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Review: Box of Salvation

Cheryl Nasso Box of Salvation

Cheryl Nasso, Box of Salvation

Before I can begin, I have a confession to make: I’m addicted to documentaries (and ice cream, but that’s not what this is about). So when I was given a copy of the new CrossFit-inspired documentary Box of Salvation, I may or may not have welled up a little with tears of joy—I admit nothing.

You may recall first hearing about Box of Salvation in February when Michael, interviewed Carin Smith, the documentary’s producer. At the time, 8th Avenue Studios—made up of Carin and her husband Bryan—was looking for Kickstarter funding so that they could introduce the movie at a variety of film festivals. They then had just 18 days to pull in enough extra money to secure the total funds already raised.

The verdict: It worked!

The film details the story of how the 5-foot-4 Cheryl Nasso, “struggled with an eating disorder for five years. At her worst she was 85 pounds, exercising up to six hours a day, and living on just 400 calories. Her health declined to the point that she was admitted to hospital, and then spent four months in rehab. That was 2009. Just two years later, she found herself travelling to California to compete in the Reebok CrossFit Games.”

My obsession with documentaries aside, Box of Salvation met my expectations. Granted, it was a low-budget documentary, but I try not to let the absence of fancy infographics and variety in scene changes sway me. Instead, I look to be moved emotionally. A documentary should leave you wanting to take action in some way, either because you’re angry, you’re interested, you’re sad—whatever emotion it is, you should’ve grown in part because of what you just viewed.

For me, Box of Salvation motivated me to train harder at CrossFit. While I don’t suffer from an eating disorder (barring the previously mentioned unhealthy obsession with ice cream) the way Cheryl Nasso did, I was empowered by how she leverages CrossFit to improve not only her health but also her life. I wish the film would have gone a tad deeper into her battle versus focusing so much on her CrossFit workouts and Games prep. Still, for me, that didn’t ruin the film, or more importantly the message: “…Overcoming the worst to become one of the best.”

I think we all have room for improvement in that arena.

Box of Salvation is due for its DVD release July 10, 2012. You can pre-order your copy today at


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