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I Am Ivan by Jay Vera and Irvin Anfoso - CrossFit Journal

I Am Ivan

By Jay Vera and Irvin Anfoso

In Athletes, Coaching, Nutrition

December 30, 2015

PDF Article

Meet Ivan Garcia. The 26-year-old waiter and bouncer aspires to be a police officer, but one thing stands in his way: his weight.

The restaurant where Garcia works is located in Scotts Valley, California, near CrossFit Headquarters. When Garcia’s mother approached CrossFit HQ trainer Jenny Lau about training her son, Lau was ready to help Ivan reclaim his body.

“My shoulder hurt really bad, my knees hurt really bad, my back hurt really bad,” Garcia says. “Yeah, I felt strong, but day to day I was very weak.”

Lau faced challenges of her own.

“He just didn’t seem really into it,” she says. “And I was like, ‘Hey, this is optional. You either want to be here or you don’t want to be here.’”

When Garcia decided gastric-bypass surgery was the solution, Lau questioned him.

“If you’re putting 100 percent good food in your body 100 percent of the time and you’re in here giving me 100 percent effort, why aren’t you losing weight?” she asked.

“I figured I was doing CrossFit so I could keep eating junk food and choose bad habits,” Garcia admits.

Lau enlisted the help of friend and registered dietitian Logan Vanderpool, and the two asked Garcia to reconsider invasive surgery at his young age.

“I decided I wanted to eat clean, I wanted to be a healthier version of myself … . I didn’t want to do (the surgery) anymore,” Garcia says. “I wanted to do it on my own with the help of Jenny.”

At the time this video was filmed, Garcia had lost 102 lb.

Video by Jay Vera and Irvin Anfoso.

9min 59sec

Additional audio: “CrossFit Radio Episode 264” by Justin Judkins, published Feb. 25, 2013.

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3 Comments on “I Am Ivan ”


wrote …

Love this video and Ivan's story. As a physician who CrossFits I would love to see more "Ivans" at my box rather than on the OR table. Best choice of your life Ivan!


wrote …

Kudos to Jenny Lau for not letting Ivan accept his initial decision. Everyone needs people like that in their life. Powerful story.


wrote …

Well done, Ivan. Truly inspirational, Jenny. Watching you explain the story is exactly what makes me want to coach every day.

Rob O

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