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