At 17, Kyle Bryant was diagnosed with Friedreich’s ataxia. The rare inherited disease causes nervous-system damage and movement problems. Bryant has symptoms of scoliosis and diabetes, and he experiences vision impairment, hearing loss and life-shortening heart complications. There is no cure for Friedreich’s ataxia.
Nonetheless, 30-year-old Bryant comes to CrossFit King of Prussia in Bridgeport, Pa., twice a week.
At first, he didn’t think he would be able to do CrossFit.
“I realized that everyone has a certain amount of scale in what they do,” Bryant says. “And everyone is doing it to their own ability and pushing their own limits, and that’s what I do when I’m here is I figure out what I can do, and then I take it as far as I can take it.”
Although the ataxia will progress, Bryant said he will keep CrossFitting.
“My struggle and my goal is to keep my personal fitness at the top of that curve,” Bryant says. “If that curve’s going down, I want to be at the very top of it at all times so I can keep myself performing at as high a level as possible.”
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Additional reading: Training for Special Medical Populations: Cardiac Concerns by Jennifer McKenzie, published Aug. 1, 2008.