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Mary’s Story: Part 2 by Mary Hieb - CrossFit Journal

Mary’s Story: Part 2

By Mary Hieb

Video Article

CrossFit can be an incredibly competitive sport where others drive your performance to new heights, but Mary Hieb focuses on the importance of competing with herself and improving every day. After overcoming a host of medical problems including breast cancer, Mary has different fitness goals that are no less important than a 2:45 Fran or a spot at the CrossFit Games. To Mary, finishing a workout is a truly great accomplishment.

In Part 2 of this two-part series, Mary talks about how hard it was to enter a box full of athletes and struggle with new movements and scaled workouts. After Kurtis Bowler started Mary out with modified WODs at Rainier CrossFit, she found a love of weightlifting, and even though she fell over on her first weighted squat, she stuck with it and has significantly improved her fitness.

Mary’s story is an inspirational tale that proves you can get fitter at any age, and it’s typical of the amazing people in our community.

Video by Again Faster.

9min 18sec

Additional reading: CrossFit After 40 by Dr. Allison Belger, published Jan. 30, 2010.

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25 Comments on “Mary’s Story: Part 2”


wrote …

What an AMAZING woman!! Mary is so inspiring!
She is a testimony to hard work, and courage...Way to go!!


wrote …

Yes, Mary, you were led to CrossFit for a reason, but actually, YOU are also a leader. Your example will lead and inspire another group of people who need to work out follow your example. You may get to save and improve a few lives of those who follow your example. Your courage, determination and daily work makes you a wonderful athlete. I am another Mary fan.

Thank you, God Bless and continued good health.



Dan Mielke wrote …

What a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing it with us Mary.



wrote …

Simply amazing!!

Mary's story is everything that Crossfit is about. Crossfit is not about sculpted bodies. It's about challenging your self to do what you think is impossible and knowing that it really isn't. It's about functional fittness and results. I applaud Mary and her family for encouraging her to try Crossfit. She is definatly here for a reason. Thank you for sharing her story.
Reno Romero


Dane Thomas wrote …

How I wish that my mother was still around to see this. She would have ignored all of the firebreathers as being irrelevant to her situation, but Mary might have gotten through to her.


wrote …

Mary is so cute! What a great story and a great attitude.


wrote …

Truly a miracle.
Thank you Mary for sharing your first work out with us and showing everyone that they too can do it in baby steps.

Also kudos to Curtis Bowler for coaching her and seeing what and when Mary has had enough, thats a sign of a great coach.


wrote …

How to go Mary! Like everyone else has said.......truly inspiring. But don't settle for being realistic though. It is the quickest path to mediocrity. You have already proven to everybody that has watched these videos that shooting for the stars is the way to go. So go after that pull up Mary and have fun in the chase. All the best to you. Beauty work as well Curtis. You are part of the glue that makes Crossfit what it is. Keep up the awesome work.


wrote …

I am showing this to my mother and aunt. If a cancer survivor who was on death's door with a lung ailment can do CrossFit, anyone can. What a great story!


wrote …

yEA! Mary, awesome story. Thank you for sharing. I will show my parents what you have done and what you are still doing to improve a little everyday.
Inspiration to us all!



wrote …

What a super, inspirational lady! Thank you so much for sharing this story.


wrote …

What a beautiful story! Thank you for sharing it with us. Your determination motivates me to keep on going. I hope we get to see the results of your training by June. You are a great athlete.


Erik Larson wrote …

Geez Mary - I wept again and I truly believe that you are here in this community for a reason and that reason is not only there to serve you but the rest of us as well. Your perseverence is inspiring and will help lead others as well. Keep up the good work. You truly make a difference.




wrote …

Wow! What an incredible story! Truly an inspiration!


wrote …

If you were dying of scurvy and started taking vitamin C, would recovery be considered miraculous by the docs? Vigorous exercise is an essential ingredient for gene expression (health). Why is it considered miraculous when people start to show improved capacity/health with CrossFit? Coach Glassman said we have the largest N ever in history. We have the largest human population experiencing increased genetic capacity (you know, across broad time and modal domains) ever. CrossFit IS CHANGING THE WORLD. The size of this movement is mind boggling. How about the potential survival of the species?


Christopher Bishop wrote …

I can't add to the comments above on Mary and how inspirational she is.

However, I feel more of this needs to be seen and published on the main site. The WODs, Firebreathers, Crossfit Games and Pukie the clown can be a bit intimidating for those not familar with Crossfit's scalabilty and people need to know that they can go to a box start at THEIR level, and work at an intense level for THEM.


wrote …

this is awesome!!!!! keep it up mary!!!


wrote …

This is the age group that will benefit the most from Crossfit. The challenge is reaching them. Way to go Mary (my wife's name).


replied to comment from Leigh Baker

marry, i don't know if anyone has told you yet, but you are an absolute stud!!!!


wrote …

Mary, thank you for giving us your story. I want to make a business one day that can do for others what CF has done for you. Thanks again, and please keep us posted when you make that 400m! Paul


wrote …

I have several clients your age and your story really hit home with me. These clients make my job worth its weight it in gold. Thank you for showing us that health, happiness and success don't only mean a sub 5 min. Fran. You go, girl!


wrote …

Thanks Mary this was a gentle but very inspiring reminder to all of us that CrossFit isn't just for the elite athletes but for everyone. As a CrossFit coach who's mother is about Mary's age and basically house bound through lack of physical strength(due to inactivity), this story meant a lot to me. Mick CF Coffs Coast (Aus).


wrote …

Mary, CF HQ, thanks for sharing this story. I am as inspired by this as I am by the photos of the CF Games which I have up on my wall. I would love to learn how Mary's family convinced her to go, because for 15 years I have longed to share my passion for health and fitness with my wife......


wrote …

Both of these videos have brought tears to my eyes.

I started training my mother about a month ago. She is dealing with high cholesterol, osteopenia, some heart issues, etc. However, she is making wonderful progress. I have only recently been able to discuss diet in a serious manner with her. I am trying to move my mother away from grains b/c that is about 90% of her current diet while getting her to understand that protein and fat are very very good for her.

I wonder what Mary's diet is right now?

Way to go Mary! Prayer is truly important!


wrote …

Mary's story is the perfect advert for CrossFit especially when faced with the typical objections from people who give you numerous reasons not to do it based around their limiting beliefs of what they are capable of. This would be the single biggest story I've come across for someone to start..on the basis of "if Mary can do can you". Her age and medical condition are the biggest wake up call ans will probably embarrass a lot of people in terms of their attitude when CrossFit has been pitched to them. Oh it sounds too hard!! Well done guys on bring ing the world this life affirming story!

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