13,000 Ports in the Storm: How CrossFit Affiliates Combat Diabetes

ByBrittney SalineNovember 16, 2021

Approximately 422 million people around the world have diabetes (95% have Type 2 diabetes). Just for illustration’s sake: That number is equivalent to almost three-quarters of the total population of North America.

But just because it’s common doesn’t mean it’s OK, and a diabetes diagnosis can lead to more than tingly feet. The disease increases the likelihood of eventual limb amputation, blindness, heart attack, and stroke, and is one of the leading causes of kidney failure. In 2019, 1.5 million people died from diabetes.

But as diabetes prevalence continues to rise, there are some places where the numbers fall back. Havens of health where the tide of chronic disease not only goes out, but dries up altogether.

They exist in each of the 13,000 CrossFit affiliates around the globe.

November is National Diabetes Month, and while the statistics are sobering, it’s also a time for celebration. Because whether you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, you have the power to feel and move better, live longer and stronger, and thrive despite your diagnosis.

Start by calling your local affiliate. Then get inspired by the stories below.

(Stay tuned for a compendium of educational resources from the CrossFit archives to come next week!)

All Hail King

“Since going blind, I’ve been homeless, I’ve been addicted to drugs and alcohol, I’ve been a prostate cancer (survivor), and I’m a diabetic … . I wanted to die … (but then) I stopped focusing on the things I couldn’t do and realized there were things I could do.”

Patti: A Journey Toward Wellness

After struggling with her health for years — surviving cancer and developing Type 2 diabetes — Patti Goldenson decided to turn her life around. 

Downey Declines Diabetes — and Bariatric Surgery

How Ellen Downey ditched her diabetes meds and avoided surgery.

Vishal Joshi: CrossFit, Healthy Eating “Saved My Life”

Vishal Joshi loses 60 lb, cuts medications from six to two.

What Would You Pay To Keep Your Sight?

Marlo Brown loses 196 lb, decreases prescription medication expenses by $250 a month.

More Articles

CrossFit and the Diabetes Epidemic in Canada

After changing his diet and starting CrossFit, Rainier Ward lost 145 lb, reversed his diabetes, and normalized his blood pressure.

Kick Soda, Drop Diabetes Drugs

Dave Sanford got off all diabetes medication a year after becoming a regular at CrossFit Cocoa Beach.

No Limits

“I have … been able to lower the amount of insulin I take daily, including my bolus ratio. This is due to the change in body composition, because insulin works more efficiently with muscle than fat.” —Catherine Cochran, Type 1 diabetic

A Will To Flourish With Type 1 Diabetes

After a sudden Type 1 diabetes diagnosis, Chris Will gains strength and health with CrossFit.

Diabeating It

Andrew Perzel fights back after eight years with Type 2 diabetes.

Physician: “He’s Basically Cured His Diabetes”

First he changed his diet. Then he started taking classes at CrossFit Painesville. Six months later, Pete Katz was off his medications.

Dr. Pepper Prescribes Death to Daniel Long

How Daniel Long reversed his Type 2 diabetes.

Diabetic and Deluded No Longer

After a decade of CrossFit, Cheri Miyashiro has lost more than 160 lb. and reversed her Type 2 diabetes.

Lani Fry Reclaims Her Life

How Lani Fry defied her genetics.

“I Have Found My Cure for My Chronic Disease”

Daniel Trejo chooses nutrition and movement over medicine.

Island Wars: The Fight Against Disease in the Philippines

After starting CrossFit, Leo San Juan lost almost 70 lb, and his doctor said the Type 2 diabetic didn’t need insulin anymore.

Greg Fox Fights off Chronic Disease With Fitness

Greg Fox stabilizes his blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol; drops all meds.

This Is the Moment His Life Changed

“Diabetes was ravaging my body.” —Jason Addams

How Ron De La Torre Won at Life

After 11 months of CrossFit, Ron De La Torre’s doctor cleared him to stop taking the medications he had been on for nearly 20 years, including prescriptions for cholesterol, diabetes, and blood pressure.

You Were 308 Pounds? Really?

Laura Heath backs away from the brink of diabetes.

Teen Loses Half His Body Weight, Offers Tips to Peers

Karan Mehta lost 130 lb and reversed his prediabetes after less than a year of CrossFit and healthy eating.

More Videos

Competing With Diabetes — and Winning

“A diabetic can be a competitor.” —Steve Rodriguez

Ellen: Managing Diabetes With CrossFit

When a friend introduced her to CrossFit, Downey quickly changed her life for the better.

Video Contest: Jonathan Stoops Beat Diabetes

It wasn’t until he found CrossFit that Jonathan Stoops finally turned his life around.

Video Contest: Jay’s Journey — Beating Diabetes, Reclaiming Health, Family and Business

Unhappy, overweight, and in the worst physical shape of his life, Jay took courageous first steps away from the comfortable mediocrity of unhealthy complacency. 

Diabetic Dad Starts CrossFit

Sick of traditional medicine’s poor results and unwilling to resort to surgery, Junior Smithen decided to start CrossFit.

Diabetic Dad Levels Up

“This is about functionality. It’s about being able to live to the optimum.” —Junior Smithen

Death and Diabetes in the City of Angels

In East L.A. — a “junk-food swamp,” Harold Goldstein says — Sergio Martinez and his fellow Backyard CrossFit coaches are at the forefront of a health revolution.

Stuart Morrison: Managing Type 1 Diabetes With CrossFit

With his new fitness and nutrition regimens, Stuart Morrison isn’t just managing his disease: He’s thriving.

Our Why: Fighting Diabetes for Family

Two parents change their lifestyles and set an example.

Mom Wins Obesity and Diabetes Battle

In just two years, Liz Cromwell greatly decreased her body-fat percentage and cut her insulin usage down from an entire pen to just 20 mL per day.

Video Contest: Managing Type 1 Diabetes

Jon Copeland reduces his daily insulin shots with CrossFit.

Laurie Roth’s Doctors: “Keep Doing What You’re Doing”

Laurie Roth gets on the right path after a Type 1 diagnosis and more than a 60-lb weight gain.

Jody Beats Diabetes

A mother’s battle with and eventual triumph over Type 2 diabetes.

Dealing With Diabetes

“I have the tools in my life to deal with this, I mean, 100 percent. I’ve got CrossFit; I’m surrounded by like-minded people who like to eat the same way.” —Mike Hoge

Comments on 13,000 Ports in the Storm: How CrossFit Affiliates Combat Diabetes


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Catherine Lucas-Maurer
November 17th, 2021 at 2:58 pm
Commented on: 13,000 Ports in the Storm: How CrossFit Affiliates Combat Diabetes

I have been doing CrossFit for a little over 2 years. My doctor says my Pre-Diabetes has improved so much and encourages me to continue so it never turns into full-blown Diabetes!! I am so grateful for feeling better and being healthier because of CrossFit.

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