Plus-Size CrossFit Athlete Nails Handstand in Inspirational Video

Elise Solé
Cierra Kruger mastered a handstand in CrossFit class after four years of practice. (Photo: Instagram/CrossFit)
Cierra Kruger mastered a handstand in CrossFit class after four years of practice. (Photo: Instagram/CrossFit)

A plus-size woman who spent four years trying to master a handstand is going viral for her achievement.

Cierra Kruger is a CrossFit lover in Davenport, Iowa, who joined the sport four years ago after two knee injuries forced her to quit competitive swimming. Due to her inactive lifestyle, she ended up gaining weight, so she decided to join CrossFit on a whim and quickly fell in love with the activity.

“I saw everyone at the gym doing handstands, and I was getting frustrated that I was too scared to try,” Kruger tells Yahoo Beauty. “So finally I said, ‘I’m going to do it.’ I called myself out and it worked.”

According to Colin Cartee, co-owner of CrossFit OC3 in Davenport, the handstand was Kruger’s goal from the day she joined his gym in October 2015. “Handstands are a big deal in CrossFit and require a certain degree of strength,” Cartee tells Yahoo Beauty. “Some people can nail them on their first day and others take years to do it. Cierra had been practicing for four years.”

At least three times a week, Cartee worked with Kruger on push-up exercises and walk-kicks to prep her for the handstand. When the class launched a nutrition challenge in January, Kruger joined in. By cutting out processed foods and adding more vegetables and lean protein to her diet, she dropped about 30 pounds in six weeks.

On April 5, a few weeks after the challenge had ended, Kruger showed up for her usual class. “I told her, ‘Look, today you’re doing a handstand or it’s not happening at all,’” Cartee tells Yahoo Beauty. After Kruger’s first close attempt, he suddenly felt the urge to grab his cell phone and start recording.

Kruger nailed her handstand on the second try and the class erupted in cheers. “So many people were like, ‘Oh my gosh, you’re so inspiring,’ and I didn’t really understand why. All I did was a handstand,” she told Channel 13 News in Des Moines.

CrossFit posted footage of the handstand on its Instagram page, where it has racked up more than 350K views and cheers for the “inspirational” athlete.

However, Kruger isn’t stopping at handstands. Her new goal: doing a pushup while in a handstand.

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