Stephanie Hammerman is the world’s first level 2 Crossfit trainer with cerebral palsy. She recently opened up her own gym called Hammer Driven Fitness.
Stephanie was interviewed on ABC’s Good Morning America. She explains in her own words how she learned "to flex and grow" her optimism, "a muscle that gets stronger with use."
“From the moment I took my first breath it was obvious that the blue prints for my life were going to be different.”
Stephanie states although it took longer for her to walk and "move as quickly" as her other siblings, she was able to find her voice and discovered that it was the strongest "tool" she has.
Even as a young girl, when Stephanie was told that she couldn't do something, that only made her more determined. She says that "(s)ocietial perception of people with adaptive needs has changed, but has a long way to go." Stephanie prides herself on achieving the impossible, and wonders where this determination and optimism originates.
“When I was younger and told that I would most likely never do something, that quickly became the catalyst to me finding a way to prove you wrong.”
The answer is "simple," she says. "...it’s just my personality and who I was meant to be." Stephanie likes a challenge. She writes, "(God) may have put a few physical obstacles in my way, but he also set me up with a toolkit for life that would help me conquer any challenge in my way...I just have to want something bad enough."
Stephanie credits going to college for being the person who she is today. It was in college where she began advocating for herself and others. She also became concerned about her health and started working with a trainer. Before long, Steph had set her sights on a Hand Cycled marathon. After that race, she started to view herself as a competitive athlete.
Stephanie then became a coach and says this presented the opportunity for her to change people's lives for the better. Through her mistakes, she has learned what she is truly capable of.
In 2016, Stephanie was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Stage 3B. "Let's be honest," Steph writes, "I didn’t have time for cancer. I had just found the man of my dreams, wanted to open my own gym and had so many things in life I still wanted/needed to accomplish."'
After seven weeks of her twenty-nine weeks of treatment, Stephanie's doctor told her she was cancer free.
"Beating cancer reinforced that I am capable of way more than my initial set of blueprints insinuated I would be," Stephanie writes, "... if you take anything away from this I hope you never forget that failure is not an option. You can do it all."
Best of luck to Stephanie and all of her future endeavors!
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