AIRWAAV Podcast 009: The Adaptive CrossFit Pioneer with Jedidiah Snelson

Jedidiah Snelson's journey to becoming an adaptive CrossFit athlete is a story of resilience, adaptation, and unwavering determination. With a background in action sports spanning over two decades, Snelson's athletic journey took a dramatic turn following a severe racing accident. Here’s a look into his inspiring story and how he has made a significant impact on the adaptive CrossFit community. 

From Motocross to Coaching 

Jedidiah Snelson spent 17 years racing in Motocross, Arena Cross, and Supercross, with five years as a professional minor league athlete. Following his racing career, he transitioned into a strength and conditioning coach, working with top-level athletes in the sport. However, the extensive travel required by his coaching career clashed with his desire to be present for his family. This led him to explore other ventures, including a return to recreational racing, which tragically resulted in a spinal cord injury and a traumatic brain injury. 

Embracing Fitness Post-Injury 

Determined not to succumb to his injuries, Jedidiah focused on rebuilding his strength and maintaining his competitive drive. Initially, he considered downhill mountain biking but realized he needed to regain his fitness first. This journey led him to discover adaptive CrossFit in 2014, a burgeoning field at the time. Using CrossFit as his conditioning program, he quickly found his passion and niche in the sport. 

A Pioneer in Adaptive CrossFit 

In 2015, Jedidiah participated in the inaugural WheelWOD International Open, an adapted version of the CrossFit Open. He felt an immediate connection and decided to dedicate himself fully to CrossFit, leaving behind the idea of mountain biking. By 2016, he was competing in the first live WheelWOD Games in Ontario, Canada. He has competed in every WheelWOD Games since, becoming a cornerstone of the adaptive CrossFit community. 

Overcoming Challenges and Paving the Way 

Despite the initial challenges of a nascent adaptive CrossFit community, Jedidiah and his peers were committed to developing and refining the sport. This dedication allowed them to experiment and establish standards that have now become the foundation of adaptive CrossFit. His contributions, alongside those of other early adopters, helped shape the sport into what it is today. 

Training and Mindset 

As a full-time athlete, Jedidiah's training regime is rigorous, involving four to six hours of training four days a week, with additional recovery and mobility work. He emphasizes the importance of balancing push and pull exercises and incorporating core work to manage upper body stress. His training is adjusted to accommodate the physical demands of being a seated athlete, ensuring he avoids overtraining. 

One of the most significant challenges he faces is the unseen impact of his paralysis, including nerve pain and internal function issues. Despite these hurdles, he remains driven by his faith, family support, and a positive mindset. Jedidiah believes that all adversity is equal, and how one chooses to handle challenges dictates the outcome. 

Community and Future Aspirations 

The CrossFit community’s openness and inclusivity have been a tremendous support for Jedidiah. He has trained in numerous CrossFit gyms worldwide, often being the first adaptive athlete they’ve encountered. His experiences have been overwhelmingly positive, reflecting the community’s collective goal of helping everyone achieve their fitness objectives. 

Looking ahead, Jedidiah hopes to see adaptive athletes compete at the CrossFit Games. While CrossFit currently limits live competition to only three standing divisions, he is optimistic about the future and aims to continue pushing the boundaries. His focus now includes building his coaching career, sharing his extensive knowledge and experience to help other athletes achieve their highest potential. 

Jedidiah Snelson's Experience with the AIRWAAV 

Jedidiah Snelson explains his positive experience with the AIRWAAV, a device designed to aid athletes with their strength, endurance, and recovery.  He describes how he tends to stick his tongue out when concentrating, which can be dangerous, and also has a habit of clenching his jaw and grinding his teeth, particularly from his motocross background. Using the AIRWAAV has helped mitigate these issues by keeping his tongue in place and preventing jaw clenching and teeth grinding. This has also improved his breathing during workouts by ensuring his airway remains unobstructed. 

Mentally, the AIRWAAV provides Jedidiah with peace of mind, reducing stress and acting like a security blanket. He uses it for all types of workouts, from strength training to high-intensity routines. Initially, it didn't feel entirely natural, but it was not uncomfortable either. The main challenge was remembering to use it consistently, which has now become a habit. 

Conclusion 

Jedidiah's journey from a professional action sports athlete to a pioneering figure in adaptive CrossFit is a testament to his resilience, adaptability, and passion for the sport. His story not only inspires other adaptive athletes but also highlights the importance of community, perseverance, and a positive mindset in overcoming life's challenges. Through his continued efforts, Snelson is not only a competitor but also a mentor, helping shape the future of adaptive CrossFit. 


AIRWAAV PX1 Performance Mouthpiece - AIRWAAV
AIRWAAV PX1 Performance Mouthpiece - AIRWAAV
AIRWAAV PX1 Performance Mouthpiece - AIRWAAV
AIRWAAV PX1 Performance Mouthpiece - AIRWAAV
AIRWAAV PX1 Performance Mouthpiece - AIRWAAV
AIRWAAV PX1 Performance Mouthpiece - AIRWAAV
AIRWAAV PX1 Performance Mouthpiece - AIRWAAV
AIRWAAV PX1 Performance Mouthpiece - AIRWAAV
AIRWAAV PX1 Performance Mouthpiece - AIRWAAV
AIRWAAV PX1 Performance Mouthpiece - AIRWAAV

AIRWAAV PX1 Performance Mouthpiece

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