After battling with Ulcerative Colitis(UC) for the past two years, I have decided to take some time off and address the symptoms that have become worse over the last few months. UC causes inflammation in the colon and it’s symptoms have been pretty annoying over the past few years to say the least. I have done just enough to manage it and keep the ability to compete in CrossFit. After talking with my gastro doc last week, he was adamant that if I don’t let the UC calm down and allow the colon to heal, there could be some permanent damage done and removal of some of the colon could be the result. The cause of UC in people is relatively unknown but in my case, they think that the physical stress placed on my body through training is the major catalyst of my symptoms. For the past 2 years, the worst periods of time for my UC have been Feb-May, or from the Open to Regionals. UC isn’t serious in most cases and is a pretty mild case in mine. The doc is confident that when I remove some of the stress associated with my training, it will quickly heal and should be fine in a few months. For the past 2 years, I have avoided listening to the doctors and their opinions on what I should do simply because I didn’t want to hear their answers. The answer has always been simple in their eyes…just stop competing. For me, it has never been that simple and still isn’t that simple. For 4 years, I have trained as hard as anyone in this sport to make it to the Games. Every day of those 4 years have been spent making an effort to get better and more competitive. To have to give up at this stage of the game is pretty brutal. I turn 33 in a few weeks and this is a young man’s sport. I had said all along this would probably be the last year I could remain competitive at the regional level and now to have to step away before getting a chance to compete at one more regional is rough.
I have taken a few days and accepted this and I will move on and figure out the next steps. I don’t feel sorry for myself nor do I want anyone else to feel sorry for me. I have learned a lot about myself and my abilities over the past four years of competing. One of the biggest regrets that I will have is not being able to walk out onto the floor at regionals and look up into a sea of blue and see all those that have come out over the years to support me. At the time, you probably couldn’t tell because I had my tough guy face on, but I loved seeing the familiar faces in the crowd.
I am hopeful that we will still be sending some athletes to regionals this year and I will pour my time into them and all of you as we prepare to tackle the open workouts. It has been a great ride and for those that were a part of it along the way, thanks for your support. I wish I could have gotten us out to the Home Depot Center.