What’s it like to CrossFit with Cancer?

January 4, 2017 by
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It was August 2015, seven weeks after joining CrossFit Paramus, and David Wilcomes was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer. His membership was a Father’s Day gift from his daughter. “She had been after me to join for a while but I was always concerned that I could not do it- sometimes we learn from our children.”


Even though 66-years old and a newcomer to CrossFit, David chose treatment over surgery partially to continue with CrossFit. So David headed to radiation treatment at 8:00 AM. And by 9:00 AM, he was at CrossFit Paramus for the morning class, 2-3 days a week. “I felt it was important to have as much normalcy in my life as possible by continuing to exercise,” he said.


The only person at the box who knew of David’s cancer was his coach, Joe Ghaznavi. “Joe was always ‘keeping an eye on me’ and made sure I was doing okay.”

“I was determined to complete the workouts and not let the treatments be an excuse,” David admits. Aside from just “maintaining” his level of fitness, his numbers continued improving, especially in the back squat and deadlift. His mobility increased, even to the point where the needs for shoulder and knee replacements were postponed.


Whether by design or providence, David’s radiation treatment wrapped up right before the 2016 CrossFit Open kicked off, and he completed his first CrossFit Open. “Originally I did not tell anyone about the cancer, except Joe…The response of the people at the gym was genuine and heartwarming and Guerrilla Fitness Paramus will always be special to me.”

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