Eight-time CrossFit Games athlete Chris Spealler, and a man who is often considered a legend of the sport, announced on social media on Tuesday that he tested positive with the novel coronavirus. He has been experiencing symptoms for four weeks, and although he’s on the mend, he’s still not 100 percent.
Spealler as a CrossFit athlete: Always a fan favorite, Spealler’s accomplishments in the sport are especially remarkable considering his five-foot-five, 143-pound frame. A true pioneer of the sport, Spealler competed in the first six CrossFit Games — from 2007 until 2012 — and then again in 2014. In 2017, he placed third at the Games in the men’s 35-39-year-old division. He also won the Spirit of the Games Award in 2010.
- “Initially I was hesitant to share this with anyone due to the uncertainty and fear around the virus, but I think it’s important for us to do our part and take things seriously with a level head,” wrote the longtime CrossFit Park City owner from Utah.
In just two hours on Tuesday, Spealler’s post had gathered 397 comments, many of them prayers from other Games athletes, like fellow eight-time competitor Stacie Tovar and 2011 and 2012 Games athlete Jenny Labaw.
- “Get well. Healing blessings to your entire family,” offered Cheryl Brost, who competed at her first CrossFit Games as an individual woman in 2010 and has competed at the Games five times in the master’s division.
Later on Tuesday: Spealler went live on Instagram and revealed his wife and two children have also contracted the virus, each of them experiencing different symptoms. So have people within his gym community.
- For Spealler personally, it began with a dry cough that lasted a couple of days. Then he went for a 5 km “casual run” and noticed he was more winded than usual and couldn’t catch his breath.
- A few days later, Spealler got tested. Two days later, he found out he was positive for the novel coronavirus. Though he quarantined himself from his wife and kids, his wife soon started seeing symptoms as well, including body aches. Shortly after, his children started to experience a dry cough and fatigue.
The worst physical ailment for Spealler was the shortness of breath, which “really got concerning,” he said. Concerning enough that it prevented him from working out for a week, which “for me is kind of unheard of,” Spealler said.
Approximately four weeks have passed since Spealler became ill, and although he’s back training again, he said he still doesn’t feel like he can really push himself.
Spealler’s advice to others: “I think us living in fear is a huge mistake. It’s a huge mistake, but I also think us living naive to what things are is also a really big mistake,” he said. “It’s not just a cold. It is not just a cold for healthy people…so respect that. Stay home for the people that don’t have that immunity.”
Also, if you’re feeling down and out, be smart and take it easier on your workouts, he urged. Focus on fitness enhancing your lifestyle, as opposed to hindering it.
And as any legend would do, even amidst his sickness, Spealler finished his live post by asking anyone listening to reach out to him privately if they have any questions or concerns.
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