Tom Downey, 26, is on a mission to save his life.
“If I wouldn’t have made changes now … I doubt I’d have seen 40 at all,” Downey says.
A dedicated member of CrossFit Cardiff in Cardiff, Wales, Downey started his fitness journey on Sept. 6, 2019. Ever since, he’s been working under the watchful eye of experienced coaches who are helping him cultivate new, healthier habits.
“(Downey) needs to make subtle, small additions and maintain them, and that’s what it’s all about,” says the affiliate’s owner, Dafydd Dennis.
Downey’s first goal was consistency in the gym.
“Tom came to me to help him try and get more consistency with his fitness, and that’s what I focused on,” says CrossFit Cardiff coach Alex Conroy.
Even when the affiliate was forced to shut down due to the global pandemic, Downey remained consistent with the virtual workouts offered by CrossFit Cardiff. Downey’s mother, Ellen Downey, says she has seen a difference in her son since he started CrossFit.
“He’s beginning to like how he feels because he can move better,” she says. “Life generally isn’t as hard because he’s lost that initial bit of weight.”
“I’ve gone from not being able to walk very well to running outside,” Tom says.
After suffering from severe social anxiety, Tom says he feels comfortable and welcome in the CrossFit community.
“Coming to CrossFit compared to a normal gym, with the environment, with the community, with everybody who’s around, that’s what keeps me going,” he says. “I feel welcome, and it feels like one big, very, very dysfunctional family.”
Tom, who shares his fitness journey on Instagram, says his goals for the future include being “fitter, healthier, and stronger moving forward.”