Dream on: Cerebral palsy, cancer doesn't stop woman from opening CrossFit gym in Knightdale

KNIGHTDALE, N.C. (WTVD) -- On Saturday, Sept. 8 at 9 a.m., Steph Hammerman will officially open the doors of her CrossFit gym in Knightdale.

When ABC11 went to visit Hammer Driven Fitness, Hammerman greets us from behind the counter. The gym still smelled of new rubber that coated the gym floor.

The adaptive athlete sat in a wheelchair. Hammerman has Cerebral Palsy.

"I'm also the world's first level 2 CrossFit trainer with CP," she said.

Her class started at 9 sharp.

With a stern but encouraging voice, she called her athletes to gather in a semi-circle.

Hammerman gave instructions on warm up moves before turning on a stereo.

Hammerman and her boyfriend are still fairly new to Knightdale, they moved here two years ago in November after she conquered Stage 3 cancer.

"After chemo, we were just figuring out where we wanted to be," Hammerman said. "We just kind of threw a dart and we ended up in the Knightdale area."

Hammerman is no stranger to tough competition. She competed on the competition floor at the CrossFit Games, the Superbowl of the CrossFit world in Wisconsin.

Her passion for fitness kicked in eight years ago after her first hand-cycle race.

"At the end of the race, I looked at my hands and I looked at the clock," she said, "I was like my hands hurt really bad, but that's awesome!"

Hammer Driven Fitness will celebrate the gym's official grand opening on Saturday.

"I really, truly, want people to feel like an athlete. I don't care if you come in and you feel the most unfit. When you leave my class, I want you to feel empowered."

Those who want to check out the gym can do so for free on Friday, Sept. 7 at 9 a.m, 12 p.m, and 6 p.m.

Hammer Driven Fitness is located at 1104 Great Falls Court.

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