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Sterling’s Story Part 3: A New Beginning by Marla Carnes - CrossFit Journal

In CrossFit, HD Videos, Kids

August 31, 2011

Video Article

Marla Carnes is mother to a son who died of drowning in March 2007. CrossFit Kids is teaming up with the Infant Swimming Resource (ISR), which seeks to protect children against drowning through preparedness training.

In Part 3, Carnes recounts the aftermath of her son’s passing. In time, the couple had a second child who took the middle name of her brother.

“I just wanted her to have a piece of my son since she didn’t get to know him,” she says.

Marla’s daughter has taken ISR classes.

“I knew that’s what I needed to do for my daughter because that’s what she needed. She needed to know what to do if she was to fall in. I needed to know that she was going to float and to be OK,” she says.

“I was scared at first,” Carnes recalls. But watching a class reassured her that the children do not panic or get close to drowning.

“She ended up loving it,” Carnes says of her daughter. “I am confident she’s safe around the water.”

Through her own suffering, Carnes believe she can help others.

“I feel the whole purpose of my tragedy is to help prevent other people from going through the heartache and hell that I’ve had to experience of losing my son,” she says. “ISR lessons are critical.”

CrossFit Kids supports ISR’s mission that “not one more child drowns.” To find out more, visit

Participate in Fight Gone Bad 6 on Sept. 17, 2011, to support the ISR initiative. Sign up for the fundraiser at and make a donation by texting “FGB6” to 57682. From outside the U.S., text “FGB6” to 4246751014. The minimum donation is $10 and standard text-message rates apply.
13min 23sec

HD file size: 483 MB
SD wmv file size: 262 MB
SD mov file size: 144 MB

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Additional audio: CrossFit Radio Episode 136 by Justin Judkins, published Sept. 8, 2010.

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4 Comments on “Sterling’s Story Part 3: A New Beginning”


wrote …

With all due respect, the last Journal article of general interest was last Friday - the shoulder girdle article.

I am all for PSA's (public service announcements) in the interest of the readership, but how about at least a companion piece on each day a PSA article runs that has something to do with general fitness, health, etc.

I realize ISR is an important topic and a worthy one, however articles on another topic would be appreciated.


wrote …

Thanks for running this series of articles. This type of content is just as valid as a series on SealFit or a "Tahoe Throw Down" and every bit as fitness related. I do not expect all journal topics to be of interest to all subscribers and I have been very happy with your balance. As a matter of fact, one could say that this series is more in tune with general fitness and the idea of being prepared for the unknown and unknowable than the series that focused on powerlifting which seemed to be to be so specialized as to be very different from the fitness definition that CrossFit was founded upon.

Also, I think that Marla Carnes is an amazing and selfless woman. She has just publicly re-lived what must be the most horible event in her life for the sole purpose of helping others to avoid the same nightmare.

So Thanks to CrossFit, Thanks to ISR and Thanks to Marla.


wrote …

Why doesnt the CrossFit community just buy ISR. If the goal is not one more child why not transform it from a for profit franchise model into a non-for profit. Utilize HQ's amazingly well organized training infrastructure to put one ISR in every box in the country and give it away for cost of pool time. We would be getting this training to the most people and it would function as just another gateway to introduce new and existing boxes to their communities. I cant imagine what the world would be like if CPR was a protected asset and only franchise owners could perform it to save lives.


replied to comment from Joseph Agliozzo

You probably don't have any children and don't understand, otherwise you would realize how big of a **** you are. Skip this story if it doesn’t interest you.

Thank you Marla for sharing your story I’m sooo sorry.

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