Editor's Note: Anyone can be an athlete. It doesn't matter how small, big, tall, short, or strong you are there are ways you can adapt. The "I Am Adaptive" movement was started by Marilyn Zosia and Ellyse Amelia Zosia because they too are adaptive athletes. Coming from their site, "An ADAPTIVE Athlete is anyone who must adapt to a situation related to their fitness goals and needs. The meaning of ADAPTIVE is such a broad spectrum including but not limited to Athletes with: amputations, paraplegia, muscular dystrophy, special needs, scoliosis, traumatic brain injuries, blindness, deafness, lactic acidosis, cerebral palsy, and so on!" Let's all get behind this great cause and support the ADAPTIVE movement.
I Am Adaptive
Lindsey Carfagna here, some of you know me as Luka, I’m a Team on 3 Athlete, Board member of the Knockout Project, CPT and Crossfit L1, and I am Adaptive.
A little over ten years ago when I was competing as a Division 1 soccer player, I sustained back-to-back concussions that ended my career and turned my life upside down. These weren’t the first concussions I had, nor would they be the last, but they marked the beginning of my adaptive journey.
As many of you know, brain injury is a very serious topic and if you know someone living with one you’ll know how hard it is to do some of the things most people take for granted. Over night, I went from crushing it on pitch and in the gym to struggling to get out of bed. To this day, I’m still challenged by things as simple as riding in a car, reading, or being in a crowded room. While I work relentlessly to rehab these things, I’ve also accepted that there are pieces of my life I just need to adapt. Working out is one of those things.
Fitness after brain injury can be challenging for a number of reasons, not limited to metabolic changes that very rapidly increase your heart rate, vestibular challenges that produce a sensation of dizziness and vertigo, and functional challenges like neck and back muscles that have become maladaptive from issues related to proprioception. In the past year and a half, I’ve committed myself to understanding these issues as an athlete and coach, and I’ve been developing adaptive ways to workout that can help me lead a healthy lifestyle. While most of you may know Crossfit for its very intense workouts, what you might not know is that Crossfit is committed to scaling workouts so that each person can work towards their threshold, no matter their challenges.
This year, I decided to join the Crossfit Open as an adaptive athlete and each week I’ve been featuring my adaptive workouts. Tomorrow, March 14th, I’m going to have the awesome privilege of working out with a handful of elite adaptive athletes at Reebook Crossfit Back Bay in Boston as a fundraiser for the non-profit organization I Am Adaptive. I’m making this video to ask for your help.
When I’m not working on my PhD, I’m advocating for concussion awareness to make sure that youth sports are safe and that young people don’t end up where I did.
Part of that advocacy is working with young people who are fighting their way through life after brain injury. I work hard to remind people that they matter and I try to encourage them to live and train like they matter. Whether its contributing to magazine articles or being interviewed for blogs, answering texts from young people in the middle of the night who are scared and battling depression, or developing fitness strategies at JP Crossfit, I’m tirelessly giving myself to this cause. I don’t get paid for any of this work and I don’t expect to, either.
What I would like, however, is for you to do me a favor and support I Am Adaptive. Their mission is to create a world where there are no disabilities, just adaptations. The ladies behind the organization are running this movement on love and ambition, but they really need your help to reach their goals. I’m calling on everyone who watches this video to give at least $1. Sponsor a rep for my workout tomorrow. I have a goal of getting 400 reps and I bet we can raise more than that by the time I take the floor tomorrow afternoon. I’m going to enter the pain cave and I want you there with me. Go to www.gofundme.com/Iamadaptive to learn more about the movement and chip in some cash while you are there.
Your donations will support their work and will fuel me to keep doing what I do. Thanks in advance and don’t forget to keep living and training like you matter.