A Fight to Remember

By Molly Godby

In CrossFit, Medical/Injuries

April 18, 2012

PDF Article

Molly Godby commits to a lifelong fight against the disease that took her mother.

When people ask me why I do CrossFit, I can give the standard answers: “It’s addictive. I love the way it makes me look and feel. There is an awesome community built into CrossFit.” And all of that is true. Another reason, perhaps the main reason, I CrossFit is to fight the disease that is stealing my mother away from me bit by bit.

My mother suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, and I cannot avoid the reality that someday I may have my mother’s disease. My plan is straightforward: I will do everything I can to combat the chances of becoming a victim of Alzheimer’s. CrossFit is part of my commitment to my present physical health.

For me, this is a lifetime commitment not just for myself but also for my family. Each time that voice creeps up in me that says, “Take the day off,” I think of my mom. Then the sad yet completely pissed-off warrior of a woman inside me takes over and says, “Hell, no. We are doing this.”

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18 Comments on “A Fight to Remember”


wrote …

Amazing, Molly! With all the research being published daily on neuroplasticity, exercise, nutrition, and their correlative effects, there's a bright light at the end of the Alzheimer's tunnel at last! You're doing all the right things! Keep kicking butt!


wrote …

This hits close to home. Great article - I am sure it wasn't easy to write.
Thanks for sharing.


wrote …

Alzheimer's is a cruel disease. Keep up the good fight. God Bless.


wrote …

Molly: This is a tremendous and moving article - and I'm proud to call you my friend. Awesome - just awesome.


wrote …

“Hell, no. We are doing this.”

Crush it.


wrote …

Um.... not for nothing, but Alzheimer's isn't a hereditary disease....


wrote …

@Shane- actually yes, it can be. They believe that early onset, which is what my mother has, can be hereditary. Also, as I stated, Alzheimer's disease research is still tough. They are still constantly finding out new information that can refute past research findings. It is a tricky disease and I hope you will still enjoy my article. ~Molly Godby


wrote …

Thank you Molly. My father died of Alzheimer's just over 3 years ago and I am scared to death of following his path. He never ate well nor exercised much and at 48 I am way healthier than he was at this age. I truely hope diet and exercise save us from this hedious fate. You article brought tears to my eyes as I remembered my father's struggle and gave me the inspiration to WOD harder.


wrote …

This really hit home. I'm sitting at my desk with watery eyes. I lost my dad to Alzheimers 1/20/12. Its an awful, awful disease. I shared a lot of the same feelinsg you have. So many Wods, when it gets tough I think 'This ones for you dad'. Stay strong! I hope Crossfit helps us from following in our parents foot steps.


wrote …


For all of you that are going through this situation (or have gone through it), I cannot even begin to say that I understand what it is like, what to do, how to deal with it. What I really admire about your story (besides your openness and frankness in discussing it), is the fact that you are tackling the things you can change and not sitting back wallowing in worries about what is unchangeable.

Realise that is easier said than done and it takes guts. And that Molly, you clearly have plenty of.

Best of luck.


wrote …

Thank you Molly


wrote …

Thank you for your article. It was beautifully done. The bonds of Friendship and Love can never be broken. Though the physical body may be subject to the ravages of time and disease, the Spirit is not. You are clearly a good daughter, a strong and compassionate person. Your Mother knows that, and always will. Stay Strong.
In Friendship,


wrote …

Amazing story. I had a client for 3.5 years who was diagnosed. His nurses all said he was doing awesome with how advanced he was because of his training with me. Eventually, the training had to end once the disease really took hold. I identify a lot with your story, though not completely, but I understand. Stay strong, stay healthy, and keep fighting. U r amazing and you will succeed.


