March 2014 – Mikaela Pena
I always had enjoyed being really active and never slowing down until 2010 hit me like a brick wall. In 2010, I started not being able to control my legs, I gained a lot of weight, and my back started hurting. I woke up one morning and couldn’t feel the lower half of my body. My husband drove me to the ER to find out I had a grapefruit sized tumor sitting on my spine. Fortunately, they were able to get clean margins, but in order to do that I lost about half of my tailbone and the complete use of my legs. Finally, in 2012, I started to walk or limp again. Because of the cut nerves, I would be walking and a misfire would cause my leg to stop working causing me to fall. I got really used to falling down. My physical therapist told me I’d be better off accepting my limitations and investing in a walker and a cane. I didn’t like their diagnosis so I got a second opinion. I called West Metro Crossfit on January 2nd where Sol told me to give him 3 months. Here at WMCF, they don’t tell you that you can’t do something. Instead, they teach you how to modify it until you’re able to do it. They never belittle you because you’re not the fastest or strongest. Instead, they encourage you to do the best you can so you can achieve your personal goals.
An update on Mikaela’s progress:
Since coming to WMCF in January Mikaela has grown leaps and bounds in her fitness. When she first started she had trouble just warming up, in which she would regularly fall down during various stretches. At this time our focus was on activation of her left hip to increase her motor control of her leg. I remember having to hold Mikaela’s hand during step ups so she wouldn’t fall. Now, not only can Mikaela do step ups but she recently got a 14″ box jump. In addition, she is running in workouts, olympic lifting, and anything else we throw at her. Mikaela’s determination, stubbornness, and hard work have gotten her results she never thought possible. We are so lucky to have such an incredible athlete and inspiration in our community!