Ty’s Story: How CrossFit Saved his Life and Sustains Him in COVID Quarantine
Meet Ty and Tash May.
The young couple from Australia have been Crossfitting for the better part of a decade, but even before the Australian government mandated gyms to close to slow the spread of COVID-19, they moved their metcons to their makeshift home gym.
Coronavirus can kill: That’s the frightening reality for Ty May who was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer late 2019.
- “Ty’s hematologist has advised us to self-isolate given the unknown risks that catching COVID-19 could cause to Ty’s treatment and upcoming Bone Marrow Transplant,” his wife Tash told the Morning Chalk Up.
- “It’s the people who feel well, or don’t have the symptoms that bad, who are too selfish to self-isolate and withdraw from their usual lives, are the people spreading this around. In 2 weeks’ time when someone they love is unwell, it won’t feel so trivial to them then,” Tash added.
Why the increased risk: For cancer patients like Ty during chemotherapy, there’s already a high risk of them catching pneumonia. With COVID-19 being a new virus there’s so much uncertainty about how this could further complicate treatment and recovery.
The reality is, it could be fatal: In Australia, non-urgent surgery is also unpredictable at this time. While Ty’s chemotherapy schedule remains unchanged, he’s yet to receive a date for his Bone Marrow Transplant.
But it was CrossFit that saved Ty’s life and continues to motivate the Mays during this ongoing and indefinite time in isolation.
- “Ty only went to the doctor because he started getting dizzy while working out. If he wasn’t fit and healthy to begin with, he wouldn’t have noticed that change in his body so soon,” she said.
Ty has also been advised to “stay active” during his treatment and recovery, so they brought in an exercise bike, kettlebell, a dumbbell and some resistance bands for when he’s forced to stay in the hospital: “Some days Ty isn’t up for more than a lap around the ward, but on the good days, he pushes through,” Tash added.
Tash also joined Street Parking for when Ty is home from the hospital to continue working out but still be close to him: “The positive and supportive online community is just amazing,” she said.
Speaking of community: “I cannot begin to describe just how amazing the CrossFit Community has been for us during this time,” Tash said.
Within two weeks of Ty’s diagnosis last year, fellow CrossFitters raised $11,000 (AUD) during a 24-hour row-athon, where the community completed more than 315,000km.
It’s no surprise that their local community at CrossFit Townsville continues to rally behind them in isolation. From people cooking meals, to care packages being dropped off, even a working-Bee to mow & tidy their yard.
The Mays’ message to those struggling to stay sane in isolation: “The lockdown measures are temporary, and yes for many of us it sucks that we won’t be able to go to the gym, go on holidays or see our friends, but if 6 months down the track all of our friends and loved ones get through this, then that will be worth the short term pain,” Tash said.