Kelly Hawkins has been a member of the Athlete Institute and CrossFit Orangeville since October 2015. During that time he has become one of the most dedicated members, even earning the CrossFit Orangeville All-Stars recognition for the 2015-2016 season. Getting to know Kelly over the past year has been great, and we have loved his participation and commitment to our community here, so we decided to highlight his story.
(123 workouts completed between Oct 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016)
1. Please explain your health history (cancer diagnosis, recovery, etc.)
So, as far as my health history goes I was feeling well, not in great shape, but no symptoms of any sort. But my wife had noticed a few things that made her think I should go in for a colonoscopy. My family doctor said no, I was too young  and just didn't need the procedure. Fortunately enough, my wife is very persistent and finally convinced my doctor to give me the referral. Thats when they found several polyps and one very large tumour that was the size of a grapefruit. The tumour could not be removed through a colonoscopy, it had to be surgically removed. After seeing a couple different doctors I ended up having the operation done at the Orangville Hospital. Both the doctor and support staff were fantastic!!! The biopsy came back stage 2 cancer but it had not penetrated my colon wall and had not moved into my liver and no signs of it my lymph nodes either.
It didn't just stop there, with my very persistent wife pushed forward to see why at such a young age I was having colon cancer. Through some genetic testing it turns out I have something called lynch syndrome, which is really boring!!! Long story short this opens me up to some cancers, with colon being the most seen, but it also opens me up to brain cancer, stomach and a few others.
Like I said the surgery went well and I started my 10 to 12 week recovery, with the first few of those in the hospital. Thats when I knew I was going to change my life style, seeing how upset my kids where when they came in to see me almost killed me and I vowed to do my best to never put them through that again. At this point I didn't know it was CrossFit that I was going to do but I new I had to do something.
2. Explain what made you decide to start CrossFit
I explored several different options on gyms, and having gone to gyms before, I knew I needed something a little different to keep me motivated and interested. Thats when I started looking into CrossFit. But like I have heard so much now, I thought I had to be in better shape to start. So I started working out on my own, running, elliptical and a few other things to try and get myself in a bit better shape so I didn't embarrass myself. Based on what I know now, I know that was the completely the wrong attitude to take!!!
3. Explain how CrossFit Orangeville has changed your life
After joining CrossFit I realized it didn't matter what stage of health or physical fitness you where at, it just mattered that you were there, you are trying, and you are getting stronger. With the help of great trainers and some really awesome people to workout with, it has made going to the gym fun!!! And has also made it very easy to stay motivated. This is by far the longest I have stayed going to the gym and I cant see myself stopping any time soon.
4. What are your short-term and long-term goals
As far as my goals go I don't really have any high expectations except double unders - they seem to be my nemesis :) But really all I want to do is continue, stay interested and get healthier. I've taken such a keen interest into CrossFit that it also has motivated my young kids to do the same.
They started doing some of the WODs (workout of the day) at home with me and now go to their own classes (KidsFit) and they are loving it. It's nice to be able to do it as a family.
5. Any advice for individuals who may be nervous or apprehensive about starting CrossFit?
So any of you out there that are thinking of joining but not sure if you can do it or that you are not in good enough shape to start something like this, please think again - you can do it, I did, and every day I'm so happy that I did.
Thanks so much