The Bravest Athlete I’ve Ever Coached
Congratulations! to Eric Jacobowitz, 29yr old Paramedic/Firefighter, for being Freakin Fitness “Member of the Month.” Eric’s story is being released late this month due to an unexpected event that I am going unfold.
Eric started with us in June of 2018. From the very 1st day, he fell right into our community, worked hard, and stuck to his new Vegan ways. Since then, I’ve always made funny remarks about “the Vegan” and he always took my jokes with a smile. His body impressively transformed and became quite chiseled over the past year while strictly adhering to his Vegan diet, and dedication to his CrossFit workouts. Eric’s humble, peaceful attitude towards life never wavered. He became loved by all at Freakin CrossFit as a solid morning community member.
On the morning of November 15th is where Eric’s story gets interesting. The morning started like all others with a great workout and then, like always, Eric and Nick joking around in our lobby afterwards. Eric was chosen to be November’s “Member of the Month”, which he has been jokingly pursuing since his best gym buddy, Nick, won the award earlier in the year. While in the lobby, Eric was talking to me about the interview questions we asked for the Member of the Month blog post. After that conversation, I was in full swing set-up mode for our annual Freakin Gauntlet competition, which was to be held the next day. Nick went home and Eric stayed to do some extra rope-climb work and GHD sit-ups. My family and coaches were outside setting up WOD’s on the turf when Coach Frantz came out to me stating that Eric was acting and talking weird. I went inside, where Eric lay on the ground. I assessed him and realized he was suffering from a full stroke. This incident changed my life forever. I’m going to fast forward through the events of that day and weekend and just leave it as an extremely scary, emotional, and heartbreaking event. However, throughout the entire ordeal, Erik, NEVER lost his up-beat attitude, and ability to joke with those around him. He displayed EXTREME courage.
Eric had lost all motor function of his left side that day. However, every single day moving forward he has been regaining his dexterity, strength and motor functions. Not only was Eric courageous, his family, especially his Mom, Jodi, were all as strong and brave as Eric. On Thanksgiving Day, only 14 days after this massive stroke, Eric was to be released early from Memorial South. He gave me a call. He was trying to leave the hospital and go directly to the Freakin Fitness Turkey Bowl to see all his Freakin friends. THAT is how much he loves everyone. Sadly, the morning Turkey Bowl was over but he asked to come to the Box to do some rehab. Basically, he left our facility to the hospital and came BACK to our facility after the hospital before ever going home.
Eric is on the road to a FULL recovery and I couldn’t be prouder to call Eric my friend. I’ve cried with heartbreak behind closed doors and cried with joy to see him miraculously recover so fast while taking each step towards recovery with a smile. My wife says I’m pretty hardcore with my emotions, however, it is who Eric is, as a person, that effected me the most.
He is by far the Bravest athlete I’ve ever coached.
Tell us about yourself?
I’m 29 years old. Paramedic/Firefighter for Broward Sheriffs Office. FCF is my first box 😁
What have you learned since joining Freakin CrossFit?
What is your proudest CrossFit moment?
What’s your favorite exercise movement?
What are your CrossFit goals?
What does your nutrition look like? Has it changed since starting CrossFit?
What is one tip you would give someone who is thinking about starting CrossFit or just started.
When you’re not CrossFitting, what is your favorite thing to do?
Anything else you would like to add: