The Deaf Athlete’s CrossFit Experience | Morning Chalk up

You are in the middle of 23.2. The music is blaring, your friends are cheering you on, and as the timer counts down, you hear your judge scream at you how long you have left, and you speed up. You hear the beep and collapse to the floor, spent.

This is the CrossFit experience for athletes who can hear.

The CrossFit experience for Deaf athletes is entirely different.

It is 2013 at the South Central Regional, and the six members of CrossFit Kemah take the floor. One of the members was Robin Gonzales Dazé, a Deaf athlete who had been playing sports her entire life.

I grew up in athletics–I played volleyball, basketball, softball, and tennis. The Deaf Softball League recruited me, and I was in that for three to four years. After that, I ended up in the Deaf pageant for Miss Texas.”

She stumbled into CrossFit with her sister to get in shape for her pageant and fell in love. However, the weights were only one of the challenges.

It was a challenge because of the communication barrier. No one knew sign language except for my sister, and luckily, I had her help me with communication with the coach. The coach used his body language, and that did assist a lot. He gave us a bunch of examples of the movements that he did physically, and he made sure to show it with his body.”

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