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I don’t know most of the people at CFJ, but whenever I go I feel like the hour spent there was with a family of like minded individuals who are respectful, energetic and helpful. The coaches are seriously good at what they do! Imtiaz is creating creative, ever changing workouts that never leave me bored – the reason I joined Crossfit in the first place.

Thanks for many months of great workouts, excellent coaching and beating the Blerch (

Johan Odendaal


I want to be a surgeon. Unfortunately, the saying that ‘it is a man’s world’ is very true in that profession. The ladies are easy to stand back, because a limb is just too heavy to hold or it is just too physically demanding to stand next to an operating table for hours on end. I did not want to be the girl who backed off and that is the reason I joined CrossFit Jozi in September 2013.

A while back a man came to the Trauma Department following a motorcycle accident in which he obtained an open fracture to his lower leg. I was able to jump in and hold this man’s leg whilst a colleague cleaned the wound and immobilized the leg awaiting further management. It felt absolutely fantastic not having to call someone stronger to help us out. My CrossFit training empowered me. I was able to do my job without hesitation or limitations!

CrossFit allows me to dream bigger. It allows me endless opportunities as I don’t need to limit my career choices to something that ‘a girl can do’. The program at Crossfit Jozi works! I am proof that someone who has never done anything physical (my nose was always in my books)- can be transformed in 9 short months. It feels fantastic – thank you CrossFit Jozi!

Marlize Swart


Hi Imtiaz

On the 21st of August 2011, I was helping my father fix our roof when I lost my footing and fell a full three stories onto a concrete foundation. As you can imagine, this resulted in some severe injuries, namely my back being broken in 6 places, a dislocated shoulder, a punctured left lung, lung contusions and fractured ribs just to name a few.

After being admitted to ICU and with a few weeks of recovery, I could begin to take up basic physical tasks, such as walking. The recovery process required months of intense physiotherapy as well as work with a biokineticist. It was after this rehabilitation that I was able to resume everyday activities; however, I was in a permanent state of pain.

Due to my injuries, I had a permanent stabbing pain in my upper back where I had broken my vertebrae, stretching across to the left hand shoulder that had dislocated. Anti-inflammatories, acupuncture, physiotherapy and every other attempt to reduce the pain wasn’t helping and I was beginning to believe that the pain would be permanent. Furthermore, the pain made exercise difficult, making the condition worsen and the pain intensify.

In March 2013, I began CrossFit at CFJ. This was approximately 19 months after my fall and the pain I was experiencing was only worsening up until that point. After about 3 months of CrossFit, I began to feel the pain subsiding. Now, after 5 months of CrossFit, the pain that lasted almost two years has gone completely. I have no doubt that it is the result of the care of the staff, the attention to detail and form when exercising and the support of the class that sped up my recovery.

Without exaggeration, CrossFit Jozi saved my sanity as I don’t know how I would have continued in that never ending state of pain. While CrossFit Jozi has taken away the pain in my back, it has also helped me cope with the stresses of my engineering degree that I am studying for. Furthermore, when my personal life throws me a curve ball, CFJ helps me stay on track as it gives me that stress relief when I need it most and the people there are like one big family. The Coaches have always been ready and willing to help and have always taken a personal interest, both during and after the WOD.

CrossFit has done an immense amount of good in my life and has changed it for the better. I know I would be a very different person if it wasn’t for CrossFit Jozi and its staff, and I am extremely grateful for all they have done for me.

Matthew MacFarlane


Hi Imtiaz,

Two weeks ago you told me to BELIEVE, and I have been meaning to write this to you since then. I want to thank you all for what CFJ has done for my life.

No one at CFJ will probably believe this but just under a year ago I found myself in a doctors room having a prescription written out for anti-depressants. I was angry, lost, stressed, unhappy, lacked direction and motivation and just wanted to pack it all in and run away. I hated my job, was in a loveless and unsupported relationship, and had no self-confidence. I was in a dark place that I didn’t see a way out of. A person would just LOOK at me and I would burst into tears. I was weak and frustrated at the person I had become.

So, I took my ‘happy pills’ and just got through every day without a real sense of purpose or direction. Come January 2013 I threw away the pills and decided to cold turkey and just make the most of life. (But still in a stressful, unappreciative job but out of the ‘bad’ relationship at least). I managed, and I coped. And that was how life was. A series of days following one another of me ‘just getting through it’.

I joined CFJ in mid-February 2013 and by March the fog in my heart and head was already thinner, and by April it had lifted completely and the old Antoinette was back! You guys have lit a fire in me that had died a couple of years ago and I cannot express my gratitude to the community for bringing me back. I stopped believing in myself ages ago and now my confidence has been restored. I have a sense of belonging, and a sense of purpose and reason. Not just with training, just in general – CrossFit has affected ALL areas of my life.

I am now, once again, pursuing dreams I had all but forgotten. I no longer allow people to make me feel less than valuable, and when they try I just shrug my shoulders and check the WOD for the day! 😀

I know many people say that CrossFit changed their lives, but I won’t say that because it’s not entirely true.

CrossFit didn’t CHANGE my life, it SAVED my life. Thank you, again. My gratitude has no limit.


When I was 16 I had an operation on my back and when I was 18 I had an operation on my neck I was diagnosed with a disease which led to the disintegration of the discs between the veterbrae of my spine.

This took a lot of strain on my body, doctors told me I couldn’t do any form of physical activity and to be careful. I took their advice seriously and really didn’t do much for a long time, my body became weak and I was in pain everyday, experiencing headaches, and tension. It was tough to get through a day without tablets, even physio didn’t help much. My boyfriend Travis started getting me back on track, we started cycling which was pretty tough because of the bumps and obstacles, but I really enjoyed it. I was still nervous to try new things so when Travis told me about CrossFit I thought – let’s try it out.

I won’t lie, the first couple of weeks at CrossFit Jozi East were hard. I was stiff for days, but a good kind of stiff. I did feel like giving up, but when you get to the box its like everything changes. All those thoughts of wanting to quit go away, the amazing people that keep you going is great! I started getting addicted!!

I’ve been training for 6 months now, and my back and neck haven’t felt this great in a long time, weeks without pain and no tablets! When I began training I had to scale my movements and the weights I used, but as I began to get stronger I felt less and less pain each week. I now feel no pain even with weighted squats or heavy deadlifts.

Who would have thought!! I am so happy I have come so far with CrossFit. I am able to do so much more than before, moving heavy things the deadlift way haha!! Oh and I’ve caught myself using the hook grip shopping and even driving. It’s a habit now J

I still struggle some days, but with Andre and Carl there to guide me, I know the next time I try I will be better at it J

Every challenge I have had I have pushed through, my brain works overtime while at the box too, its physically and mentally challenging. To sum it up, CrossFit is great!! Not only is it good for you, but to feel and see a change in your body means so much more!

Taryn-Ann Barker