CrossFit Lanier Owner Amanda Wright Gets Sober, Gives Back to Help Others do the Same

May 18, 2023 by
Photo Credit: CrossFit Lanier | crossfitlanier
Enjoying Morning Chalk Up? Access additional exclusive interviews, analyses, and stories with an Rx membership.

After CrossFit Lanier helped Amanda Wright get sober, lose weight and regain her health, she purchased the gym in Cumming, GA in 2021.

Most recently, Wright decided she wanted to give back and help others get sober, so she hosted a fundraiser competition—the Spring Thaw Throwdown—which raised $3,500 for No Longer Bound, a local charity that helps men get sober “and reconnect with their family through counseling and bonding and healing,” Wright explained. 

The event was such a success she’s planning on turning it into an annual event to raise money.

  • “For the first time in a really long time, it felt like every moment of my struggle was worth it to be able to pay it forward,” Wright said. 

Wright’s Story

For a long time, Amanda Wright had a drinking problem that “progressively got worse,” but she managed to remain “functional” in her life for years.

Then in 2016, she found CrossFit while “sitting on the couch, hungover, scrolling through Facebook,” said Wright, who now owns CrossFit Lanier. 

While scrolling, an ad popped up calling “women who are out of shape and looking to change their lives,” she remembered. 

  • “And I was like, ‘Ooooh, that’s me,’” she added.

CrossFit Lainer was a 30-minute drive from her house, but Wright decided to take the plunge anyway and signed up for their six-week challenge.

She “loved it immediately,” started going regularly and managed to lose 30 pounds.  

Wright’s drinking slowed down as her priorities changed, and she was on “a decent path” for a while. She even stopped drinking entirely for three months, but couldn’t sustain it.

Soon, she started to find ways to manage her drinking around her CrossFit schedule. She continued to drink “until there was none left” or until she was blackout drunk any night she wasn’t going to CrossFit the next morning.

  • “I was navigating the problem rather than quitting,” she said.

And then, after going through a divorce, in 2019, “alcohol won.”

She stopped going to CrossFit and her drinking went from “functional to not really that functional,” Wright explained, adding that she essentially binge drank her way through 2019, something that continued into 2020 when the pandemic hit, everything shut down and she found herself drinking everyday, starting at noon.

On May 4, 2020, Wright woke up really hungover and looked in the mirror. She saw a woman who was forty pounds overweight, and who had developed a heart palpitation.

  • “I was not well. Not well at all. And I knew that I had to make a change,” she said.

So she called the CrossFit Lanier owners up because she was too ashamed to go to AA, and crawled back to the gym.

  • “I was terrified because the last time these people saw me, I had abs, I was in great shape and I was about to walk back in, 40 pounds heavier and not well,” she said. 

In her head, she thought their reaction would be, “What happened to you,” but it was anything but. Instead, everyone was just excited to see her.

  • “They didn’t know it, but I was going through sobriety and depression and suicidal thoughts…No one knew what my private struggle was, but what they also didn’t know was they were saving my life,” Wright said. 

Nine months later, in January 2021, the owners of the gym approached her and asked her if she was still serious about buying the gym, an idea she had pitched to them back in 2016 when she first fell in love with CrossFit.

She was. And by October, 2021, Wright not only ran the Chicago marathon, but she became the proud owner of CrossFit Lanier, a gym with 86 members.

Today, nearing two years of being a gym owner, Wright calls the experience the second hardest, yet second most rewarding thing she has ever done, behind only raising children. 

  • “I truly love it and I don’t feel like I’m working. It feels like it’s my life’s purpose. I’m changing lives,” said Wright, whose gym now has 140 members. 

Best of all, she said she feels like her life has forever been changed because of CrossFit and the community, and she encourages anyone trying to get sober to “just walk in the door.”

  • “It’s a unique, eclectic group of people and no one here judges anyone. We all have our trauma, we all have our bullshit…and life sucks for everyone sometimes,” Wright said.

But on the other side of that door is a whole world that can help change your life.

“So just walk in the damn door.”

Get the Newsletter

For a daily digest of all things CrossFit. Community, Competitions, Athletes, Tips, Recipes, Deals and more.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.