Steph “the Hammer” Hammerman recently visited us up at RockTape HQ, so naturally we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to watch her train with Neal Maddox and Chris Hinshaw at CrossFit X-treme Athletics.

For those of you who haven’t heard of Steph’s story, check out this CNN interview.

We weren’t sure what would happen—filming without a script, a plan, or expectations—when we joined her at CrossFit X-treme Athletics with Coach and CrossFit Games Competitor Neal Maddox and famed endurance coach Chris Hinshaw.

We arrived a bit late so we thought we missed the magic. A TrueForm™ Treadmill was already set up under a pull-up rig with a Ring Thing® hoisted above.

Just as we were about to pack it up and cut our losses, Steph casually walks over to the rig and Neal helped her in—using the rings to anchor the harness.

We were skeptical about this entire setup. It looked fragile, awkward… we definitely weren’t prepared for this.


With a huge smile on her face,

she started running.


Typically, Steph uses her crutches to support herself while running. It’s inspiring, but you can see the struggle. This puts a lot of pressure on her arms and less on her legs.

In this moment, she is still supporting herself with the railings, but the power output from her legs is obviously increasing—Chris gives updates on her speed and confirms her mile time has improved.

Interestingly, one of the most inspiring moments was watching Steph ask Neal for a little more assistance. With just that bit of extra support from Neal, she was able to let go of the railings and experience something entirely new.

She walked without the support of her arms.

She wasn’t tackling this feat alone, and at the end of the day, that doesn’t matter. The goal is really to find the best way to train—period. Sometimes that requires asking for help, which is, in itself—a hurdle for the best of us. Asking for help is generally the best means of getting to a point where you no longer need it.

The Hammer left us with a significant message we feel inspired to pass along: Don’t be afraid to ask a coach for new ways to get the training you need, adaptive or not. Most often, the fear of hearing “no” or “can’t” deters us from necessary steps we need to take to reach our greatest ambitions.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help.


Even though the list of things that I am not is a bit long, the list of things I am capable of doing is so much longer. Surround yourself with people who are better than you and soon you will realize they are the reason you are becoming the best version of yourself.

The Hammer