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 Lymph e-Channel SPECIAL EDITION
July 2011 
In This Issue
· Welcome
· Update from Deborah Cordner
Help CrossFit Finalist Deborah Cordner Support LE Patients by Donating to the 2011 MWGF Sponsorship Drive


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Welcome to the Special Edition of Lymph e-Channel


Dear friends of the NLN,


On Saturday, July 29, top athletes from around the world converged upon a picturesque Southern California locale, all vying for the title of "Fittest Person on Earth." The annual 2011 World CrossFit Championships were held in Carson, CA and among these world-class athletes was our very own, Deborah Cordner. From previous e-Channel circulars, we have become familiar with Deborah's journey and her personal story. She is no stranger to overcoming obstacles, including taking control of her lymphedema. This year the Games were particularly challenging with the inclusion of an unexpected first event - swimming 210 meters in the open ocean. Faced with this curveball, Deborah, while unprepared for this challenge, still gave it her all. Even though Deborah didn't quite make it to the top, her achievements are still commendable. It is amazing to know that a lymphedema patient can compete with the best athletes in world. Deborah has shown us that we do not need to give up on our dreams and passions. True to character, Deborah is not giving up and we hope to see her succeed at next year's CrossFit World Games.  


To Deborah, the NLN staff and patients across the country congratulate you on a job well done. You are a true champion!


If you would like to send her your own congratulations, send her an email at

You can read more from Deborah at .




The NLN Staff



Deborah Cordner Update from Deborah Cordner

The best way I can put my experience is bittersweet. Mostly because I was thankful I made it, the outcome was not at all what I expected or wanted; but I know there is value in what happened...


First day of check in we were put into a 25m swim test in a pool. Most CrossFitters were shocked. Swimming is not typically anything that is prescribed in a workout, and for me, generally not something I ever do. I was super nervous. With no workouts announced yet, I was now certain that at least one would include a swim of some sort. Well, the announcement of the first workout two days before competition was that we would be swimming 210 meters; running 1500 meters, 50 chest to bar pull-ups, 100 hand release pushups, and 200 air squats. For me all that sounded doable and actually fun, except for the swim. I thought well, I'll just have to grit my way through the swim and see how it goes after;basically just play catch up. Then they said this would all go down at the Santa Monica Pier. My heart jumped into my chest, "Can I even swim in the ocean?I have no clue... how will my garment do with wet sand on it... Will I die? How will they even have this set up??" They got me... I went for a swim the next morning to test it out and was pounded with the waves that came at me.I found it hard to try and swim; and overcome the feeling of downing; or just realize was in over my head... pun intended.   


The next day at the start of the games the waves were ridiculous.Two men didn't make it through, and I was told that if I touched a buoy or a lifeguard I would be disqualified. I tried to make it through the waves twice. I knew I couldn't make it. I couldn't swim to save my life in the ocean. So on the first event the first skill, my CrossFit Games experience was over.


All I worked for all I sacrificed, all my dreams gone.I thought I was dreaming, I thought I was going to wake up for sure and it would all be a really bad dream. Coming to the realization that I wasn't was really hard.I then wanted to go home, immediately. I was sad, and angry and felt really embarrassed. My coach and friends alike told me to not worry about it but I couldn't. They said that they'd let me compete in the next 4 events with no score. "What did you come here for?" My fiancÚsaid, "The money, the title? No, you said it yourself, you wanted to come and show people what you could do, you wanted to inspire people, here's your chance, show them that not only are you a great athlete, but you can't be kept down. Not even in the worst of situations."


I did really well in the next four events. Many spectators who didn't make it down to the pier and see that I was out of the competition thought I was for sure moving on based on my performances. It was clear to me that if I could have made the swim I may have made it into the top 10-12 athletes. It was frustrating to know that and it was also empowering to know that.   


Next year will be different. I want to be in control and understand my training more.I want to make sure that I leave nothing out there that I can't do.I need to not be afraid of anything they put in front of me.


First of all, I will learn to swim...


Thank you all for your support, it means so much... And now what I have realized from this CrossFit Games, I'm only beginning. For a while I thought I was at the end of my competition years.Nope, I found in my heart; I'm only beginning...



National Lymphedema Network, Inc.
116 New Montgomery Street, Suite 235
San Francisco, CA 94105
Hotline: 1.800.541.3259
Tel: 415.908.3681
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