Kyle Weant

Day Time Occupation
It should come as no shock but I deal drugs for a living…high quality FDA approved product. I’m the Clinical Pharmacy Manager at University of Louisville and Jewish Hospitals and I work as a Clinical Pharmacist in the Emergency Department at UL.

So who do you cheer for?
I owe UNC more money than I will ever make so yes, I’m a Tarheel. I did my residency and worked at UK, so they come in second because they don’t play in the ACC. Now I work at UL so they…well they pay the bills.

What are your hobbies?
My hobby outside of work is writing and research. I know that is lame but I love to write research manuscripts and I am an editor for medical journals, study guides, and exams. I’m also Irish so if drinking with friends can be a hobby, then that would be my primary one. My friends are my family.

Can Ginger’s really steal your soul?
Well unfortunately that is a question I can only answer in person. So feel free to come up and ask me anytime. Be sure to stand close.

Did you play any sports in high school or college?
I was raised in tennis family, my uncle played, my aunt played, my grandfather played, and my grandmother played, so I played…everyday for 2-3 hrs for most of my youth. I also ran cross country, played football, and played basketball. Around my junior year of high school my dad took me to the doctor because I kept spraining my ankles over and over again. After seeing a couple of specialists and a few really fun nerve conduction studies (you stick a needle in one end of your leg and another needle in other end and you run an electrical current through it…over and over again) I was diagnosed with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT).

What the hell is CMT?
This is a hereditary disorder that damages the nerves your peripheral nerves (arms and legs). It is classified by some as a subtype of muscular dystrophy although that is not entirely accurate. It affects about 1 in 2,500 people. There are over 70 different genetic variants of this disease and I’ve been exceedingly fortunate that mine isn’t that bad. For me, I have extreme weakness in my ankles. A few years after my initial diagnosis as my ankles slowly became worse I had my first ankle surgery that included an Achilles tendon lengthening and a calcaneal osteotomy. For those that may not be familiar with this awesome surgery, it involves basically cutting off your heel bone and moving it to a different position to help correct the remodeling that occurs in the foot and ankle. This helped me for a time and I returned to playing sports for a year or two but as the weakness progressed and my ankles got worse I essentially stopped doing anything physical. I stopped exercising and doing sports entirely. I was taking as much ibuprofen as I could just to make it though the day and I was calculating the steps it took for me to get from one spot to the other to anticipate the pain it would take to get there. I wouldn’t go places because it hurt too much. I was bitter and angry for a long time. Being at the mercy of an uncontrollable force that you did nothing to earn is a tough pill to swallow. I hated those I would see in life that had perfectly fine ankles and didn’t exercise or play sports. They were wasting what I saw as a gift. But everything in life teaches you something. It helped me focus on my strongest attributes, my heart and my mind. It’s taught me compassion for people that are struggling and appreciation for the blessings that I do have.

So what’s with the braces?
Eventually I got up the strength to have the surgery done again about six years ago. After this last go round they wanted me to use braces to try to make this surgery ‘last’ as long as possible. At first I hated the idea. Nobody wants to look different, nobody wants to look weird and stand out. I’ve always been a very independent person and this was making me very dependent, something I despised. But once again, there is always a silver lining to every obstacle in life. Much to my astonishment these braces have had the opposite effect. By providing the stability that I needed, they have enabled me to do things that I had long ago written off and they have opened a whole new world of physical activity to me. Over the last year I’ve run in multiple road races and hiked up some of the tallest mountains in the US.

What brought you to Derby City CrossFit?
When I had my first surgery the surgeon said “Son, you only have so many steps left, make sure you make them last.” My goal since then has been to prove him wrong…I have as many steps left as I choose to have. I joined a regular gym two years ago to try to get stronger because I knew I needed to strengthen other muscles to compensate for the ones I had lost. When I moved here in September of 2014, I decided to give this ‘crossfit thing’ a try because I wanted to continue to improve. I didn’t know anyone here and so I thought the community atmosphere would be good to help me meet new people. I’m also a competitive person and I like to be challenged, so the complexity of the movements and speed aspects appealed to me. DCCF was the first crossfit gym I walked into and when I heard them playing hard core rap on the radio…that’s when I knew this was the place for me. When I first started I was scared as hell but I’ve been exceedingly happy with my progression.

Since joining, what changes have you seen?
As Slater mentioned at one Friday Night Lights, “When Kyle started he couldn’t do a squat below parallel to save his life!” And you know he was exactly right, my squat looked about as pretty as Zach Galifianakis in a bikini. But today I can. I had trouble doing any form of a lunge, now I can do weighted ones. I’m not great at either and it will always be a work in progress to me, but when you learn you can do something you never thought you could ever do, it’s amazing. Oddly enough, despite the weakness in my ankles being the worst in my life, I am the strongest I have ever been in my life.

What’s the best part of Derby City CrossFit?
People always talk about how DCCF is a family and how much everyone supports each other, and I love that. But for me the most valuable characteristic is the fact that everyone here isn’t scared of their vulnerabilities. No matter how strong you are, when you come into a WOD, you are going to push yourself until you can’t push any more. You are going to lift as much as you can or go as fast as you possibly can. We all see each other’s weaknesses and limitations, we all see each other’s flaws. We are all beautiful people, but after a workout we are all sweaty messes, and that is perfectly fine with all of us. This means a lot to me because my ankles are my weakness, they are my vulnerability. And if everyone else is willing to show their weaknesses and their vulnerabilities, why should I be fearful of showing mine? When I was younger I was scared to let everyone know I had this disease and even more fearful to let people know that I wore braces. But as I’ve gone through this I’ve learned that everyone is going through something, my situation is nothing special or different. Maybe somebody’s challenge in life isn’t a physical problem or something everyone can see on the outside, but that doesn’t make it any less impactful on their lives or any less challenging. At DCCF I feel that my vulnerability and my weakness just fits in with everyone else’s and we are all striving together to achieve the same goal, to be better humans.