I often watch the progression of an athlete as they first walk into the gym: the awkwardness with Olympic lifts, the nervousness at the whiteboard, and the first few times he or she is in the middle of the WOD, wondering how he or she is going to make it through. After a while, you can see the athlete understand how to perform a proper clean, kip a pull-up, and get excited when double unders are in the workout because it gives him or her a chance to use a new rope. The workout gear changes as well: an athlete begins to wear high socks, Reebok shorts, and wraps for wrists, knees, elbows, or all the above.
I’ve watched this change with hundreds, if not thousands, of athletes. Recently, one of the athletes we have all watched grow, instructed, sweat with – Yoni Dassa – sent an email to put his membership on hold because he has been diagnosed with stage four colon cancer. As I write this post, I have no specific thing I want us to do a community. I will post the link here so you can donate to Yoni’s GoFundme page. If you took an 8:30 am class on Monday or a 6:00 pm class on Friday in the last year, you probably did a WOD with him. Although he was quiet in class, he always found a way to thank his coaches.
I could write about cancer, but it would be about nothing you couldn’t find on a Google search or might already be familiar with, as many of us have a family member or friend affected by cancer. Instead, I implore you to send a Facebook message, donate, pray (if that’s your thing), or visit Yoni’s website in the next few weeks because every day for the last year, like most of you, Yoni came and fought through workouts. Now, he has to fight this thing – a nasty, ugly disease. Hey Yoni, we are thinking of you, buddy.
– Bern K. Prince