Featured Athlete: Kelly Bingham

Featured Athlete: Kelly Bingham

The only reason I joined CFL last summer was for my pops (Eric). I never thought I actually needed to workout myself. After we started going to the free classes I became hooked and jumped on the first chance I got to become a member. I spent my entire last summer, Christmas break, and any weekend I was home from SFA at the Crossfit gym.February 9th of this year changed my life forever. I was riding in the back seat of a friend’s truck when we hit a light pole. Once we made it to the emergency room the nurses immediately found that both feet were shattered and my left ankle broken. A little later (after I complained of having a sore back) the nurses discovered that my L4 vertebrae was broken so close to my spinal cord that I needed emergency surgery. After six hours, my surgeon had removed my vertebrae and three of my disks and replaced them with titanium. I spent six days in the hospital for recovery due to blood loss from the surgery.

The next three months were the longest of my life. I had to wait for my feet to heal which meant two whole months in a wheelchair and then an extra month of waiting for my back to fuse back together. I still couldn’t stay away from CFL. Even when I was in a wheelchair I would ride around the gym while my parents worked out. The very first conversation I had with Sean after the surgery was about the rehab he had in mind for me and what we would do for the workouts once I was back on my feet. It was impossible to feel sorry for myself or not imagine being back to 100% again when I had such optimism all around me. I could barely even walk without looking like a new born pony, but the second my back surgeon released me I couldn’t wait to join again for the summer.

When I first started back, all of what little muscle I had before the accident was gone. I lost all flexibility in my legs and back, and anything to do with running or jumping (which is almost everything) sent shocks of pain through my body. It has been a little less than five months since my accident and I have now been back at CFL for about a month. I am still the weakest and slowest person there, but I haven’t once felt ashamed or embarrassed about it. Everyone reassures me by saying, “At least you are here, that’s more than some people can say.” I wouldn’t be able to push through any of the workouts if it weren’t for the encouragement the Crossfit “family” has given me. Even though the WOD’s are more painful than ever for me, I catch myself looking forward to the next one.

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Crossfit has not only helped with the stiffness I used to constantly have in my back, but I can already see and feel an improvement during the workouts. I really have to give a huge thanks to the coaches at our box. I was scared I would be a burden on them when I started back, but they genuinely seemed excited to help me out. They haven’t once treated me like some fragile piece of glass they were scared to break. Instead, they push me like anyone else at the gym while still keeping my injuries in mind and reminding me to listen to my body. The coaches and members of CFL have stood and continue to stand behind me through one of the toughest challenges in my life and I couldn’t be more thankful to be a part of such a great program.



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