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Transforming My Body and Mind by Diego Cervantes

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Transforming My Body and Mind
Written by Invictus Member Diego Cervantes

Coach’s Note:
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

Diego’s Story
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.

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My Injury Before Surgery

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.

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My Leg Now

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.

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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.

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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,

Diego Cervantes

  • Krazy K

    You are amazing Diego. Hope you continue to heal and can’t wait to have you back at Invictus.