“I’ll Do It All”

By Deborah Cordner Carson

Video Article

When Deborah Cordner Carson asks herself why she does CrossFit, she looks at her grandfather’s weightlifting belt and remembers.

“I see my grandfather and how he sacrificed at some point in his life to achieve something,” she says. “It makes sense and it makes me feel like I was meant to do this.”

Cordner Carson’s grandfather was the heavyweight-lifting champion of the British Empire from 1942 to 1944.

The 33-year-old Minnesota athlete is known not only for conquering an intense fear of open-water swimming and winning the 2012 Spirit of the Games Award, but also for competing in spite of lymphedema. The condition is characterized by lymphatic fluid accumulating in the interstitial tissue and causes swelling, most often in arms and legs. Cordner Carson wears special compression garments to manage symptoms in competition.

Cordner Carson says she hopes to show children with the condition that they can do what medical professionals tell them they can’t.

“‘You can’t be an athlete. You’re not supposed to work out, you’re not supposed to walk, you’re not supposed to run.’ And, ya know what? Yeah, I can. I’ll show you how,” she says. “I’ll do it all.”

Video by Mike Koslap.

7min 1sec

HD file size: 221 MB
SD wmv file size: 84 MB
SD mov file size: 100 MB

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Additional reading: Slapping Fear in the Face by Andréa Maria Cecil, published Sept. 5, 2012.

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6 Comments on ““I’ll Do It All””


wrote …

Loved the video. Very cool to see how an athlete is truly faithful to her roots. - loved the weightlifting belt. Good luck at the games!!


wrote …

I saw her competing in the crossfit games, and decided no more excuses for me, I have stage4 kidney failure, when chemo didn't help, I started to believe the Hype of "take it easy", "your fragile" ,"let us do it for you". Now I'm not at her competition level ,but she shows that illness is not a badge of laziness or a license to sloath-off. 2wks after watching her spirit award ,went to doc, they said go for it. Soon I'll try FRAN ,right now that's my goal. Thanks:)


wrote …

Love ya, Deb!


Frank DiMeo wrote …

One of the very best videos here yet!


wrote …

AWESOME video. Hadn't a clue what this disease was until seeing Deborah during 2012 games. LOVED that she won the Spirit of the Games that year!
Fav quote" Maybe we all can be better than we are!" Priceless!


wrote …

One of the most inspirational videos I've seen about a Crossfit athlete yet. The struggles Deborah overcomes day in and day out are a true divine influence on us all. Thank you for sharing Deborah. And yes we can be better than we are - you are the proof and inspiration!

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