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CrossFit Is for Everyone by Lynne Knapman - CrossFit Journal

CrossFit Is for Everyone

By Lynne Knapman

In Special Populations

March 16, 2012

PDF Article

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!

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13 Comments on “CrossFit Is for Everyone”


wrote …

congrats! great story! awesome work :)


wrote …

Quite simply, I love this story. Thank you


wrote …

Wow! What a great story. I will be doing the open work out today and will TRY to smile at the top of each one.


wrote …

What a fantastic story!! Truly amazing how crossfit reaches each of us where we are and helps us achieve things we never knew we could.


wrote …

Congratulations Chris! Congratulations Lynne! What a fantastic achievement!

G. B. Shaw wrote… You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say “Why not!”

And I yell, “C’mon Chris!”


wrote …

I love reading stories as this...Great work Chris I and wish you well on your future with CrossFit! We are worlds apart but I hope to one day cheer you on because this is truly what the community is about!


wrote …

Lynne. This is such an inspiring story. You, Keith, Pirri & Chris and no doubt all the Active crew have contributed to this success. Chris may do scaled movements but he tough's the WOD out just like any other CrossFit athlete & the community really gets behind him. Wouldn't it be great if you could take him LA this year; he's be a celebrity.


wrote …

This is what Crossfit is all about


wrote …

So amazing! It's impossible to over-estimate the possibilities of Crossfit. I'm so glad it exists, especially for people like Chris.


wrote …

Chris, it's such an honor to train along side of you buddy, truely inspiring, great article.....


wrote …

thanks for your support everyone.
A quick update...
Chris can now do 4 strict pullups, a DEXA scan has shown a loss of 3.4kg of fat and an increase of a little over a kilo of muscle. He sometimes joins the regular classes and he's loving it!
A big thank you to all the owners/trainers at CrossFit Active.


wrote …

What an inspiration. Thanks for sharing Lynne, I hope to see Chris much more in the future. It would be great if they could put together a Crossfit Special Games or something like that. Just shows that doing functional movements can help anyone.


replied to comment from Lynne Knapman

Hi Lynne,

Congratulations to you and Chris, that is fantastic!

I had a vision earlier about a box for special needs. Have you looked into this at all? Are there any classes/boxes you know of tailoring to special needs?

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