Athlete of the Month – Jose Garcia

Jose Garcia changed his tropical beach weather for Central Pennsylvania three years ago and, according to him, “doesn’t regret his decision!”

In 2003 Jose suffered from hypothyroidism, which occurs when your thyroid gland produces too much of the hormone thyroxine. It can accelerate your body’s metabolism, causing unintentional weight loss and an irregular heartbeat. When Jose decided to stay in the United States, he set up an appointment with his physician to continue to keep everything in check.

In June 2019, Jose was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. He has his first surgery in August and a second surgery in November. Fast forward to February 2020 when he underwent radioactive iodine therapy as the next phase of his treatment. He’ll continue to have follow ups with his doctor and is hopeful to be declared cancer free in early 2021.

Jose’s diagnosis drastically changed his approach to health and fitness. He went from zero exercise to quickly needing to get in shape to be able to handle an eight hour surgery and a painful recovery process. Now, he’s changed his diet and his habits to put his heath at his top priority.


When did you join CFU and what made you walk in those doors?
I joined in March 2020, I was limited by the restrictions after my last surgery in November 2019 and as a part of my recovery process I was looking for a place to work out again. The CFU community got my attention – nice vibes and challenging workouts.

Do you remember your first WOD? Or your thoughts during that first WOD?
My first WOD in CrossFit back in 2019 with jump rope and squat cleans. I couldn’t jump the rope nor squat!

What’s your favorite thing about CrossFit?
Sweating haha, being active, having fun and meeting new people every day

What type of workout do you enjoy the most?
Jump rope!

What’s one goal you have for the year?
Double-unders. I was training during quarantine (Coach Tina showed me the Penguin Jump!) Not there yet!

What would you tell anyone looking to walk into CFU for the first time?
If you want to feel alive and end up with a smile, you are welcome!

What’s your greatest achievement, or what are you most proud of thus far?
Being able to recover part of the mobility in my right shoulder! (I have reduced mobility after two neck surgeries.)

If there was a workout named after you, what would it be called and what would it be?
I’m not a hero. The CFU team is helping me a lot during my recovery process (it’s a seven year treatment). Workouts should be named after heroes – there are police officers, first responders and firemen out there – those are the real heroes.