In CrossFit, HD Videos, Medical/Injuries

August 27, 2012

Video Article

At 17, Kyle Bryant was diagnosed with Friedreich’s ataxia. The rare inherited disease causes nervous-system damage and movement problems. Bryant has symptoms of scoliosis and diabetes, and he experiences vision impairment, hearing loss and life-shortening heart complications. There is no cure for Friedreich’s ataxia.

Nonetheless, 30-year-old Bryant comes to CrossFit King of Prussia in Bridgeport, Pa., twice a week.

At first, he didn’t think he would be able to do CrossFit.

“I realized that everyone has a certain amount of scale in what they do,” Bryant says. “And everyone is doing it to their own ability and pushing their own limits, and that’s what I do when I’m here is I figure out what I can do, and then I take it as far as I can take it.”

Although the ataxia will progress, Bryant said he will keep CrossFitting.

“My struggle and my goal is to keep my personal fitness at the top of that curve,” Bryant says. “If that curve’s going down, I want to be at the very top of it at all times so I can keep myself performing at as high a level as possible.”

8min 25sec

HD file size: 438 MB
SD wmv file size: 101 MB
SD mov file size: 47 MB

Please note: These files are larger than normal Journal videos. For smoother viewing, please download the entire file to your hard drive before watching it (right-click and choose Save Link As...).

Additional reading: Training for Special Medical Populations: Cardiac Concerns by Jennifer McKenzie, published Aug. 1, 2008.

Free Download


15 Comments on “CrossFitting With Friedreich’s Ataxia”


wrote …

Kyle, you are an unbelievable human being!

I am going to go workout now, thank you!!


wrote …

Yeah Kyle! Your attitude and work ethic are top notch, regardless of FA. I'm glad more people can listen to your story, though. The more education, the better!


wrote …

Beautiful. Totally agree with the above comments, going to share this as much as I can


wrote …

Thank you for reminding me how important it is to keep at the top of your game with your health, you are a phenomenal person. I needed to be inspired today and this did the trick :) thank you!!


wrote …

Thank you for the comments! And thank you Mike D. and CrossFit for sharing my story! Can't wait for more burpees!:)


wrote …

So many great comments by Kyle in this about life, fitness, perseverance. Love the "everyone scales" and the "remaining on the top of the curve for as long as possible"...
Keep up the great work Kyle!


wrote …

You are a true inspiration Kyle. One of my best friends has Cerabelar Ataxia. I will certainly share your story with him. Thank you!


wrote …

What an inspiration, so awesome.


Gabriel Haas wrote …

That, right there, is why I love CrossFit! Thanks for inspiring us Kyle!


wrote …

I am just sitting here bawling! This is so inspirational! Kyle, thank you SO MUCH for being so fearless and refusing to give up in your own life. This needs to be shown A LOT...there are too many people out there making excuses!

Miranda O.


Lauren Del Rosario wrote …

Thank you for bringing tears to my eyes. Sometimes we forget or take for granted that we have full use of our bodies... if only so many more people could have the positive attitude you have. Thank you!


wrote …

Everything has already been said. Amazing and Inspiring.


wrote …

Wow! Kyle you are an inspiration.


wrote …

Kyle "just" has more present-day awareness than we able bodied folks do of the eventual downhill slide that we're ALL going to confront sooner or later. I would never compare my garden-variety issues of aging to his daily struggle with a devastating illness, but I can still take great inspiration from his fearless, positive attitude and determination to live his life to the fullest for as long as he can. Isn't that what we should all be doing?

It will be fascinating to learn how Kyle's workouts maintain his health over time in comparison with other people with FA, and to see if CrossFit slows the progression of the disease.

Kyle, you are awesome.


wrote …

Incredibly inspiring stuff! My hat is off to everyone involved (Kyle, Jason and Aimee, and the rest of CrossFit KOP). Just awesome!


Leave a comment

Comments (You may use HTML tags for style)