Today we’re talking to athlete and coach Steph Hammerman, better known online as Steph the Hammer. Steph was born with cerebral palsy, and since discovering CrossFit years ago, she’s been a prominent force in the space as both a coach to all and an advocate for adaptive athletes. In many cases, that meant leading from the front by being the first person with cerebral palsy to compete at numerous prominent events in the fitness and CrossFit spaces. In 2014, she became the first person with cerebral palsy to earn a Level 2 CrossFit Certificate. She’s also the first Adaptive Nike Training Athlete.
Our conversation focuses on Steph’s career in fitness, including some frank discussion of lower points and lessons learned, including when Steph had to close her gym during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On this episode of The BarBend Podcast, host David Thomas Tao talks to Steph Hammerman about:
- The news that CrossFit would be introducing Adaptive divisions in the Open (02:30)
- Competing in Wodapalooza (6:30)
- First connecting with Kevin Ogar (12:45)
- Transitioning to becoming a coach (18:00)
- How Steph pivoted when COVID hit (19:30)
- “Open the doors to as many people as possible” (24:00)
- “As coaches, we need to remember that your athletes are people” (28:20)
- The challenges of being a gym owner and the bittersweet experience of closing down earlier this year (30:30)
Relevant links and further reading: