By Ali Eaves
You know that thing that’s keeping you from getting to the gym today? Maybe you have a work deadline? Forgot your socks?
Ruhl doesn’t see anything—even missing legs—as an obstacle.
He’s worked out religiously since high school, when he lifted with his football teammates. Yes, he played defensive tackle on the varsity football team. (Not in a wheelchair—he crawled.)
“I just never viewed myself as that different,” Ruhl says. “If I ever thought I had a shot of doing something, I figured I might as well give it a shot.”
In the weight room, his coach ran a competition among the players to see who could score the biggest deadlift, squat, and bench press.
Ruhl went after the bench press title: “Obviously I can’t squat for shit.”
He can bench, though. Fired up by the rivalry, he maxed out around 365 pounds and held the title for all four years of high school.
After graduation, Ruhl became a trainer and taught himself how to adapt workouts to his body.
For example, he does box jumps with his arms. He does Olympic lifts while seated. He modifies pushups not by anchoring his lower body on the ground, but by supporting his entire bodyweight with his arms so he looks like he’s levitating.
Oh, and he does jumping handstand pushups, because he can.
If Ruhl can work around amputated legs, you can work around your busy schedule or the January gym crowds, right?
And if you ever need someone to put your issues in perspective, talk to Ruhl. (Or check out his Instagram.)
He’ll never forget the time a client texted him to ask whether she should cancel her training session because she had injured her foot.
His response: “Are you seriously asking your no-legged CrossFit trainer if you can do CrossFit with a sprained foot? I’ll see you Monday.”