Diego was a regular at the 9:30 class and inspiring to watch, so I’m not surprised he has overcome this life changing adversity. From the first time I coached him, he was eager to learn about nutrition, get stronger, and improve as an athlete. He was consistent, did all his “homework” and pushed his limits. He was also a great teammate and comrade to others in the class with his quiet encouragements. I can’t imagine all the emotions, ups and downs, and pain he endured and conquered! This story is very inspiring and has such a happy ending – most of which is due to Diego’s hard work and infectious spirit. So good to hear from you, Diego! We hope you are able to one day return to San Diego and workout with us. What an accomplishment that would be! – Coach Michele Vieux
I had a bit of a change in my life that I wanted to share with you and with all of the other Invictus members and coaches.
By June 2013, I had been a member of Invictus for 6 months and going there three times a week had transformed my knowledge of how my body worked. I had learned concepts of strength that were totally alien for me, I had learned to engage the muscles in my back to do a pull-up and engage my legs to do a proper olympic lift with Cody. I was also learning the limits of my mind by doing super intense workouts and pushing my mind farther and farther. I was on the way to transforming my body and my mind.
But then on June 4th, something happened. I was riding my red Vespa, that I had bought 3 months earlier, on my way to get some lunch in Hillcrest. Suddenly, out of nowhere, I saw a Black BMW pulling out ahead of me. It was inevitable; I impacted the car and flew 50 feet and landed on the other side of the road. After that, I have no recollection of what happened.
I woke up in the hospital. I had broken my femur in half with one of the parts puncturing out of my skin; I had also broken my tibia and fibula. I had broken my ankle and had two very severe cuts in the front and back of my foot and had lost 1/3 of my blood.
From the beginning I knew it was going to be a very physical challenge. First, I was glad to hear that I was going to walk again, so I knew right from the very start my goal was going to be to as healthy as I was before the accident.
I lied in bed for one month without standing up, only to go to the bathroom with a walker, in which I relied only on my arm strength. Already I saw my previous 6 months with Invictus as a preparation for the accident. I lost 22 pounds and I was as weak as ever.
Month by month I have been getting better; I went from bed to wheelchair, from wheelchair to crutches, from 2 crutches down to 1 crutch. And finally, to taking my first steps after 4 months.
During this time, I can tell you that I used all the same principles I learned in Invictus and that those 6 months at Invictus helped get through the worst part of my accident recovery process.
Today, I live back in my hometown, a small town in Mexico. Its very different from San Diego, but its very beautiful. I go to a small traditional gym nearby and I’m the only one who does a pull-up properly and stretches rigorously before every workout, and a lot of small details like that. And of course, once in a while, I rock my Invictus Sea of Green t-shirt to remind myself where I learned some of the most valuable lessons of my life.
My recovery has still a long way to go; the doctors tell me its going to be around 2 years before I can be back to 100%, but I’m motivated to do it. And if someday I go back to San Diego, I’ll have a killer workout at Invictus!
All the love for the Invictus crew and coaches,