Adaptive CrossFit athlete, Jedidiah Snelson, competing in the first Adaptive Open

Posted at 6:17 AM, Mar 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-07 21:12:19-05

IDAHO — From muscle ups to deadlifts, Jedidiah Snelson can do it all.

Training seven days a week at the gym he built in his garage in Meridian, Snelson has also competed all across the world in Crossfit.

“He doesn’t always have that natural God-given talent but he works harder than anyone I know to achieve what he wants to have happen,” Chris Stoutenburg, Snelson's coach said.

"It’s just been a journey of chipping away and that is one of the things I love about competing is I get to test myself," Snelson said.

And he does it all without the use of his legs.

In 2014 Snelson was in a motocross accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down.

"I knew I needed to stay active with my personality," Snelson said. "I would find something to do I just didn’t know what it was, but that’s what I love about CrossFit is it’s a community of very like-minded people that are very passionate about being active.”

The 2021 CrossFit Open starts March 8, and athletes all across the world will compete for a spot at the CrossFit Games to ultimately win the "Fittest on Earth" title.

But, for the first time ever CrossFit is hosting an adaptive division at the Open this year.

He was named the second fittest adaptive athlete on Earth, and with multiple appearances at the WheelWod Games Snelson is expected to place high at the Open.

"I know he is not going to hold back and will do anything to come out on top," Stoutenburg said.

Although CrossFit won't have an adaptive division at the Games until 2022, Snelson said that he's grateful they're finally being inclusive to people with disabilities.

“It’s huge," he said. "I am so excited because with Crossfit actually taking on the adaptive divisions this year so we can actually be a part of CrossFit and not just our own separate competition it just opens so many doors for us."

But, beyond the titles and medals, Snelson is on a mission to show others that CrossFit is something anyone can do.

“Some people just look at my Instagram feed and see what I do today, and they think well I can't do that because of my injury or I just don’t have that type of strength, but that is not where I started," he said. "I started with a piece of PVC pipe and just going through the movements to learn them you know then building from there."

He also wants to share the benefits he's experienced with CrossFit to other people with disabilities.

"Life in a wheelchair is awkward movements and CrossFit is awkward movements, so if you want to mimic what you need to do on a day-to-day basis in order to be healthy and get strong that way, you want to do fitness-wise what you do every day," Snelson said. "And so that’s what a lot of it is its picking things up it’s a lot of how you maneuver in a chair and CrossFit incorporates all that."

The Crossfit Open starts March 8-22.

You can follow Snelson's journey on his Instagram, @jedidiahsnelson.

He also encourages any adaptive athletes to reach out to him for questions or if you are interested in learning more.