Angel Gonzalez didn’t lose the use of his legs until he was 23. Now he uses life experiences from before and after his injury to buil...
Angel Gonzalez didn’t lose the use of his legs until he was 23. Now he uses life experiences from before and after his injury to build up all the athletes he coaches at CrossFit Redefined in Houston, Texas.
Surfer’s myelopathy occurs when hyperextension of the back causes injury to the spinal cord in first-time surfers. The odds of experiencing this type of myelopathy are slimmer than the odds of being struck by lightning. Gonzalez sustained the injury while vacationing in Hawaii in 2001, but he has never felt sorry for himself.
“He doesn’t complain,” says his wife, Jackie. “I’ve never seen the chair. I’ve just seen him because his confidence and his independence are like none other.”
Gonzalez works hard to help other adaptive athletes develop independence as well.
Cody King recalls how Gonzalez took his chair from him and made him retrieve it on his first day in the gym. Though King was taken aback at first, he now appreciates Gonzalez and the other coaches at CrossFit Redefined.
“They know who you are,” King says. “They go through the same stuff as you, so you just become one and get better.”
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Beach RelatedFull arm functionFull finger functionPartial trunk controlNo leg functionUnable to WalkCaucasianUnited StatesParaplegicMale
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