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Anybody Can Do Anything by Maddy Thomas - CrossFit Journal

Anybody Can Do Anything

By Maddy Thomas

In CrossFit, Medical/Injuries, Videos

January 13, 2012

Video Article

CrossFit has been a part of the curriculum at Saratoga High School for two years, and the program is revolutionizing the way kids see “phys. ed.”

Teachers Peter Jordan and Richard Ellis talk about the school affiliate, CrossFit Sawmill, as well as how they adapt the program for Maddy Thomas, a sophomore with cerebral palsy.

“She comes in here and does everything that anybody else does,” Jordan says. “I find it inspiring … and it’s kind of fun to be creative about adapting the exercises to make it doable for her.”

Thomas faces physical challenges, but that doesn’t stop her from giving her best effort in every workout. Her teachers and care providers say improving Thomas’ ability to do functional tasks is critical to helping her live with cerebral palsy.

“CrossFit changed me by making my body feel stronger,” Thomas says through a computer.

Mother MaryAnn Thomas says Maddy’s goal is to always live at her best and experience everything, and it’s sound advice for just about anyone.

“Anybody can do anything their mind sets,” Maddy concludes.

10min 11sec

Additional reading: “U Die Slower If U Work Out” by Peter Jordan, published June 10, 2011.

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28 Comments on “Anybody Can Do Anything”


wrote …

You have inspired me today.
God Bless You.


wrote …

Maddy thank you for your inspiration! I am going to hang a sign in my home gym that says "Anybody Can Do Anything- Maddy" I hope that I can share your story with everyone who comes to workout with me so you can inspire them as much as you inspire your family, your fellow students, your teachers and me. Be good and God bless!


EC S wrote …

This is amazing. Thank you, Maddy.


wrote …

With all of the negative things in the world today, I can never get enough of stories like this. People like Maddy are an inspiration to all. I would love to see a follow up to Maddys' story in a year or two to see how she is coming along. Maddy, keep it up. You truly can do anything. Good luck with your fashion designing career. With your attitude and determination, I am sure you will be great at it.


wrote …

Made me all choked up. What heart! What spirit!

And what a great mom.


wrote …

Thanks for another great video Sevan. It is amazing what you do. CrossFit certainly brings amazing stories to your camera.


You are awesome! I am so proud of you and I wish more people would look at life and give more of themselves to it, like you do. You are an inspiration. I'm sure college is in your future and being a fashion designer is only the beginning, as you are special and have a much bigger message than you realize. May God bless and keep you.

Humbly Yours,



replied to comment from Patrick James

Hi Patrick,

Thanks for the kind words. I was just assisting my colleague Hayley Parlen on this story.



wrote …

Amazing video. Maddy rocks. Left me speechless and inspired.


wrote …


You have truly inspired me today! I will think of your story every time I think I can't do something. Thank you!


wrote …



wrote …

And your excuse for not training today was???

Way to be Maddy!!!!


wrote …

Such a good story good on her!!


wrote …

And I thought I was too sore to workout today.
Off to the gym.
Thanks, Maddy.


wrote …

Thank You CrossFit. Keep Going For It Maddy!


wrote …

Best thing I have seen on here in a long time.


wrote …

Maddy "Mad Skills" Thomas you are incredible. Amazing attitude and a beautiful smile! Keep on going strong!


wrote …

go Maddy go!!


wrote …

The Journal has posted some great stories in the past, but this has to be the best. Maddy you are AMAZING!


wrote …

Something must have gotten into my eye while I was watching this video because it started watering....

Maddy, you are awesome!


wrote …

Truly inspirational!


wrote …

Thank you Maddy!! I am truly moved by your desire and your strength to never give up!! You have motivated me to get better and continue on my Crossfit Journey. Continue to fight and God Bless you, your family, and your coaches.


Adam Brown wrote …

What a great story! You inspire me Maddy and I will use your story to inspire others at my box - CrossFit GEO.


wrote …

amazing story! glad to see stories like these being sought out and brought to light in such a great manner.......thanks to maddy, her mom, saratoga high and the filmmaker!!


wrote …

yea Maddy!!!!


wrote …

Thank you so much for posting this story. I am an Elementary School PE teacher in Missouri and I have had many students that were just sent to "gym" because their IEP called for it. I have myself given menial tasks to some of them. This along with my 6 months of Crossfit have really opened my eyes! Crossfit is for everyone and its my job as a PE Teacher, future Level 1 coach, to see to it NO CHILD IS LEFT ON THEIR BEHIND in my gym. Thank you Maddy so much. You don't know how this really insipred me to not only continue in CF but to try and include every one of my students/players.

Bless you,
Coach Harris
Crossfit St. Louis


wrote …

@Coach Harris,
Not all of our students with special needs have Maddy's determination, but they all have an equal opportunity to succeed in our classes. Recently one of our special education teachers was giving the parent of a prospective student a tour, and while standing in the back of our facility, said that this was the one class where you could not pick out her students. CrossFit PE not only works better for us than the "old PE," we think it should be a model for education in general. Inclusiveness, unlimited scalability, and quantifiable progress are tools that all educators should be working with.


wrote …

Wonderful story Maddie. Way to go Maddie's friends and teachers as well! Thank you for sharing.


wrote …

Inspirational! Thank you for sharing Maddy's story with the CF world! Maddy you are a wonderful girl with endless potential!

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