Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - LIFE -


Her coach, gym owner Amanda Greaver, pledged to work with her and to find what­ever way they could for her to do ex­er­cises that chal­lenge even peo­ple with all of their limbs. She’s come away in awe of how Martinez tack­les each work­out.

“She will not be stopped no mat­ter what,” Greaver said. “If some­thing doesn’t work, there’s no get­ting frus­trated. We adapt and move on to some­thing else. She is al­ways, al­ways pos­i­tive.”

Martinez has worked up to dead­lift­ing 95 pounds — nearly her weight — and squat­ting 65 pounds.

She needs to use her ab­dom­i­nal mus­cles to en­sure she re­mains bal­anced. The fin­gers on her re­main­ing full arm have vary­ing de­grees of am­pu­ta­tion, which makes it dif­fi­cult to grip a bar­bell or dumb­bell. Part of the latis­simi dorsi mus­cles on the left side of her back, the area where the in­fec­tion first sprouted, were re­moved.

But she and Greaver con­stantly find ways to adapt. When she’s per­form­ing squats with the bar­bell be­hind her, she uses a strap to con­nect the arm that was am­pu­tated just be­low the el­bow to the bar. When us­ing dumb­bells to do chest presses, she uses a strap to at­tach the weight to her hand and arm to al­low her to lift it with­out need­ing a tight grip. When she’s per­form­ing body rows, she at­taches a strap with a hook on the end so she can grab the rings, dip back then pull her­self back up.

Martinez is of­ten sur­prised by the at­ten­tion she gets and how oth­ers see her We accept most in­sur­ances in­clud­ing Em­pire Blue Cross/Blue Shield and The Em­pire Plan (NYSHIP) as in­spi­ra­tional.

“I’m just do­ing it. I want it — not that other peo­ple don’t want it,” she said. “I don’t know how to ex­plain the speed that I’ve done it with.”

The gym and its mem­bers have ral­lied around her. At one point, Greaver cre­ated a work­out for mem­bers so they would have a greater un­der­stand­ing of the chal­lenges Martinez faces and help raise money to pay for a re­cum­bent bike.

Dur­ing the work­out, ath­letes were al­lowed to use only one arm. One-armed push-ups, one-armed ket­tle­bell swings, one-armed farmer car­ries.

“Lit­er­ally ev­ery­body who came in from do­ing that came straight up to me and said ‘Look at my arm. Wow, that was so dif­fi­cult. You re­ally see how hard her work­outs are,’” Greaver re­called.

Martinez worked her way up to walk­ing far­ther and re­cently got a new pair of pros­thetic legs that will al­low her to run. She’s get­ting used to the new legs, which she says feel like she’s wear­ing high heels on a tram­po­line, but one day they will al­low her to run around with her young chil­dren or per­haps en­ter a road race.

For now, she’s set­ting her sights on this month’s Ma­rine Corps Marathon in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., which she will race on her re­cum­bent bike.

“The men­tal as­pect, it can be tough. It’s not that I don’t have a bad day,” she said. “But for the most part, I try to stay pos­i­tive and I think stay­ing ac­tive is a good way to, I don’t want to say get your mind off of it be­cause it’s not like I can get my mind off of it but I’ve got to work with what I’ve got. I’m here for my kids, my hus­band and I want them to see I can still do things with them.”

Martinez warms up on a row­ing ma­chine ahead of a weightlift­ing work­out at the Crossfit Goat gym in Dac­ula, Ge­or­gia on Sept. 26.

Fit­ness trainer Amanda Greaver at­taches a spe­cial strap to the wrist of Ma­rine vet­eran Cindy Martinez dur­ing a work­out at the Crossfit Goat gym in Dac­ula, Ge­or­gia on Sept. 26.

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