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Grieving Mother Offers Message of Thanks to the CrossFit Community

July 15, 2020 by
Photo Credit: Christine Ralston
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Three minutes: That’s all it took for 7-year-old Kevin Nye to tangle himself in the tarp used to cover his family’s above ground swimming pool. He died six days later, on June 18, from the injuries he sustained.

  • “The pool was 33 inches deep and he was 52 inches tall. He has been a great swimmer his entire life. We often went to the YMCA and he passed their most rigorous swim test. I never worried about him in the pool. So I went upstairs to grab the trash. I was only gone for three minutes according to video footage.” said his grieving mother Amanda Nye.
  • She paused and added: “ I wish I had never gone up to get the trash.”

Three minutes later, Amanda returned and found her son unconscious in the pool, tangled in the tarp they used to keep out Arizona’s notorious dust. A paediatric nurse, she performed chest compressions on her son and managed to regain a pulse.

  • “The ambulance arrived within six minutes and Kevin started taking breaths on his own again. They told us we would be able to take him home from the hospital the next day, that he would need physical therapy, but that he’d be OK,” Amanda said.

But then things went downhill. Kevin’s brain had swelled, and he passed away unexpectedly, leaving Amanda, Kevin’s father Adam Nye and 5-year-old sister Kayla Nye “completely shattered,” Amanda said.

Photo Credit: Christine Ralston

The CrossFit community steps in: Though nothing can ease the pain of losing a child, Amanda is adamant that the CrossFit community has made these recent days just a bit more manageable.

It all started with another mother Amanda became friends with through CrossFit.

  • “She reached out and asked if she could plan a workout in honor of Kevin. She asked if we could meet at the local High School track on Father’s Day,” Amanda said.
  • “I showed up and was expecting maybe 20 people, but there were more than 150 people there, people I have worked out with through CrossFit over the years. Just knowing that many people care about my family, and on Father’s Day, no less, seeing all these people show up just meant the world to me. It has made the pain a little more bearable,” she said.
Credit Christine Ralston (Amanda showing up to Kevin’s workout and seeing the massive crowd who showed up in support).

The workout was one Kevin, who started doing CrossFit with Amanda when he was just  a year-and-a-half old, came up with himself, Amanda explained.

  • “At my CrossFit moms group, we sometimes let the kids come up with workouts so this was one he created on his own. He loved burpees. He loved killing people with burpees,” she said.

Kevin’s workout is four rounds for time of 10 KB swings, 10 push-ups, 10 burpees and a 100-meter run.

Soon, people all over the world had caught wind of the tragedy and began doing the workout and posting about it with the hashtag #forkevin1212. CrossFit Mt. Holly in NJ even created a kids CrossFit scholarship in Kevin’s name.

  • “It has been incredible to watch. Sometimes whole gyms have done the workouts, and sometimes just individuals. Friends of mine that have never done CrossFit did the workout. People in Australia and France have completed the WOD. Even Sam Briggs and Pat Sherwood did the workout, and it was added as a workout on Beyond the Whiteboard,” Amanda said.
  • “In a time when I feel completely devastated and overcome with grief, the community showed up to honor my baby. #forkevin1212 provides just the smallest insight as to the number of people who have shown they care,” she said.

Through her grief, Amanda has a message to the CrossFit community: “When all of this was happening, it was in the midst of gyms (disaffiliating) and this and that and the other, and for me, the biggest take home is that none of that stuff matters. The community is what matters, and my community showed up for me so I want to thank the community. They helped this mama out big time,” she said.

  • She added: “I think my biggest message is none of the current politics matter. People matter. Surround yourself with people who love and support you and ignore the noise in the background. Love those who are hurting and who need you, and help where you can. For me, that is making a world of difference right now. The CrossFit community is good people.”

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