The kids’ classes at Fury are packed full of interesting stories. We have kids getting ready for, and dominating, their sport of choice. We have kids getting stronger and more mobile after years of discoordination. And we have tons of kids getting fit while having fun. Every once in a while, however, one of the stories stands out. CJ Soeby is one of these stories. We all have adversity to overcome and we all have our own obstacles standing in front of our goals. CJ’s obstacle is just a little bigger than most. CJ is 14 and has had a long history of brain surgeries, hospitalizations and slow recoveries. But he does not let that stop him. Since starting in the Crossfit Fury Kids’ class he has gained in all areas by leaps and bounds. We asked CJ some questions and listed below are his answers.

Briefly explain your medical history: I was born with a rare brain tumor called a hypothalamic hamartoma. I have had 4 surgeries to remove the tumor. The first was when I was 3 months old and the last one was in May of 2011. I have had seizures most of my life but I haven’t let that stop me from playing basketball, bowling, enjoying photography and participating in Boy Scouts.

Where did you find out about our kids program? My mom started working out here about a month ago and when she heard about the kids program she said it looked like something I would love! She was right!

What were you hoping to accomplish by coming to the kids class? I have had to work hard to get my strength and coordination back after each brain surgery and with the last of the tumor gone now, I want to be able to do all of the things my friends can do, like: hike, ski, run and bike with confidence. I would like to run a 5k race with my mom one day too!
What did you first think about the class on your first visit? I thought a kids class would be too easy, but it turned out to be a real challenge and a lot of fun! I was a little sore, but it felt like a good sore. It felt like what I imagined an athlete would feel like. I knew I wanted to stick with it.

What do you enjoy most about the class? I really like becoming stronger! I also really like working with Josh. He encourages me to do new things and push myself a little harder each time. I really like the fact that Josh mixes it up every class so I don’t get bored. I appreciate it when the other guys give me pointers on how I can improve my workouts. It makes me feel like part of the Crossfit family!

How have you improved since starting Crossfit? I have improved in just about everything! A week ago I did a wall handstand for the first time in my life! That was cool!
What are some of the things you can do now that you never thought were possible? I can do wall handstands, jumping pull-ups, squats and run further than ever before!
What are some of your goals going forward? In the next few months I would like to be able to do 5 regular pull-ups, 5 regular pushups and be able to jug 1 mile in 15 minutes. I am thinking about the Paleo Challenge, but that might be a little too extreme for me.

CJ is a great kid and an inspiration. His life has been full of brain surgeries and medical complications, but he does not let that define who he is. Crossfit has made him feel like an athlete and the support of others in the gym makes him part of our gym family. It is awesome to watch him progress and to see how excited he gets with each accomplishment. If you see CJ, say hi. And remember, your obstacles do not define you.