CrossFit Athletes Who Had COVID-19 Reveal Recovery Details

An August Time Magazine article reported that many COVID-19 survivors are experiencing long-term symptoms, such as shortness of breath, exhaustion, headaches, brain fog, and neuropathy. Meanwhile, a recent study out of Wuhan, China, found that some survivors are experiencing long-term lung damage.

The Morning Chalk Up caught up with five CrossFit athletes who had COVID-19 in recent months to see if this has been the case for them.

Darryl Chajon: Long-time CrossFit athlete Darryl Chajon came incredibly close to dying from COVID-19 in March. The 47-year-old spent six days in the ICU in April, where he was placed on a ventilator and underwent dialysis as his kidneys started to fail. When he was released from the hospital on April 13, he was weak and had lost 30 pounds.

  • Just over four months later, Chajon said he is “doing fantastic.” He has gone back to following CompTrain programming and has “gained all my weight back,” he said, adding that it took him two months to return to his normal body weight of 210 pounds.
  • “My lungs are great…no lasting side effects,” he added.
Courtesy of Suzi Cancar

That being said, Chajon admitted it took him three months to feel like his normal self again, and that his strength numbers in the gym are around 85 percent of what they were prior to getting sick. He has also also experienced mysterious pain in his hands and wrists since getting sick and said he’s convinced it “is somehow related to the hospital stay,” he said.

Suzi Cancar: An ER nurse from Cleveland, OH, Suzi Cancar got tested for COVID-19 after she experienced some shortness of breath and lost her sense of taste and smell at the beginning of May. Sure enough, she tested positive and self-isolated for two weeks.

  • Three months later, Cancar is “100 percent,” she said.
  • “I definitely eased back into regular CrossFit training…but by July, I started increasing my intensity more and training more often. It took a solid month of going back to consistent CrossFit workouts before I felt comfortable with myself, mentally and physically,” she added.
Courtesy of Suzi Cancar

Claire Cochran: Cochran, who has been doing CrossFit for three years, tested positive for COVID-19 in June after experiencing fatigue, shortness of breath and a cough for three weeks.

  • “I’m completely healthy with no health history and I had to sit down every time I walked my dogs was how exhausted I was,” the 25-year-old said.

A month and a half later, Cochran is “back to normal finally,” she said, although she is still missing her sense of smell “almost entirely” and her sense of taste still isn’t totally normal either, she added.

Noe and Maria Longoria: The couple, who work out together at The Fit Stop in San Antonio, Texas, tested positive for COVID-19 on Father’s Day weekend in June after experiencing fatigue, loss of smell and taste.

  • Six weeks later, “we are both back (at the gym) and we feel incredible through each workout…nothing lingering,” Noe said, adding that they’re both 100 percent back to normal.
Credit: Noe Longoria

Noe credits their relatively quick recovery to the health and fitness level CrossFit helped them achieve prior to getting sick.

  • “The Fit Stop was able to open back up, which was five weeks prior to us testing positive. I believe our immune system was working on our behalf…We have seen close friends of ours pass away from the virus and it has been super heartbreaking,” Noe said.

If it weren’t for CrossFit, “we might have had a harder time with the virus,” he said.

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