Lifestyle

CrossFit Coach Anthony Baca Dies of Cancer at Age of 34

May 4, 2022 by
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Chris Treanor
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On April 28, 34-year-old Anthony Baca, an eight-year coach at Blade Method Fitness in Phoenix, AZ lost his battle with mantle cell lymphoma, a diagnosis he was given in August 2019. He leaves behind a wife and two children—Shawnee, Shelby and Terrance—and a CrossFit community that “loved him with their whole hearts,” said Blade Method owner Chris Treanor.

Baca didn’t go down without a fight. After chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant, he beat cancer, returned to coaching and even competed in the CrossFit Open in 2021. But then, two months ago, while at a Hallowe’en party, Baca suffered a seizure and soon discovered he had three brain tumors, as well as cancer in his spine.

Baca’s Impact at Blade

Baca started his CrossFit journey in 2013 and became a consistent member of the community that “everyone loved to have in class,” Treanor said. 

After a year-and-a-half of being a member of the gym, Baca began a coaching apprenticeship, and so began a career that changed hundreds of lives, Treanor explained. 

“Over the years Anthony grew, developed and honed his coaching skills, becoming a world class coach, the best encourager and hype man you could ask for, while also being a sensitive confidant to lift you up when you were down,” he added. 

This ability to lift others up continued even as he battled cancer—”he remained focused on making others feel special,” Treanor said—and the fact that he’s gone is still unimaginable.

“Losing someone with a wife and two young children is hard enough, but when that person was a life changer, someone that had the spirit to motivate and inspire change, it makes it unbearable,” Treanor said.

Through his grief, Treanor will remember his friend as “one of those people you meet and you instantly feel like you’re the most important person he has ever met.”

Honoring Baca

On Wednesday, the Blade Method community got together and did a workout they created in Baca’s honor, a 24-minute AMRAP that included movements Baca both excelled at and loved.

AMRAP 24:

4 ring muscle-ups

28 wall balls (20/14 lb.)

22 power cleans (135/95 lb.)

34 double-unders

A GoFundMe link has been set up for Baca’s family. 

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