A few years ago, if you read the word “CrossFit,” you would probably have nothing more than a guess as to what it was. Now, however, CrossFit has become one of the most popular (and – from those who participate in it – most loved!) workout systems in the United States, and there is a very good chance you either know someone (or know lots of people, for that matter!) who participate in CrossFit, or that you participate in CrossFit yourself. You also are probably aware, by now, that CrossFit is a mix of intensive weightlifting and cardio that not only puts a high level of demand on the participants, but that also yields stunning results. Those who participate in CrossFit can tell you, of course, that it is not easy…but they can also tell you that it is entirely worth it.
While CrossFit is sweeping the nation, however, there is one CrossFit participant in particular who stands out from the rest. Her name is Steph Hammerman (nickname: ‘The Hammer’), and she has become a familiar face at not only her local CrossFit gym, but also at local and regional CrossFit competitions. What makes her unique is not her high level of commitment or her continually impressive levels of improvement, but is the fact that she shows up at the CrossFit gym and at CrossFit competitions in a wheelchair. ‘The Hammer,’ after all, has cerebral palsy.
As one CrossFit participant said, most people who do not know Steph are surprised when they see her at competitions; they wonder if she is maybe there to judge, or is simply there to help. Then, they see her get out of the wheelchair. It is truly an inspiring event – something that is a marvel to see, and that has created a great stir in the CrossFit community.
While most CrossFit workouts are performed from a standing position, Steph has to do the workouts from her knees. This has not prevented her, however, from competing at a high level, and from constantly setting new personal records!
Those who have seen Steph have found it impossible to come away feeling anything but impressed and inspired. And the more people who see her, the more her story – the more the legend of ‘The Hammer’ – continues to grow.
Steph’s goal is to continue improving herself…but her goal is also to inspire others. If the early returns are any indication, the level to which she will ultimately be able to achieve this second goal is truly immense.