wrote …

Molly, Wow, you could have read my mind. My mother is 85 and has this disease. She is at the stage where she essentially cannot be left alone, can’t care for herself, wonders from room to room at night and would get lost if she went outside alone. I struggle between trying to decide if "my mother" is just hidden inside a physical body and maybe she can see and hear me but just can’t respond or “my mother” is already gone. While she still knows my name, she is unsure if I am her son or grandson. The revelation that she has no memory of my sister and me as children almost broke me. Like you, one of the hardest things for me to deal with is knowing that she knows it's happening to her. I get angry whenever I think about it but there is no one or thing to be angry at so I split wood or hit the heavy bag until I can’t lift a finger. When I split wood or hit the heavy bag the anger makes me fight as if I’m fighting for my life because I guess am. In any case, like you, I love her unconditionally just like she has always loved me. I am not so much concerned about myself if it happens to me, but I am concerned about the effect on my wife and daughter as I know it would be devastating.
I would guess there are many of "us" out there.


wrote …


This article is powerful. My grandmother has the disease and my eyes were watering the entire time as I read this. Thank you for being so open, so honest, and for sharing your story.

Keep hitting it hard in your garage.


wrote …

Amen to this! After 8 years my mom died of Alzheimers at 88. She was the wind underneath my wings and my greatest cheerleader. It was devasting seeing such a dynamic woman, full of life's energy get taken down by this damned disease.
I too WOD for her!


wrote …

Thank for sharing your story with us. I've always looked at Crossfit not as my life, but rather a method to make my life better. I love your perspective, your heart and your tenacity. Thanks for the inspiration! Oh, and really beautifully written.
Rom 8:35-39


wrote …

Hey Molly, what a brave insight into your workout motivation.
My grandmother passed away of alzheimers when I was young and it was very saddening for all the family.

I saved this article below from the Health Ranger Newsletter regarding Alzheimers research so have posted it below..
- New Studies Show Coconut Oil May Reverse Effects of Alzheimer's

- Recent studies by Oxford University have shown that Coconut Oil may help
Alzheimer suffers regain their memory and even reverse the symptoms.

- Researches have discovered that Coconut Oil contains Ketones - these are
unique fats and are thought to nourish the brain. Results are only
temporary, but researches say the short-term effects are astounding.
- Dr Peter Clifton, a nutritional scientist, says 'Alzheimer's sufferers may
remember who they are, who you are, and actually hold a normal conversation'.
'Suddenly you would get the old person you know back again, even if it is only temporary'.

- It appears that Alzheimer's disease is a form of diabetes for the brain
where sufferers develop a problem with insulin. Insulin problems prevent the
brain cells from accepting glucose, the brain's principal source of energy.
Without this fuel the brain cells soon die.
- Studies have shown that there is an alternative fuel for the brain that the brain cells will still accept if effected by Alzhemier's disease - 'Ketones'.

- To increase these Ketones bodies you could follow an extremely low carbohydrate diet, but these diets are difficult to follow but there is another option. Ketones are metabolised in the liver after you eat medium chain triglicerides (MCT), found in coconut oil!

- Some people believe that Coconut Oil has proven to slow the progression of
Alzheimer's and may even prevent it!

- Coconut Oil has been criticised for raising cholesterol but it actually only
raises your good cholesterol called HDL - which is very good for you.
It also is a natural antibiotic without side effects; killing off bacteria and
helping you fight against viruses including HIV and herpes.

- So, not only does the Coconut Oil improve your cholesterol and fights
viruses, it helps the brains of some Alzheimer's patient - and it could also
be extended to people with:
• Parkinson's disease • ALS • Epilepsy • Dementia • Schizophrenia • Autism

- Researches suggest taking just 30g/2 tablespoon a day. There are many ways
to eat/cook with coconut oil to make sure you receive your daily does, these
• Substitute Coconut Oil for butter in baked goods.
• Add melted Coconut Oil to yogurts, cereals and even smoothies.
• Use it when frying as a substitute for olive oil.

It's also worth remembering that coconut oil is one of the only healthy oils to use heated as it doesn't alter its composition.
Look for coconut oil that is : Not bleached, Not deodorised, Not refined, Not hydrogenated, No GMO ingredients.
I'm launching a website with much more of this type of health information on soon so hopefully will be able to post the address to that on here.
Best wishes Al.

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