Local athletes prove Crossfit can be for anyone, even those with special needs

Crossfit is known to be a rigorous style workout, and some of the fittest athletes compete in the sport. Now, two local athletes are proving the style of workout can be for everyone.

Even people with special needs.

If he's not whipping up his latest batch of brew at the Scottsdale Beer Company, one can find Doug Ledger at Alpha 1 Training, pushing his fitness limits with his coach, Danny. When he's not pushing his own limits, he's pushing theirs. Once a month, Ledger and Coach Danny go to Cortney's Place, a day program for adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities ages 18 and up.

"There's a lot of sedentary lifestyles with people in chairs and things like that," said Ledger. "It's important for us to come in here and get everyone moving."

The two take the students through a Crossfit-style workout.

"We do a lot of pretty intense physical activity in here, especially considering some of the kids in chairs and things like that," said Ledger. "You might have noticed today that Spencer was really breaking a sweat, so we're not just going through the motions in here. We're working really hard."

Every time they're here, they switch things up.

"We go outside sometimes," said Ledger. "If it's nice out, we'll do some stair work. We have kids who weren't able to go up and down stairs before. They can now, just as a result of us going up and down the stairs."

The students hard work is proving to be beneficial. Ledger says they're more active, have improved mobility and motivation. One student has even lost more than 20lbs.

"Even though we're in here just once a month, Spencer is working hard everyday," said Ledger. "You might see the bike behind me. He spends a lot of time on that when we're not here, getting ready for the next time that we are here. So he leave us all in the dust, as he likes to say."

Students at Cortney's Place get music therapy and pet therapy, among many other things. According to Executive Director Chasidy Gray, fitness with Ledger tops the list.

"When Doug and Danny walk in, we all know they're here," said Gray. "I don't have to look at cameras or hear a door chime. Everyone is super excited and wants to participate in their class. No one stops, the whole hour."

Although Ledger loves a good workout at his home gym, coming to Cortney's Place feeds his soul, in a way the gym never can.

"It's a part of my life that I wouldn't trade for anything," said Ledger. "There's so much genuine love that you feel when you're here."

Cortney's place is free of charge for parents. The organization runs off of donations.

Cortney's Place