WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. — The odds of finding a four-leaf clover are 1 in 10,000.
So when shy, nervous, anxious then 21-year-old Johnny Wokurka found his way to Four Leaf Crossfit in Wesley Chapel a year ago, he had no idea that he just found his pot of gold.
“When I first came here, I was a pretty quiet guy. I didn’t really talk too much,” said Johnny.
Six days a week for the last several months he’s been working with Coach Amber Langston to build not only his muscles but his confidence ahead of the worldwide Crossfit Games competition.
"I love being sore when I wake up in the morning. I love the feeling of sweat rolling down my face when I work out,” said Johnny.
“He was in class every day, putting in the work. Knowing that he had some of those limitations, he would come in 30-45 minutes early and do mobility and stretches and isolation exercises just to make sure that he was keeping his body as healthy as possible,” said Langston.
Because here’s the thing about Johnny. He’s is no stranger to beating the odds.
“Sometimes I actually forget I have cerebral palsy because I want to be the best I can,” said Johnny.
Cerebral palsy affects three percent of children. Johnny was one of them.
The congenital muscle disorder impacts movement, coordination, and in some cases, the ability to walk.
“It affects my speech, balance, strength, so in Crossfit it differs between workout to workout,” said Johnny.
But if you just take a moment to watch Johnny, you’ll quickly realize his determination is stronger than any challenge he may face.
“He brings his dog, everyone knows who he is, people call him Coach now because he helps other members,” said Langston.
It’s that attitude that helped him rank eighth in the world for the Crossfit Games in the neuromuscular division qualifying rounds last month.
Odds that last year at this time, seemed more unrealistic than finding a four-leaf clover!
“I think it’s the people. The people have really brought me out of my shell,” said Johnny.
And it’s not only for himself but for his Crossfit brothers and sisters that he hopes to rank even higher next year.
“Everyone is family and it would be pretty cool to see Four Leaf on the shirt at the games representing the gym.”