“Cancer Is My Bitch”

By Brian Watts

In CrossFit, Medical/Injuries, Videos

March 24, 2012

Video Article

Brian Watts originally thought CrossFit was a piece of swimwear. That changed, of course, and now he’s the manager of CrossFit New Haven.

Watts is also a cancer survivor who jumps at any chance to fight the disease. Starting in 2002, Watts started feeling unwell, and after going through the medical process, he was told he had Hodgkin’s lymphoma. After getting through treatment and beating cancer in 2006, Watts found himself out of shape and overweight.

CrossFit “just kind of took over at that point,” Watts says.

Watts says the program has helped improve his will power and outlook on life, so after being laid off from a job he hated about two years ago, Watts felt excited to explore new opportunities. Soon enough, he found himself sucked into CrossFit and embarking on an apprentice program at the box. Then he became the CrossFit New Haven gym manager.

“Basically, my career is CrossFit at this point,” he says.

As for cancer, Watts is happy that he can inspire others to win their own fights with disease, injury or anything else.

“It’s helped some people out. I’ve had some people tell me that knowing that I got through the things that I did kind of makes the things they have to go through seem smaller,” he says.

16min 50sec

Additional reading: CrossFit—and My 10-Year-Old—Helped Me Beat Leukemia by Rick Reifenberg, published Dec. 19, 2011.

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3 Comments on ““Cancer Is My Bitch””


Zach Even - Esh wrote …

Brian, you're awesome! Period! I NEEDED to see this!!!!

I have my best friend who just found out he has stage 3 colon cancer. After my initial shock and break down and having a tough time soaking it in I'm doing all I can to learn how to help him beat cancer.

I'm sorry to ask you here but I'm aggressively asking those who have beaten cancer for help. Any help.

My friend has lost a lot of weight and started chemo a few days ago. I purchased a shit ton of meal replacements to help him maintain weight and perhaps gain weight as his Doc said no more weight loss.

Aside from avoiding sugars, are there any nutrition tips I can pass along? He is very tired and is still going to school and working full time so I am trying to organize things for him b/c he follows action when things are set in a schedule for him.

Did you follow a certain diet or seek out any other forms of healing during chemo?

If you have any tips or feel I should connect with a certain something or someone, pls. feel free to e mail me at your own convenience if time allows.


I am REALLY grateful for your time and your video really hit home with me and I'm so glad I got to see you doing everything you love and kicking ass.

That's awesome, keep Living it!

Peace :)



wrote …

i lost my best friend to cancer at age 35, i miss him everyday. it's wonderful and inspirational to hear the stories that turned out better than my buddies, thanks for that!


wrote …

Wow this is a very inspirational story. I myself battled Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2009 right after i got out of the Marine Corps and wish i had known about Crossfit to keep me in shape because I was in the worst shape of my life coming out of it which was hard to deal with coming from being in the best shape of my life whilst in the military. Getting back into shape was a huge obstacle for me on so many levels and i thought i had achieved a level of fitness comparable to my military days but once i had attended my first trial class at Crossfit Revenge i realized that i was far from it but at the same time instantly fell in love with it because of its similarities to training that I had gone through for my job as an infantry Assaultman. And similar to Brians story i am trying to make Crossfit a bigger part of my life by attending my level 1 cert in April. So thank you Brian for sharing your story of adversity and success and thank you Crossfit for changing lives.

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