May 24, 2012
A chance viewing of the CrossFit Games on ESPN2 inspired Kevin Joyce to drastically change his health and his life. Hilary Achauer reports.
Kevin Joyce was feeling terrible. He had struggled his entire life to do something most of us take for granted—breathe.
Doctors could never figure out exactly what was wrong. They told him he had exercise-induced asthma, but he always felt it was something worse. In high school, Joyce played football and basketball and would often push himself until he blacked out. He liked football best of all because he was self-conscious about his labored, heavy breathing, and the helmet covered up the noise.
“I didn’t even want to hear my own breathing,” Joyce said.
After high school, Joyce began working as a New York City carpenter, and that’s when things deteriorated. He got weak just walking up stairs, and the dust at work aggravated his condition.
In the winter of 2011, Joyce reached a low point with his physical and mental health, and he became depressed. He happened to turn on ESPN2 one day and saw the rebroadcast of the 2011 Reebok CrossFit Games. All those fit people climbing ropes and lifting weights sparked something in Joyce. He had heard of CrossFit, but “I never knew they had CrossFit gyms,” Joyce said.