MOORESVILLE, N.C. -- Two teens from our area are considered some of the best in the world at Crossfit. Their strength training at a young age has faced some criticism, but one says it's given him extra motivation.
Hunter Wilks, 15, isn't spending this fall playing football. He didn't spend the summer playing baseball, either. This Mooresville teen is a Crossfit athlete.
"Started doing some of the workouts and fell in love with it," Wilks said. "I was 12."
In fact, Wilks is considered the fourth-best Crossfit athlete in the world for his age group. He and 15-year-old Kirsten Greis both train at Crossfit 77 in Mooresville, and the two competed at the 2016 Reebok Crossfit Games in California this summer.
"About 2,000 14- to 15-year-olds that registered for the Crossfit games open, which is the qualifying, only 10 out of the 2000 went on," Wilks said.
Wilks does push-ups, pull-ups, deadlifts and more.
"When I'm in here training, I'm suffering; but, it's just going to make it that much easier in the competition," Wilks said.
Even with his success, he says there are plenty of naysayers that think doing Crossfit isn't good for him.
"I saw comments on the videos of me and all kinds of stuff like that saying this kid's 14, he shouldn't be lifting weights like that," Wilks said.
But Wilks says he's never felt any kind of pain, and he and his family have done their research and found studies that show his weightlifting won't impact his health or growth. It may not be a typical sport for kids yet, but Wilks is pretty darn good at it.
"It's taken me a little while but now I'm starting to realize like, holy cow, I'm fourth in the world."
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