Dave Ennis is a T6 paraplegic (has use of arms, but nothing below the breast bone), AND an inspiring, strong athlete at CrossFit Hixson. Follow his journey with CFH…
Dave’s injury came from a motorcycle accident 22 years ago, however, it didn’t keep him down. He still rides when possible, and stays active – especially doing anything outdoors. Like the rest of us, he also works for a living so keeps a busy schedule. However, he and his fiancé, Erika (now wife), decided they needed to get in better shape, eat better, and just adopt a healthier lifestyle in general. So they did some research…
Anyone would think that a CrossFit box would be the last place someone wheelchair-bound would turn to for a place to work out. If anything, CrossFit Hixson is the perfect place for Dave and Erika to work out together. Other health clubs and gyms in the area were not willing to be hands-on with the movement modifications Dave needed in order to work toward his physical goals, let alone a group work out. They did some research and contacted owner/coach of CrossFit Hixson, Amber Reeves. After their initial meeting with Amber, they knew they had landed in the right place.
On-ramp was a challenge for coach and athlete, but both knew they were making progress daily. In a month’s time, Dave was ready to join the rest of the CFH family and fellow athletes in a regular class. As is customary in our community, everyone welcomed Dave with no judgment, no questions asked, and warm handshakes and smiles. We are all shapes, sizes, ages, backgrounds, professions, etc. – what brings us together is our love of CrossFit and the lessons we have learned, and continue to learn daily, by challenging ourselves and pushing each other. This was no different when we welcomed Dave to our family…we only saw another athlete looking to challenge himself to step outside his comfort zone. He not only has conquered those challenges, and continues to do so, but inspires the rest of us – coaches and athletes – to do the same.
Dave is very complimentary of CFH’s coaching staff, but especially Amber, who initially took the time to meet with him, then reach out to affiliate boxes to get guidance, instruction, and advice on coaching adapted athletes. He said not only her willingness to work with him was appreciated, but her excitement to work with him stood out and made him feel at ease. From Amber’s lead, the rest of the CFH coaching staff followed suit. Each coach works with Dave, and all athletes needing modifications for that matter, to get the most of the daily WOD. Fellow athletes are always eager to help as well, but Dave appreciates that no one makes him feel helpless…he’s the athlete beside them during the WOD struggling just as hard as they are, and both are pushing each other.
Dave has had many accomplishments in his lifetime, however, he (and CFH) are super proud of the most recent: FIRST place in the adapted athlete category for the 2016 Philadelphia Marathon! There are no boundaries when determination, perseverance, and hard work are daily life.
“Life’s a garden – you’ve got to dig it. Keep on keeping on.” (Joe Dirt) Not only is this Dave’s favorite quote, but one that describes how he lives, and his perspective on life. His love of life, sense of humor, and focus on the positive is infectious with all of CFH’s athletes. He lifts others up and doesn’t even know it, but that’s the kind of person Dave is!
Experience the transformation for yourself! Contact us for more information, and a free drop-in class at 423/987-2223. You can also get more information by visiting us on the web at www.crossfithixson.com, or look us up and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.