SPORTS, FITNESS & DANCE

Rich Pond: From Broken to Believing

Amputee

Rich Pond

My Wheelwod Story...from a one legged 54 year old guy

In short, I started Crossfit in January 2015 and probably like most of the adaptive community, I went to a “regular” CF box, full of abled bodied folks, most all younger than me, doing great things every day to find their fitness and push their own limits.  It was great and like the rest of the CF Nation, we all suffered and pushed each other together in our little community.  

After participating in the 2015 Open and getting a taste of the competitive side of CF that first year, I wanted to compete more.  I lost my leg below my right knee in an industrial accident in 1981, a week after my high school graduation.  From that point forward, I was always ashamed that I was broken and damaged.  I tried to hide my prosthesis by always wearing jeans or long pants, even in the summer.  I never wore shorts and always tried to look “normal.”  

Many decades later I began to get over my “shame” and to accept my injury, but only to the superficial extent of wearing shorts.  I didn’t know that I had a lot of growing left to do, until I started Crossfit.

Finding Adaptive Community of Crossfit & WheelWod

Once I started doing Crossfit, I realized I had to dig deep within myself.  I was forced to challenge myself in many new ways that I had purposely avoided or allowed myself to make excuses for not doing.  I had to accept the normal hardships that all CF’ers accept (learning difficult lifts, pushing for higher weights dealing with the pain of faster, longer metcons, etc).  

I had to accept the additional pain associated with my prosthesis (good or bad fits, strain, constant abrasions on weight bearing places).  And I did gladly accept this reality.  I also wanted to compete, to measure against others, to challenge myself more, to push myself harder. However, all those I competed against were/are able-bodied folks.  So, unless it was solely a pull-up competition, I had little prospect of being much of a competitive threat to anyone.  

Thankfully, I found the adaptive community of Crossfit and WheelWod.   Through Wheelwod, I am able to train with workouts prescribed to my physical situation and able to do so on a daily basis.  These are not easy workouts but are every bit as hard and a test of fitness as I get from CF HQ workouts or those in my box.  Also, I’m not “setting” my own adaption which always left me wondering if I am going too light or too easy in my adaptation.   Workouts are determined, published, and if needed commentary and feedback can be obtained.  Most importantly, I feel Wheelwod brings a greater depth of knowledge and experience to the workouts.  Wheelwod’s coaches are exposed to many adaptive athletes and they bring that knowledge in to the workouts they prescribed.  They are a central repository for what works and what does not work for the adaptive community and they push us to our limits in a very real Crossfit tradition.

How WheelWod Has Benefited My Training

So, to the question of how has WheelWod benefited my training?  I would say I benefit much like able-bodied athletes benefit from Crossfit HQ’s workouts.  Wheelwod has become my “go to” source for adaptive workouts, for workout guidelines, feedback and a community of other adaptive athletes all working to better themselves, regardless of physical limitations.  They are also my “go to” site for competitive workouts, competitive training wods and the adaptive CF Open.

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