Flesh-eating bacteria claimed vet’s limbs, but not her drive
A year ago, Cindy Martinez was struggling to walk even just a few feet and lift just five pounds.
A flesh-eating bacteria had ravaged the 35-yearold Marine veteran’s body. She had a grim choice: Amputate both legs, an arm below the elbow, and parts of the fingers on her remaining arm — or face almost-certain death.
The amputations saved her life. And after months of hospitalizations and rehabilitation, she finally found herself back home but alone during the day while her young children were in school and her husband was off at work.
“It kind of takes a toll on you mentally, just sitting there after all that I had gone through,” she said.
In the stillness of her home, she fired off an email to a local gym and asked about joining. When they called back later that night, “I told the lady on the phone, well, there’s a twist to my story.”
She soon found herself sitting in a circle surrounded by trainers at Crossfit Goat — with the motto Be Your Greatest of All Time — in Dacula, about 45 miles northeast of Atlanta. She told them her story and began in February to embark on an unusual quest: becoming a Crossfit athlete. Crossfit gyms are known for high-intensity strength and cardio workout, and their members often consider their “box” to be like a family as they bond over workouts-of-the-day that test their strength and re-
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Martinez performs a body row exercise during a workout at the Crossfit Goat gym in Dacula, Georgia on Sept. 26.