Athlete of the Month: Cancer Survivor, Johanna Gordon

Wow! What an inspiration we have this month! Johanna Gordon joined CrossFit Salus a few years ago and then life threw her a major curve ball. Cancer. On top of overcoming the side effects of her treatments and being an amazing mother, Johanna has remained positive through it all. Did we mention this girl is STRONG– both inner strength and physical strength! Not only is she a cancer survivor with laser-like focus on living her best life, but she can pull her own body weight on the pull-up bar!

once you face cancer, CrossFit doesn’t look so daunting anymore

She’s a total rockstar and an inspiration to everyone in the Salus community. We are so proud of this strong, positive, confident, and bad-ass athlete. And, we are honored that she has called CrossFit Salus her home for over 3 years now. MEET JOHANNA GORDON…

Cancer Survivor, Johanna Gordon is Bad-Ass!

Athlete of the Month Cancer Survivor JohannaAthlete of the Month October 2018

1. When and why did you start CrossFit?

My next door neighbor Melissa Regina introduced me to Cat Galli, with whom I clicked immediately. They both got me interested in coming, especially after I saw how fit and strong and awesome they were. It made me want to go to CrossFit,

because they were bad-ass, and I like hanging out with bad-ass people.

2. How has your performance changed since you started CrossFit?

I am quicker and more powerful on my trail runs.

My performance as a singer is stronger and has more stamina.

Actually, it has improved my performance as an artist overall.

3. Are there exercises you can do now that you couldn’t do before?

Yes! How about pull-ups? How about push ups?!

I don’t even think I ever really attempted a true squat before CrossFit. After cancer treatment, CrossFit is helping me push past my mental and physical atrophy.

So, I am enjoying being a beginner all over again.

4. How has your body physically changed since you started?

More muscle, less fat, more energy, more mobility!

Athlete of the Month Cancer Survivor Johanna5. How has CrossFit changed you in other ways?

Pre-cancer CrossFit, at 42, my body had never been more fit.

Now, at 44, and having battled cancer all year, I am enjoying the mental achievements.

Like being less apt to hesitate.

It’s like, once you face cancer, CrossFit doesn’t look so daunting anymore.

6. How do you describe CrossFit to your friends?

It is a community of like-minded beings who share knowledge, energy and love which results in bringing the group to a higher place mentally and physically.

7. What keeps you motivated to continue? What’s your “why”?

The people at Salus are my why.

I have met the most passionate, brave, goal-oriented people there. They are my lost family members. I’m so glad I have found them!

8. Favorite exercise?

Snatch and strict Pull-Ups. I very much dig OLY. It feels the most like art.

9. What advice would you give to a newbie just joining CrossFit Salus?

Anyone can do it, you don’t need to get ready, just start now.

Listen to your body!

10. What is your next goal to accomplish?

I want to do 6 strict Pull-Ups. Right now I’m at one and a half and they ain’t pretty. 2 years ago I got six, so I know it’s achievable.

11. If you could design your own WOD, what would it look like?

Start with 20 minutes of Mobility work, then do a 15 minute WOD that involves running and strict Pull-Ups. The rest of the time we are learning something new that is not only going to help me at CrossFit, but in my daily life. During mobility training we do a couple minutes of silent meditation/visualization practice. i.e.

I see myself, getting that strict pull up…

Also, music is very important, I want to hear something inspiring, something that speaks to our ethos. I would play “The Youth” by by MGMT, “Today” by Smashing Pumkins and “Runnin Down a Dream” by Tom Petty.

Athlete of the Month Cancer Survivor Johanna12. Favorite thing to do for fun?

Something hard.

13. Favorite healthy dish….and favorite splurge?

Lately I am digging tons of vegetables in a stir fry with curry and shrimp.

I heart raisin bran – sometimes I just go for it (the organic kind with grass fed milk).

14. If you could be a superstar who would you be and why?

Guys, I just want to be Thom Yorke from Radiohead.

15. Favorite inspirational quote?

“In the beauty, find stillness. In the stillness, find beauty.”

These are words that came to me recently, though I don’t think I’m the first to say them.

16. Interesting fact not many people know about you.

I haven’t watched, read or heard the “news” in a couple of years. I used to be an NPR enthusiast, now I take that time and use it to create.

The best we can do is to inspire our communities, families and friends to live a truthful, meaningful life by doing that ourselves.


A Note From Your CrossFit Salus Coaches


This month we will be doing a fundraiser WOD, in honor of Johanna and all warriors who have fought through the battle of breast cancer. On Tuesday, October 16 we will be doing Grace (30 clean and jerks for time) in all CrossFit classes.  In addition, we will also be doing  “Kilos for a Cure” fundraiser challenge (1 Squat Clean + 2 Push Press) in our weightlifting class.

Please choose to donate to, a crisis intervention charity that directly helped Johanna in her time of need.