KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A man who turned his life and health around after being paralyzed has partnered with a local CrossFit gym to offer an adaptive and inclusive space for people with disabilities.
Wesley Hamilton is excited about the new addition at CrossFit Memorial Hill in Kansas City. The gym on Pennway Street was recently renovated to accommodate people in wheelchairs.
“I go into a lot of gyms and they’re not created for people with disabilities,” Hamilton said. “I have enough confidence to challenge myself but how many people in this city actual do?”
The space is wide open. Machines come with adjustable bars. There are cushioned blocks and lap pads for added comfort and security. And, equipment, such as jump ropes, are made to mimic the same motions as someone who would be standing.
“This design is fully accessible and easier to manage,” Hamilton said.
Hamilton also runs his organization, Disabled but Not Really, out of the gym. He offers an 8-week program that teaches proper nutrition and physical training.
“We wanted to focus on training people with disabilities to teach them how to gain confidence and courage,” he said. “You cannot allow your struggle to be your identity.”
It took 31-year-old surviving a life-altering event to realize life is what you make it. Seven years ago, Hamilton was paralyzed after being shot in the abdomen during an argument and became seriously overweight.
“I battled a lot of depression, a lot of health complications,” he said.
Hamilton found his purpose after the shooting, fell in love with nutrition, lost 100 pounds and decided to help others.
“When I say I found myself, like I’m completely free,” he said with a smile. “I love everything about me.”
Hamilton hopes the new space at the gym will give people with disabilities the same freedom he now enjoys.
“I believe that if we can teach you and train you how to push past your mental limits, then you can become unstoppable,” he said.
Hamilton is an award-winning adaptive athlete, motivational speaker and community activist. You can learn more about Disabled but Not Really and the gym, by clicking here.