The tool bag contains, chains, straps, pipe, carabiners—all the things that help Kendra Bailey do CrossFit on her terms.
Born without her left arm below the elbow, Bailey, a trainer at CrossFit Rubicon, has been on a journey of experimentation and adaptation as she finds new and better ways to access CrossFit.
“It’s a constant change. It’s constant evolution. Over time we’ve changed a few things about different elements of the tools,” Bailey says.
With prosthetic technology not quite ready for the challenges of many CrossFit movements, Bailey and other adaptive athletes have found their own ways to bypass obstacles. By using a strap to connect her arm to a length of chain fitted with a short pipe, Bailey is able to literally chain herself to a barbell for remarkably smooth cleans. She uses other devices to perform pull-ups and double-unders, and she’s always trying to find ways to add more movements to the arsenal.
“You keep trying until you find something that works. And if it doesn’t work, scrap it and move on to the next thing,” she explains.
According to Bailey, some movements, such as muscle-ups, aren’t available, but she qualifies that statement: “We don’t have the technology yet.”
Video by Mike Koslap.
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Additional reading: CrossFit Walter Reed by Dillon Behr and Brian Wilson, published July 25, 2012.