Hardie Kressler, Athlete of the Month April 2020

Just over a year ago, Hardie came to CrossFit Salus with the motivation to try this new “sport of fitness.” What he didn’t expect is how much it would impact his perseverance and mental fortitude – preparing him not only for the unknown but for the unknowable as well.

Hardie Kressler Athlete of the Month

This strengthened perseverance has become very clear. This past March, Hardie competed in the CrossFit Games Age Group Online Qualifier among the top teen athletes in the World.

…and then he was faced with a life changing accident.

Just weeks after the competition (March 24, 2020), he was in a paralyzing bicycle accident. The accident fractured his neck with compression damage of his spinal cord. Hardie is currently in in residential rehabilitation center in northern NJ and has now completed his second week of rehab, making incredible progress, but he still has a long road to recovery.

However, one thing is clear…

…when Hardie wants something, no one and nothing can stop him from reaching it.

Hardie is such a great inspiration to so many people out there. More than he’ll ever know… Just like him, as long as you give it your best shot, you can go far in your journey.

Make sure to follow his incredible recovery on Instagram: @gohardforhardie

Meet Hardie:

1. When and why did you start CrossFit?

I started shortly after I watched a YouTube video of Rich Froning. He was dominating in one of the events in the CrossFit Games and I thought, “I want to do that!” It looked like so much fun!

So I did… It was one year this past March.

hardie kressler

2. How did your performance change once you started CrossFit?

For me, it was my mental side that improved the most.

I feel like I gained a lot of confidence in what I was capable of doing. That helped a lot in every CrossFit movement individually.

3. What were some of your most exciting moments/PRs?

Definitely the Clean and Jerk during the Age Group Online Qualifiers!

Also when I hit the 195 pound snatch at a local fundraiser. Funny story – I thought it was 185 but I did the math wrong. It was 195 and I did it! I got under it!

4. Favorite lift or WOD?

Diane for sure.
Favorite lift is the Clean. Love heavy cleans!

5. How did CrossFit impact your life?

I was always a lot happier after doing CrossFit.

hardie kressler

Before, I used to feel grumpy at least once a week. But once I started doing CrossFit, it became a big stress reliever for me. Something I looked forward to knowing I was coming to class every day!

6. How would you describe CrossFit to your friends?

It’s everything you love and everything you love to hate.

It’s strength, endurance, gymnastics and a lot of cardio.

7. What message do you have for individuals who are just starting out with CrossFit or are maybe too afraid to try?

Just give it everything you’ve got. It will give you so much more in return.

hardie kressler

Life Changing Accident

8. Hardie, what happened to you last month is heart wrenching… we are all praying for you and can’t wait to visit you as soon as COVID-19 passes. In the meantime, what message do you have for your Salus Squad? How can we help?

Everyone is helping so much. I’ve gotten letters and snacks from everyone. I’m hanging in there just trying to stay positive. In fact, I’m scaring some of the nurses because I’m cracking so many jokes.

But you just have to go through with a smile.

9. What keeps you motivated to keep fighting, pushing yourself in therapy?

Just the hope that I’ll be able to walk again!

10. If you could design your own WOD, what would it look like?

It would include cleans, pullups and double unders!


See the #GoHardForHardie WOD here >>

11. If you could be a superhero who would you be and why?

I’d want to be superman. He’s the total package. He’s strong, he can fly. He looks great. And…I don’t know any other guy who can pull off such tight clothes like he can.

12. Favorite quote?

‘Forget plan B. To test yourself and grow, you have to operate without a safety net.’
Arnold Schwarzenegger

13. Interesting fact not many people know about you.

I went to the Galápagos Islands when I was younger for a family reunion.