I’m 31 years old and I have a genetic eye disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa that is causing me to go blind. The disease kills blood vessels in the retina which cannot be regenerated. The retina is responsible for all light to enter into the eye. When there are no blood vessels left the retina will no longer recognize light. This is why when people ask about my condition I simply tell them “the lights are going out quick.” I was diagnosed at 6 years old and have been dealing with this my entire life. The doctors told me I would be fully blind by 30, they were wrong. If I had to put a number on it I would say I can still see roughly 15-20%.
I played around with fitness for about 12 years mostly lifting heavy with absolutely minimum cardio. Then at the beginning of May my wife came home and told me she had signed me up to go to Crossfit Remix. I didn’t know much about crossfit except that it was hardcore. I have a wrestling background and have always lifted because of the individual sport aspect with a team twist. I found out that’s exactly what crossfit is. It took me one full wod to become an absolute addict. I thrive off self accomplishment. So every workout I participate in I have to finish and not only finish but finish with a respectable time or weight. This allows me to keep getting better all the time. My lack of eyesight allows me to focus on each exercise without ever being distracted. Being blind has given me the mentality of “I will do it” not “can I do it” which is perfect for crossfit. There are only a couple of movements I struggle with because of my condition but between the coaching staff and the adaptability of crossfit I’m proof anyone can do it.
My wife deserves all the credit because without her help and support I wouldn’t even be a member at Remix. The coaching staff is second to none and would like to thank them for their time and guidance. I love being a part of this team. This gym changed my life and I will continue to work hard and represent it in the right way, I give you my word.
Name: Matt Priem
Hometown: Painesville, OH
Starting Weight/Current Weight: 242 lbs / 214 lbs.
How long have you been doing crossfit? 4 months
What are your favorite movements? Deadlifts, push press, back squats
Movements that make you cringe? OH Squats, Snatches, Double Unders
One thing I've done here I thought I'd never do is: Box Jumps, for obvious reasons, but now I rock them out.
Advice for future Remixers? We were all new at one point and this place is very much a team that involves every one and makes them feel welome and supportive from day one. Everyone here will encourage you to never give up and help you reach your goal,