March 16, 2012
Mother Lynne Knapman explains how CrossFit changed life for her special-needs son.
My 21-year-old son Chris participated in his first CrossFit competition a few months ago.
What’s so special about that? Chris has a moderate intellectual disability. Along with this disability come poor muscle tone, a severe lack of spatial awareness, a very positive attitude and a predisposition to carry excess weight.
We have always encouraged Chris to be active. He’s played many sports, including tennis, baseball, soccer and basketball—mostly in teams with other special-needs children/people. He is not a great athlete by any means, but what he lacks in skill he makes up for in attitude and effort.
At this point, I would like to declare that my expectations for the competition were quite low. I primarily enrolled Chris so that when we talked about the box and CrossFit, he would have something to draw on and could join the conversation. I never dreamed Chris would be able to do any of the movements or a class at the box. He could not jump up a step let alone onto a box!