Following a recent beach workout, Rosica Macintosh posted an update on Ballistix CrossFit's Facebook that read, “To all my CrossFit kids, keep up the hard work. I hope I am an inspiration to all you young girls. I am a 21-year, fourth stage cancer survivor. They gave me six months to live. So the motto is, ‘never give up.’”
The cancer was diagnosed after Macintosh felt discomfort and pain while moving her arm. It was breast cancer that spread to her bones and spine.
“I was in shock and it felt surreal,” she says. “I thought, ‘There is no way I have cancer. No, not me.’”
Despite the diagnosis, Macintosh approached this challenge with positivity and decided on treatment. The treatment spanned 10 years, including chemotherapy for three years and radiation for four years. She was given a survival rate of 1 to 2 percent. Macintosh attributes much of her recovery to faith.
“I believe the power of prayer was a major factor in my recovery, as well as a positive attitude and my determination to get healthy again,” she says. “Even though the odds were against me, I never looked at it that way. I had to get over it and move on.”
In 2011, Macintosh’s daughter, Angy, met Neil Scholtz of Ballistix CrossFit. She learnt the box was located near her mother and arranged her first CrossFit class.
“During the first two weeks I nearly died,” Macintosh recalls. “Every day I would get back home from (the) gym and I would lie down for most of the day.”
Her daughter returned to the United States and Macintosh didn’t go back to the affiliate for months. When she decided to go back, she never stopped going back.
“I always enjoyed an active lifestyle, but CrossFit really got me going. It’s changed so much in my life — from getting over smaller health issues to getting stronger,” she says. “It is another challenge, too. CrossFit is the best thing that has ever happened to me.”
Macintosh is pleased with her progress.
“At 64 years, I feel like I am about 30. I have energy — something I never had. Chemo took a lot out of me,” she says. “But CrossFit put it all back again and then some. I was a wreck and now I am healed, thanks to CrossFit.”