Marla Carnes is mother to a son who died of drowning in March 2007. CrossFit Kids is teaming up with the Infant Swimming Resource (ISR), which seeks to protect children against drowning through preparedness training.

Marla Carnes shares her son Sterling’s story through pictures of her son at play. She tearfully recounts the day she lost her son. They were at a friend’s house for a baby shower. Although there was a pool, she didn’t think of it as a problem because it was wintertime and her son would be indoors. She gave him plenty of activities and then joined her friends. However, when a mother went to check on the children, Carnes said she heard a scream.

While the other mothers performed CPR on her unresponsive son, Carnes remembers screaming at him: “Wake up, Sterling! Wake up! Open your eyes!”

“And I just was screaming this at him because I didn’t know how loud I needed to be for him to hear me, and I didn’t want him to stop fighting if there was any hope,” she says.

Having to tell her husband that she didn’t know if their son would be OK hit home for her.

“That moment is when I realized how serious and scary this was, and the reality was starting to sink in of what was happening and that I might not see my son again,” she says.

Part 2 and Part 3 will be released on Aug. 30 and 31.

CrossFit Kids supports ISR’s mission that “not one more child drowns.” To find out more, visit

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