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Facing Obstacles: Doing the CrossFit Open With Cancer by Sevan Matossian - CrossFit Journal

In Athletes, CrossFit Games, Videos

April 27, 2011

Video Article

“CrossFit has introduced me to courage beyond the military,” says Kirk from CrossFit Valdosta. “It’s the community and the mental strength that comes from it.”

Kirk has been diagnosed with Stage 3 melanoma but isn’t letting that stop him from competing in the Reebok CrossFit Games Open. At only 29 years old, Kirk says he has undergone multiple surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation and has a paralyzed right shoulder. But to Kirk, his obstacles are lesser to those of his friend and mentor Trevor, a man he describes as a “walking paraplegic.”

“Every day he faces his obstacles, and he puts a smile on his face and keeps his head up,” Kirk says. “That’s how I want to interact.”

Kirk has been in the military for about 11 years and is currently on medical leave from Army Special Forces training. He’s also been a CrossFitter for a long time, having obtained his Level 1 certificate in 2006.

“I think that CrossFit is huge because of the mental strength it requires. I mean obviously physical strength will go away—it happened with me: I lost about 30 lb. with all this—but it’s the mental strength and the mental lessons you learn through it.”

Despite his adversity, Kirk says it “gives me no excuse. I’ll still compete.”

9min 14sec

Additional reading: Amanda Miller Tribute.

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28 Comments on “Facing Obstacles: Doing the CrossFit Open With Cancer ”

1

wrote …

If Kirk can push like this, with all he has gone through, we all need to push. Great story Kirk, keep me up to date on this guy!

2

wrote …

Tough Fucking Dude. Good luck my prayers go out to you

3

wrote …

Wow! You are amazing!

4

wrote …

Wow

5

wrote …

That is awesome! God bless you bro!

6

wrote …

Incredible story Kirk. Keep up the good fight, you're a beast...and thanks for your service sir.

7

wrote …

This is the guy that deserves to be paid like the top paid athletes. Im sure if he had it all he'd give it right back. Thank you for the post.

8

wrote …

Kirk,
While You are at the Games, I will be running our Local Relay For Life 24 Hour event for the American Cancer Society!
I am proudly adding you to my honor roll, and will be adding a donation and lighting a luminaria in your honor! You are amazing!

9

wrote …

Amazing guy and truly an inspiration for others and for the whiners who complain about little things. DON'T!! You rock Kirk!

10

wrote …

Tough. Fucking. Dude. Holy Shit.

11

wrote …

Kirk, you talked about wanting to serve others, that video is an excellent example it seems to me of how you put into action your wishes. Inspiring and very impressive.
My Father is being treated for the "big C" (fifth time) he would smile quietly at your indomitable spirit Sir.
I hope your treatment works, this world needs men like you.

12

wrote …

Heroes do exist! You are a true hero, God bless you my brother.

13

EC S wrote …

Amazing is the only word. Stay strong.

14

wrote …

Great illustration of leading by example. A positive mental state can make a huge difference, when dealing with difficult situations. Kirk you have amazing strength.

15

wrote …

English Dictionary:

Stud, noun, 1 syllable: "Kirk"

16

wrote …

Thank you for the amazing witness. God Bless you brother.

17

wrote …

If Kirk starts a cult tomorrow, I'm in!

18

wrote …

Thanks for the perspective in all things, Kirk! You have an amazing and inspiring humility and attitude!

19

wrote …

Kirk,
We just lost my father in law to Esophageal Cancer Sunday (Easter Sunday). I was able to see first hand the effect that the Chemo therapy and Radiation had on his body, too see you doing the games WOD'S is absolutely incredible. You have a great attitude and your story is motivating and a testament to anyone who questions the benefits of CF. You and your family will be in our prayers God Speed!


http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/saltlaketribune/obituary.aspx?n=roger-brockbank&pid=150577452&fhid=11609

20

wrote …

Kirk,
We just lost my father in law to Esophageal Cancer Sunday (Easter Sunday). I was able to see first hand the effect that the Chemo therapy and Radiation had on his body, too see you doing the games WOD'S is absolutely incredible. You have a great attitude and your story is motivating and a testament to anyone who questions the benefits of CF. You and your family will be in our prayers God Speed!


http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/saltlaketribune/obituary.aspx?n=roger-brockbank&pid=150577452&fhid=11609

21

wrote …

Every once in awhile, someone comes along who can motivate you without even trying. Kirk is definitely one of those people. Good luck at the open.

22

wrote …

It is very hard for me to put into words all of the emotions and feelings I have after watching that video. Kirk is a true american hero and just saying "thank you" for your service doesn't even come close to the gratitude I have for what he has done.
My prayers and thoughts go out to you Kirk!!!

23

Tammi Byxbee wrote …

Awesome and inspiring-there are no excuses for the rest of us.

24

wrote …

Kirk - Wow, such an inspiration! Thank you for your service and for sharing your story with us. Really puts everything in to perspective. If I can find even 1/100th of the mental strength and determination you have shown I'll be a better person for it. Stay Strong!

25

wrote …

You bring a very powerful testimony, Kirk, thank you. Letting us see your focused effort to face the demon is a gift to us. Paul

26

wrote …

Kirk, all the best with everything! You are an inspiration.

HQ please keep us up to date with Kirk!!!!! What a guy!

27

wrote …

Couldn't watch this without leaving some sort of comment. Whatever i write won't sum up what i think of this guy but i'll have a go with the following:

Inspirational legend

28

wrote …

Incredible. Inspiring. Legend.
Thank you for sharing you story.

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