Getting hurt sucks. Period. Not only do you have the pain of the injury, but also all of the lost productivity while you rehab the injury. In my first post on the subject, I mentioned my determination to come back stronger. In this post, I’m going to give you some of the people whose example inspired me to push myself to improve through the rehab process.
Kevin Ogar was just one of the many CrossFit athletes until his devastating injury at the O.C. Throwdown left him paralyzed from the waist down.
Not being a CrossFit devotee, I heard about the injury from an episode of Barbell Shrugged (which is an excellent podcast by the way). Ogar subsequently appeared on Barbell Shrugged to talk about how he’s adapted to his new reality and in some ways is stronger for it. This guy’s ability to bounce back from an injury that took him from the pinnacle of fitness to needing help to use the bathroom took away any excuses I had about whether training with my leg bandaged and stitched up was too hard. Ogar is now actively pursuing excellence as an adaptive athlete. You can find out more about Kevin Ogar’s recovery and his current fitness goals by clicking the link at the bottom of this post.
Brandon Lilly – Brandon Lilly had one of the most devastating injuries in the sport of powerlifting. Even though I’ve seen it multiple times, the video is still hard to watch.
According to Juggernaut Training Systems, “During 5 and a half hours of surgery after the accident, he had the following repaired in both legs: torn quad tendon, torn patella tendon, torn MCL, torn meniscus, also in his left leg he suffered a torn ACL, torn hamstring tendon and broken patella”. But that didn’t stop the creator of The Cube Method from battling back
to compete on the platform at GPA Worlds in Australia. Hell, it didn’t stop him from squatting the bar so he could do full powerlifting at Mark Bell’s meet. The video of him describing why he went out there and squatted the bar after being an 800lb squatter was in my mind throughout the drive to AK CrossFit to compete in my first full meet despite being nine days post surgery. Granted, Lilly suffered complications related to coming back so early and had to take a step back, refocus and come back hard. Now he’s prepping for the Boss of Bosses 3 powerlifting meet despite the fact that his right leg has been opened up ten times since the injury due to infection. He is still pushing forward. On Facebook, Lilly posted the results of his last doctor’s appointment:
Doctors appointment for 2 month Post Op Check Up:
Doc: I saw you squatted damn near 500 lbs already.
Me: It was 445 x 2.
Doc: How did it feel?
Me: Like I should’ve done 500.
Doc: You’re a crazy bastard, but you’re doing great. Keep doing what you’re doing… We have some PR’s to hit.
Great check up, I’m 3 degrees from full extension, the tendon is holding perfectly, quads are growing, and it’s one foot in front of the other.
This sort of progress doesn’t come out of nowhere. In his last post for his former sponsor, Animal, Lilly gave out some precious nuggets of information about how to deal with injury. The link is at the bottom of the page. Bookmark it and refer to it whenever you need a dose of motivation and/or common sense! When I met him in 2014 at The Animal Cage, I had the privilege of telling Brandon the impact he had on me and all he did was give me a nod and fist bump. That was enough. I hope this post motivates you the way these two athletes motivated me when I needed it. Thanks for reading.
John Greaves III writes everywhere that will return his nagging emails. He is the founder of Garage Gym Life and has authored two fiction books involving powerlifting which aren’t boring but are available on Amazon.com. John earned a Combat Action Ribbon the old fashioned way in Operation Iraqi Freedom II and taught hundreds of motivated Devil Dogs how to punch, kick, stab and strangle as a Marine Corps Martial Arts Instructor and flew home from the 2001 International Kickboxing Federation National Championships angry because he only got a silver medal. Now he’s learning the way of squat, bench and deadlift as a competitor in the Masters Division on the Gogginsforce team. John is constantly seeking out interesting people who have rejected an average life in favor of building an extraordinary legacy. You can contact him at email@example.com .