I Just Want To Be A Games Athlete, Said the Girl with a Split Vertebrae
Lindy Barber was told she could never squat again. Never great news, even if you are not training for the CrossFit Games. After collapsing in a workout, Lindy was diagnosed with 3 spinal diseases and told to take up a different sport with less impact on her lower back–like endurance running for example. Not exactly sure where the logic came for that conclusion. However, we do know that Lindy Barber competed in the 2013 CrossFit Games.
What the what? How did she manage it? That was the first question I thought. Almost immediately, the second question came to mind: is she being reckless?
No, not exactly and here’s why.
Lindy took a calculated risk coming back to CrossFit after her injury. Emotionally, I get her. She has been an athlete her entire life; Lindy loved competition. She lived for it. Naturally, she was unwilling to accept her diagnosis as a crutch that would rule her daily decisions.
She had a mission to overcome injury. The end of that mission was the finish line of 90 foot weighted lunge at the CrossFit Regionals competition. What she did with her fitness before then made all the difference.
She recovered slowly and rebuilt her body gradually. Lots of walks, lots of pushups and pullups–strict to build muscular strength again around her injury.
Lindy allowed two years of recovery and physical strengthening. She refused to have an injury refine her potential and worked consistently to make her solution. After two years she made it to the Games.
The will not be everyone’s story. Some injuries or limitations might make it impossible to get to your pre-injury potential. The keyword is might. You have more control over your fitness and health than anyone else. Deal with everyday, but don’t allow injury to define who you are or who you can be in life.
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