fact they have never been seriously sick. We stop thanking whatever power we believe in for their well-being. We expect our children to be healthy – until they aren’t.
When my girlfriend told me about her friends Ryan and Kelsey – and their beautiful baby girl Maya – my heart hurt. The Powell, WY couple knew their daughter would be born with a serious heart defect and since she was born 5 months ago, their lives have been about that battle. Long trips to Denver for treatment – a surgery scheduled for next week – which could be just one of many she needs. An ordeal like this wears on a person, wears on a relationship and creates stress in every aspect of your life. As much as money doesn’t matter to you in a time like this – we all know, it does eventually matter. This family will be dealing with these bills long after Maya has her surgery or surgeries.
I have never met Ryan, Kelsey or Maya – but their ordeal is something I have seen others go through. I can’t help Maya get better. I can’t heal her heart like a doctor can. I can’t make Ryan and Kelsey stop worrying about their daughter. I can’t fly them back and forth from Denver.
What I can do, and what each and every one of you reading this can do – is strip away the stress this financial burden has placed on this brave young couple. That’s what the wild/STRONG #WOD4Maya is all about - all of us coming together – to make a real impact on these people’s lives.
If every CrossFit gym in Wyoming – and I know we don’t have a lot compared to other states – came together and ran this event at their gym, and got 25 people to participate – if those 25 people ordered our event shirt…we could raise more than $7,500.00 for them. I personally would like to see us do a bigger number than that. We have set a goal to raise $10,000.00 through event shirt sales and additional donations to a GoFundMe page set up for the family.
The CrossFit Community in Wyoming is powerful – and we can make a difference in these parents’ lives. Think about your child, or the children you want to have one day – if you’re like me, you get choked up at the thought of them having to go through something so scary. What would that mean for your life? How would you deal with it? Would you appreciate a group of strangers joining forces for your child and donating 10 grand to your family? Let’s make this event a success and show Ryan and Kelsey that Wyoming takes care of its own. That’s the spirit of the west and that’s the spirit of the CrossFit community.