Meet an Athlete of Merit: Lilian's Story

Friendship is born in that moment when one person says to another, “What? You too? I thought I was the only one.”
— C.S. Lewis

CrossFit brings people together. We bond over shared moments, fitness goals, and our love/hate relationship with burpees. Our experience of CrossFit is so often communal. All of our stories feature familiar movements, benchmarks, struggles, and successes. But each CrossFit journey also has an element of uniqueness, the fingerprint that makes it your own. 

In each CrossFit story, you can empathize with the human condition. You can be surprised by the hurdles each individual has faced. You can be inspired in your own life to face challenges with strength, endurance, and faith. 

We would like to share a few of our athletes' stories with you.

Be surprised. Be inspired. 


Meet Lilian.


This is Lilian's story, and we are honored that she has chosen to share it with you. 

I was a very happy, healthy person, a mother of three beautiful, smart, little girls, and married to a wonderful, loving, and caring man. No major life crises, nothing to worry about.

And yet, at the end of 2014, I withdrew from being a mother and a wife. I was struggling to do the normal little things of everyday life. My days were empty and dark, and I would sit and stare at life passing by. I was gone!

It all started with a medicine that I took for just a few weeks. It was supposed to help me and all it did was take me to the darkest place I’ve been in my life. I was seeing things. I was always crying for everything and anything, I was hearing things and people that were not there. Depression induced by medicine!

I wrote a suicide letter! I was in a deep, deep hole. I became obese.

My husband who is always there for me, knew something was going extremely wrong. He realized it had begun after I started the medicine and made me stop taking it immediately. However, the damage was done. The depression stayed with me.

It is still with me.

A few months ago, my husband suggested that I look into CrossFit again. (I did it for 3 months back in 2012.) It took me a couple more weeks of staring out the windows, sitting in a dark place, getting even more obese, when it suddenly shocked me to realize that I was not going to see my children become adults.

I was not going to let that happen! I learned about CrossFit Merit and made a phone call I will never regret I made.

It changed everything.

I spoke to one of the co-owners, Coach Jason Linville. I explained to him that I was very hesitant to try it out because “I was completely out of shape and obese." He told me not to worry about it, that I should just go because they would scale/change the workouts to my level of fitness.

The next day, I arrived at their place very worried that I would be judged, that I would embarrass myself and most of all, that I would go back home feeling defeated.

I didn’t! I was introduced and greeted by everyone and felt welcomed as I have never been in any other place. I learned quickly that for the coaches Jason, Cody, Maggie, Andrew, and the entire CrossFit Merit Community, there's no one too weak, too fat, too old, too skinny, too strong.

From day one, they made me feel part of them; they never let me give up; they teach me and support me with words and actions. Everyday that I go there, I become healthier, happier, and stronger. I still battle depression, but now I have the entire CrossFit Merit Community to watch my back.

I'm never alone: Jason, Cody, Maggie, and Andrew make sure everyone has someone to work out with. If I think I can't, they tell me otherwise. If I don't show up for a couple of days, someone asks me where I have been or let's me know that they miss me. I hear kind words of encouragement and firm ones to remind me: it's "not given, it's earned." 

And, little by little, my mind is worked along with my body. I did not have to tell them what I was going through. They did and always do what they love to do, and I just had to keep showing up. Now, they all will know how important they have been to getting my life back and I'm forever grateful. I no longer sit and wait for my life to go by. Once a week, I volunteer at a local food pantry, at schools, at the church, and I crossfit at CrossFit Merit.

What is your story?

Maybe more importantly, what will that story look like five months from now?