by Jamie Cormier
A few months ago, we implemented a weekly “Power Hour” to help special needs children locally. One of our members, Vera Spinks, has a daughter named Kylie who has Cerebral Palsy. We were inspired by others in the CrossFit Community thriving despite physical restrictions. So, in hopes of improving Kylie’s quality of life, among other things, we started doing CrossFit with her once a week.
Because we all felt so empowered after those 60 minutes, we named this time “Power Hour”. Once we got the hang of it, we began to add more children to Power Hour. Every two weeks, a member of our box becomes a coach to a new child for Power Hour. We work hard towards their goals using CrossFit movements modified to their current abilities. Many of these children would love to walk one day, but could not stand with heavy support on their first night. Kylie, who is very close to standing with no support, could not support her weight our first time together. With the help of some University of Alabama wheelchair basketball players who understand her plight, she’s on the cusp of walking, holding the back of a basketball wheelchair as she goes. Her goal is in sight.
Bradley, Cooper, Hank, and Hayden are the current boys of our group. While they differ in ages and current abilities, each brings his own strengths to Power Hour. Seven year-old Bradley has amazing core strength and his feet, though they are the size of an NBA superstar, are walking in a walker, ready to run. Four year-old Cooper is the life of the party. His spirit and laughter is contagious, and with Power Hour he is now standing from a seated position and walking for the first time! Fifteen-year-old Hank walked the length of our 40+ foot rig, his longest unassisted walk ever. He does burpees for reps that will blow your mind with their intensity, and he works harder than any athlete in our box. Hayden has this natural strength you feel and see the first time you meet him. His body is ready to walk, and his compliant, work-hard spirit is bringing him there.
We are so inspired by these Power Hour Athletes. Whatever small amount of help we are giving them, we are paid in joy and inspiration. We have the CrossFit Candor Community to thank. This is at no cost to the families, and no coach receives payment for their services. Yet, every week you’ll find University of Alabama students, parents with children, singles and couples choosing to spend their evenings at Power Hour. With the help of med balls, barbells, rings and Rogue bars for support, we are paving the way together towards independence and strength. Isn’t this what CrossFit is truly about? Stronger, faster, more able to live a functional life and loving on each other as we work. We have no prior experience and are simply learning as we go. I believe that any CrossFit Box could implement their own Power Hour with amazing success. Please feel free to contact us for any help if you’d like to set up a Power Hour of your own!
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