Woman ‘pinching herself’ with CrossFit world final spot after devastating diagnosis

A woman who thought her “life would be over” after being told she was suffering from multiple sclerosis, is now celebrating with a CrossFit world final place.

Leila Ives, 34, from Brough, said she was pinching herself after she excelled in her semi-final at the local ‘box’ of CrossFit Humber at the start of June, earning a place in the world final next month.

Leila will be competing in the Adaptive Neuromuscular category for the CrossFit title in Wisconsin, USA between August 3-7, reported HullLive.

After being diagnosed with MS in January 2018, Leila originally feared that she would be wheelchair bound and that her “life would be over”.

But, despite her diagnosis, Leila has surpassed all expectations and proven that she can participate in physical competition, and even challenge for titles at the very highest level.

Speaking to Hull Live about her experience in the semi finals, Leila said: “It was really stressful and the workouts were horrendous – I was crying after each one. Then you have to wait for the leader board to be updated and the anticipation is just immense.

“But, in competitions you find that you’re always able to find that little bit extra and it’s really rewarding. I managed to set some new personal bests during the semi-final.”

On reaching the final, she continued: “It’s such an achievement to even get there, but I’ll still be upset if I don’t make the podium! A lot of the Americans are really strong, but we don’t know which workouts will come on the day, so it could be in my favour if more endurance events are selected.

“I’d like to thank my coach Liam Cheesman who sadly can’t come with me to the final in America. Liam gives me extra training and always has my back, so I don’t think I’d have made it this far without him.

“I’m pinching myself because I’m like, do I realise I’m going to America and I’m going to be on this stage and it’s going to be televised! It sounds really corny but hard work pays off and it clearly does – I put the work in and I’ve got the goal that I wanted.”

Leila will fly out to America and compete in the Nobull CrossFit world final from August 3 to 7.

To help cover the cost of flying out to America and competing in the final, Leila has set up an online fundraiser.