Adaptive athlete, a Kennedy grad, inspires nationwide

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“She had a football team on the sideline rooting for her,” she said. “She has always had the support of her entire family. My ex-husband and I gave her every tool possible. We gave her her wings to fly.”

Although she said it was an exhilarating experience, Hammerman knew she could improve upon her finishing time of 4:34:14. She said this prompted her to walk into a CrossFit box (gym) for the first time on May 3, 2012.

Hammerman began working with Scott Lefferts, owner of CrossFit Hard Core Boca Raton. Lefferts had never worked with an adaptive athlete before meeting Hammerman, but he worked with her so she could complete the various segments of the strength and conditioning program.

“Little by little we worked together to adapt all of these movements that someone else was doing. If someone was lifting a bar over their head, I wanted to be able to do that,” Hammerman said. “It was very frustrating during the first few months, but this is a community where everybody can be doing the same workout, whether it is scaled or done as prescribed. At the end of the workout, everyone feels exactly the same way – completely exhausted but very accomplished.”

As she began to see changes in her own body and workouts became more routine, Hammerman said she realized she also wanted to help others realize what they were capable of physically. This led her to pursue becoming certified as a CrossFit trainer on June 7, 2013.

Hammerman is now a trainer at CrossFit Conquest in Davie, Fla, working with up to 20 athletes in a class each day. She said she continued to learn and grow as a coach and an athlete, and that CrossFit is a place that will always be a part of her life, as long as the company is around.

Canarick said she had never heard of Crossfit before Hammerman got involved with it, but now she says joining the community was one of the best things to happen to her daughter. Local athletes in the community have also welcomed Hammerman, she said, noting that trainers at the Bedford Avenue CrossFit had her come in and teach a class.

“Here, I watched my daughter, who [couldn’t] jump rope, teach able-bodied individuals how to do a double jump,” she said. “She knows how to tell the body what to do. I was amazed.”

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