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The Zach Miller Story by Various - CrossFit Journal

In CrossFit, HD Videos, Medical/Injuries

December 07, 2011

Video Article

On Aug. 4, Zach Miller of CrossFit Pittsburgh was in a car accident, and he remains comatose. His friends share his story.

Miller and a group of his friends started Panther CrossFit, a student-run organization at the University of Pittsburgh. As the first president and a dedicated member, he made an impact on the students as he introduced them to CrossFit.

Dave Lorenzo, president of Panther CrossFit, retells one of his first experiences with Miller: “He was doing push jerk or something, and he hit a PR, and he immediately stripped and started streaking around the room,” he says.

Despite his outrageous behavior and style, Miller could also be “extremely serious,” says Jennifer Pietragallo, co-owner of CrossFit Pittsburgh, a sister affiliate.

“He’s one of the most dedicated driven athletes I’ve ever trained with,” says Mike Pietragallo, co-owner of CrossFit Pittsburgh.

The gyms have felt his absence and remain hopeful on his recovery.

“I’m counting on you to push through. We’re praying for you and can’t wait to see you back on your feet,” Jennifer says.

CrossFit Pittsburgh has set up the Z Fund to help pay for Zach’s recovery. To make a donation, visit CrossFit Pittsburgh.

9min 34sec

HD file size: 392 MB
SD wmv file size: 119 MB
SD mov file size: 105 MB

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Additional reading: Valley Girl’s Vertigo by Andréa Maria Cecil, published Sept. 23, 2011.

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17 Comments on “The Zach Miller Story”


wrote …

I can honestly say this is the first time I've ever read/watched something CrossFit related and wanted to cry. Zach, you are in my prayers brother, I really pray/hope/wish you to return to a state of normalcy as soon as possible. This is one of the biggest reasons why I love doing what we do. The community. "CrossFitting," "working out," "training," is just a part of it. The people, the families, the connections, the networking is what makes this program so great and special. The genuine care for another person is something you don't see outside of a community tight knit like this (outside of the military/police but that's not what I'm talking about here).

I truly hope that every CrossFitter and future CrossFitter can see what an impact this program really has on people's lives, and what it can do to save your life!

Hell, the doctor said had it not been for his level of fitness he may not have survived!

I'll be thinking about you, Zach, during my training tomorrow. I remember seeing you compete in Jason Khalipa's CrossFit Santa Clara weekly throwdowns last year. You are a stud, and you will one day come back to the level you were once at and prosper again.

Push on, brother


wrote …

Thank you to those Pittsburghers who made this video about Zach. I trained with Zach for a short time at the Univ. box and can only hope he pulls through. This does a great job capturing who he is.


Mike Pietragallo wrote …

Thank you from the bottom of my heart HQ for telling Zach's story.


wrote …

Samuel, i totally agree with everything you said. The sense of community within Crossfit is what drew me to join my box.It's amazing how supportive everyone in this community is of each other. Watching this video brought tears to my eyes. Zach sounds like a stellar dude, and I'm praying he'll pull through.


wrote …

thinking and prayin for ya daily zach. Amazing work hq and crossfit pitt for doing all of this for zach. Amazing. Get well soon buddy. To zach's family know there are a ton of people out there that love your boy . Praying to see you at a comp soon buddy you always make me laugh. With alll my love and respect....jud dean


wrote …

Thank you CrossFit for telling Zach's story. I look forward to the sequal where Zach is recovered and hitting the WODs again. I pray that comes sooner rather than later.


wrote …

Praying for you and your family dude.


wrote …

Wow what a moving thing.... Get better


wrote …

It just goes to show the strength of our Community. Such a tragedy for someone who embodies what CrossFit is all about. Zach, we're ready for you to pull through this and keep inspiring us!! Thank you CF Journal for posting Zach's story.


wrote …

Zach is in my prayers. Best of perseverance and luck to him, his family, and friends.


wrote …

This is a community Zack... god bless you man. 3, 2, 1,...don't give up.!


wrote …

I'm from Baltimore. I'm a huge Ravens fan. I usually have a hard time saying anything nice about Pittsburgh ...

... but not today. Get well soon brother.


wrote …



wrote …, ladies and gentlemen. Get well soon, Zack!


wrote …

Thank you for making this video. Zach is a phenomenal athlete and a true inspiration.


wrote …

This story hits close to home for me. I hope I am not speaking out of line, but I can empathize with the emotions and tribulations that comes with such an injury; the days and nights spent in ICU. Just Keep on Keepin' on! Never ever give up! Zach is blessed to have such an amazing group by is side. I am praying for strength and healing hands. God Bless Brotha!


wrote …

YOU are the reason im into crossfit, pure inspiration, no doubt many others here this story and get into it, all because of you

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