CrossFit Is So Intimidating…It Can Be Done By People With Metal In Their Joints

| By Kevin

As a busy 44-year-old mother, who survived an autoimmune blood disease, she has two active kids in martial arts and competitive skiing. On top of it all she and her husband own a small business! She’s a fighter, and she’s no stranger to managing being “busy.”

After a year and a half of CrossFit, hey went on a family vacation to Mexico in April 2016. Stronger, and confident, instead of hanging around the beach all the time, she did something daring and tried a new water slide that went right into the ocean. (Going on any water slide in Mexico, is daring enough!)

This water slide was so hardcore you had to sign a waiver. There were attendees who helped position and push you off. At the start of the slide it was almost at a 90-degree angle (like the water slide they used to have at West Edmonton Mall).

Then near the end it levels and turns into a small ramp before rocketing you into the air and into the ocean.

Before they pushed her off, her instructions were cross her arms and feet, then sent her off rocketing straight down towards a ramp…. I’d say this was daring.

A Daring Motivation Turns Into Unexpected Outcomes…

When she went off the ramp, she got so much speed and air, the impact with the water was like concrete. In fact it was so hard it put her limbs out of position when broke through the water.

A sudden pain shot right into her left hip bone where her leg attached. Screaming at the lifeguards to help her, (lucky she had a life jacket on) she was in writhing in  pain and helpless.When the lifeguards got there with a boat and a stretcher, the position of her leg explained why the pain was so severe.

Her left leg went straight out to the side above her hip bone and back behind her. Imagine doing the side-kick then have someone yank your leg behind you, while your hips stay where they are. The whole process from ocean to hospital was a nightmare. It took almost 2-hours to transport her.

And when she got to the hospital, the doctor did an x-ray, put her on pain meds and nearly $8,000 later, the doctor declared there were no breaks in the bone and she needed rest. Scott headed back to the resort and Vicki paid to stay over at the hospital as she couldn’t get out of the bed. .

Vicki and her family flew back to Canada , but she was still in excruciating pain. She couldn’t walk and walking up the stairs was like climbing a mountain with a giant nail stripping the ligaments off your hip.

They went to the hospital and showed the emergency doctor the x-rays from Mexico. They got her into a CT Scan instead (thank goodness for the health system here!)

The CT Scan showed two fractures in two spots.

  1. The insert where your leg connects to your hip had a break
  2. The bone which connects it to the insert was also cracked

They got her into emergency surgery the next day. The break was deep and they had to cut through the layers of muscles to get into the bone. The surgeons had to install a rod from the insert of the hip to where the leg connects along with drilling through the bone to install 5 screws  and a plate to stabilize it.


A New Challenge, Dealing With The Pain Being Immobile

Post surgery, there was the immediate shock of pain from the freak accident. Then there was the post surgery pain. After your muscles have been sawed through, with metal in you, he road to recovery was a nightmare to say the least.

Aside from dealing with the pain of having metal in you, she made incredible progress on recovery compared with others that required a similar surgery. It would take three weeks of being bedridden for someone to start to learn how to walk again.

Three -days post-surgery she was cleared to learn how to walk again with a physio! After two more days she was cleared to learn how to go up and down the stairs.

A big win for almost having your leg ripped off less than a week ago.

For a month she was almost immobile. Six weeks later when she was cleared to do physio but  she couldn’t even pedal a bike all the way so she’d go halfway on the pedal and push it the other way back.

At this point she could barely walk without pain, even scooching while sitting was a challenge, she couldn’t even roll out of bed. Vicki had to use bands the physio gave her so she can wrap it around her legs and use her upper body strength to move them to get out of bed.

(Small victory here) Vicki attributes the ability to get out of bed to the strength she gained from training at Athlete Inside. Because all the muscles below the belly button didn’t work during the start of her recovery!

After a couple weeks of physio she could perform normal functions by herself such as walking up 16 steps of stairs, at home, by herself and walked around without a walker.

From busybody to immobile body, she was going crazy, wanting to do something but physically trapped. She hung out on the private Athlete Inside Facebook group, keeping up good humor and entertained us with her good spirited posts! It also allowed us to check in on her.

11 months post surgery she needed one more surgery to remove the rod and screws. She wanted to be strong for her final surgery. She was cleared to come back to Athlete Inside and start moving again in CrossFit. Still had five screws and a rod keeping her hip together. Our coaches worked with her to sub exercises that she could do and control.

Her first week back was a struggle. Her hip limitations only allowed her to squat close to 45 degrees. She was limping from equipment to equipment. BUT it was another big victory from being bedridden.

After a couple of weeks of class workouts at her own pace, and subbing exercises, our coach recognized it was not the right thing for her right now.

At this stage she needed to re-train and strengthen all the muscles that got shut off from the accident and from surgery.

Meeting Vicki At The Fitness Level She Was At

She worked with Coach Dave Mullback 1:1, for 12-weeks. Throughout the weeks she was assessed and he discovered which stability muscles shut off from the traumatic injury and surgery. He programmed the exact exercises and progression needed each month to turn on those muscles again and give her back range of motion.

Within 12-weeks of working with Coach Dave, she could do a bodyweight squat below 90-degrees! She could move from an empty barbell to include some weight.

After working with Dave, she got her final surgery to remove all the metal. And 8-weeks after the final surgery she worked with Dave again to re-train the muscles to work again and build enough strength to stabilize her leg and hip without the metal rod.

Within 8-weeks she could restore full function and full range again.

The recovery was so fast within the same year, she got her strength numbers back, able to lift a:

  • Back Squat 205 lbs
  • Deadlift 285 lbs
  • Squat Snatch 75 lbs
  • Squat Clean 115 lbs
  • Can run short distances

Going through a traumatic injury she understands why people like the elderly don’t want to get out of bed because it’s tiring to only use upper body strength to get out. To stay put is easier. She attributes her full recovery to being strong prior to the accident and having the strength to use her upper body to get out of bed.

At Athlete Inside she had full support of our coaches recognizing where she was and what she needed to restore her physical capabilities. If Vicki could recover from an accident that almost ripped her leg off her bone, come back to do CrossFit movements with metal in her, anyone without metal has the ability to progress faster.

Our coaches will help you overcome your physical, and mental limitations by meeting you where you’re at.

We don’t force you to do things you aren’t ready…or if you’re ego forces you to keep up, we’re that extra eye to help you put it aside. Our priority is to keep you progressing the way your body adapts so you can get stronger and be ready for anything.

When you’re a member you’re investing in the concierges for your health and fitness beyond movement.

For the month of February get your start with 50% off our fundamentals class. You’ll learn whole body movements done in our CrossFit classes in a small group of 5 for maximal coaching and hands-on instruction.

If you’d like to find out more if this fitness program is for you, email us at: and we can start the conversation.