I have never met Chris Stoutenburg face to face but I feel like I know him because I have watched so many of his videos! He is an amazing athlete who won medals in the Paralympics playing wheelchair basketball. I love basketball but this is not why I admire Chris. Chris left the competitive basketball game and became competitive in another activity: Crossfit.
I became addicted to Crossfit about 3 months ago. I have a friend who is very active and she was working with me outside of her time in the gym. She told her trainer about me and he wanted to meet me. I went one day and he offered to sponsor me if I would work hard. He said that I was not disabled in his gym and wanted to make sure I was okay with groveling in the floor in front of people. I told him I would do whatever he said. He worked me hard and told me to come back the next morning and not to use handicap parking. I will never forget what he said, “Inspiration starts in the parking lot. You won’t be coddled here so don’t ask me to.” I loved those words!!
I have never been as sore as I was that first night. I could not even transfer back into my van or in and out of my chair. As I moaned in my bed that night, my husband suggested I not go back the next day. I knew that if I did not go I would never go again. I woke up excited about going back. That is the weird world of Crossfit. It kills you and you say thank you and come back for more. I think my body knows it is good for me!
Since I physically cannot do some of the workouts (like jump roping or box jumps), we have to come up with an equal workout that I can do. This is when I started You-tubing “adaptive Crossfit.” This is when I found Chris Stoutenburg. I was mesmerized at what this guy can do in a gym full of barbells, medicine balls, bars and rings! I knew right then that I could be a Crossfitter.
I have watched all of his YouTube videos and have drooled through most of them hoping that I can even work up to half of what he can do! I then friended him on Facebook and have talked to him a few times through chat. One day, I was in my gym and saw the WOD (workout of the day) posted on the board. There were new things up there that I wasn’t sure what to do with. I quickly shot off a message to Chris and he replied right away with how to substitute. He is a humble and helpful guy and I appreciate the time he has taken to help encourage a crazy southern girl who cannot even do a chin up yet! But, that is also Crossfit. What a great family even far away!
I want to publicly thank Bo Seamon and Lake Murray Crossfit for believing in me and giving me a chance to better my health and for sponsoring me. Thank you Garris Gonce and Derrick Bastian for thinking outside of the box and working me hard! Thank you Kattie Hallman for introducing me, always being willing to help and pushing me to push myself! I will be starting a blog to help others with adaptive Crossfit. I am working on pics and figuring some things out myself first and then I will pass it on!
I would love for you all to take just a few minutes and watch this guy! He is an inspiration to me. Thank you Chris!
Check out these videos:
If you are enjoying these, just keep watching his channel! He is also on Instagram at stouty08.
*I had permission from Chris to blog about this and post his videos and pictures.