Athlete Spotlight: Adam Wilson, Gastonia Police Department
Imagine growing up as a young boy, constantly being told to be careful. Not the kind of “be careful” where your mom catches you roughhousing with your sibling; this kind of “be careful” is the one where a doctor tells you not to ride a bike or play sports
A young boy told at an early age that he can’t ride a bike, play football, or play soccer seems a little unfair.
Such is the childhood endured by Adam Wilson. Born with a blockage that caused one kidney to deteriorate while impacting development of the other, “be careful” was an everyday staple of Wilson’s life.
But did he listen?
What do you think?
Against doctor’s orders, he still rode bikes and enjoyed a relatively normal childhood, just minus the sports. This routine followed him all through high school, ultimately causing the military to turn him down.
Of course, none of this would stop Adam Wilson.
Fueled by an extremely competitive attitude he knew sitting on the sidelines had gone on long enough. He started running ultimately setting his sights on an ultra-marathon. His nephrologist insisted that he give up long distance running because of the pressure it puts on the kidneys so Wilson made a deal, “I would come right back after my ultra-marathon (the North Face Endurance Challenge in Atlanta) and if my kidney function had dropped I would stop.” After the race, Wilson returned to the doctor and was delighted to learn that his Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR) numbers had actually improved! Scratching his head, the doctor decided that Wilson’s one kidney was more efficient than most. Deemed essentially healthy, he was given the green light to pursue whatever he wanted.
Since the ultra-marathon, Wilson joined the Gastonia Police Department’s SWAT team, a highly-regarded squad that has won many competitions including a world championship on ESPN. Wilson saw this as an opportunity to pursue a dream he coveted since his childhood: he wanted to be part of a team. “I’ve always had a ‘going to the extreme’ personality,” he said. “If I am going to start running, I want to run an ultra- marathon, If I am going to be a cop, I want to be SWAT. If I work out, I want to make it as crazy as possible.” SWAT is not just any team, Wilson says. “It’s about as intense as it gets.” And to better his performance as part of that team, and to better himself, Wilson took up CrossFit®.
He got hooked right away. If he wasn’t competitive before, he most certainly is now. “CrossFit® is about mental toughness and who can keep pushing forward whenever you feel like quitting,” he says. “You can never be finished getting better.”
Adam Wilson will participate in next summer’s World Police & Fire Games as part of its first ever CrossFit® competition and he is going to enjoy every minute. “I know that the WPFG does not come around my area very often and I don’t know how many chances I will have in my career to take part in an event like this. I want to make the most of it.”
With his wife, Amy, and their three-pound Yorkie, Ben, in his corner, Adam is ready to take on the world. Even with one kidney he is clearly a force with which to be reckoned.