Local CrossFit enthusiast Anthony Neff walked out of his local CrossFit affiliate with a smile on his face after his 4pm class on Tuesday. He had just dominated another workout, not only setting a personal record in the snatch, but besting the next strongest athlete in the class by over 185 pounds.
Neff, who works as a sales associate at Target, was born in 1983 but is currently transitioning to a birth year of 2011. He is the first transaged individual to participate in his gym’s CrossFit Kids program.
“I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for everyone who has been supporting my transition,” Neff told The Associated Press as he boosted a fellow athlete up to the gym’s water fountain to help him take a drink. “Science has come a long way in recognizing that age isn’t just a matter of how old you are. ”
Neff began to publicly identify as a six-year-old three years ago, but didn’t tell his wife Angela until months later.
“Anthony has always been a little immature, but I thought he would grow out of it,” She explained. But over time, Angela noticed her husband playing with toy trucks instead of going to work, watching hours of Octonauts, and laughing at the words like ‘poop’ and ‘booger.’
“This is who he is, and celebrating that is more important than pressing him to conform to reality.”
The change hasn’t been easy, but Neff says he’s been treated “well and kind” at his affiliate. “The coaches are all very supportive,” he said. His treatment has included increased growth hormones to match the levels found in the bodies of growing children.
“If he has been taking hormones, or steroids, he should be training and competing against actual children,” said Melissa Jones, mother of one of the other children in Neff’s CrossFit Kids class.
Jones is not alone in her concerns, but Neff’s coach, Travis Miller disagrees.
“I asked him if he thought the growth hormones were giving him an unfair advantage against the other children in the class,” Miller told the Associated Press. “He looked right at me and said he ‘didn’t identify’ as someone who was taking growth hormones. What kind of hateful bigot would question that logic?”
At time of press, Neff was consuming a bowl of Fruit Loops and looking forward to a CrossFit Kids session consisting of front-squats and a game of burpee dodgeball.
“All I know is when I get the ball everybody on the other side better watch out.”