At the age of 15 I had compression fractured my T6 Thoracic vertebrae (middle of the spine), one year later I collapsed at high school and couldn’t stand from the pain. I started physical therapy and they said that I had scoliosis that started at the T6 vertebrae down to the base of my spine and three herniated disks in my lower lumbar. After 3 months of therapy I was able to walk and stand up straight without any pain. I started training in Martial Arts at Brand X when I was 19 years old, because of my active lifestyle other than Martial Arts the problem with my back hadn’t resurfaced. In 2004 I had been in a bad accident in Florida and went through 6 epidural cortisone shots within 6 months, after that didn’t work (The doctor wanted to take the three disks out and fuse my vertebrae together, I said “NOWAY I am 25”) I had noninvasive surgery to try and reduce the herniation of the three bottom disks in my lower lumbar which gave me some relief from the pain and I was able to walk normal again. I had moved back to San Diego in 2005 and started framing houses, one day a guy I worked with threw a 90lb sack of concrete at me and said “think fast”. I made the mistake of catching it, there was a loud pop in my lower back and I collapsed. I spent 6 months in bed unable to walk, I started feeling better and tried to rehab myself because I couldn’t afford therapy which only made my back go out again. I went to the ER and they gave me Valium along with a series of shots of anti-inflammatory, anti-nausea, muscle relaxers and painkillers just to stop the spasms. One day I was visiting Brand X and Jeff said I should start doing CrossFit, I was a little skeptical because I had seen the Olympic Weight lifting they do. At this time I was applying for social security disability because I didn’t know what else to do, I had lost all hope. The last time my middle back had gone out I was unable to use my legs, I had to pull my body down steps and on the ground with my arms to my mother’s car to get to the ER. Jeff assured me that they would work with me on my form and strengthening my core before they would ever let me touch anything heavy, so I started training. After about 3 months I really started to notice a difference, I was amazed at how good my back was starting to feel! I believe I shed some tears the day I didn’t have any pain in my back (other than the great feeling of being sore from working out) and I had started deadlifts! I will be forever grateful for the care that the coaches at CrossFit Brand X – Ramona took in getting me to the point of great hope and health, I am proud to call them my family. Jeff, Mikki and the rest of the Martin family continue to help me live a healthy and active lifestyle, I have not had to go to the ER once since the day I started CrossFit at Brand X. I recently got married in October and I look forward to the day that I will see my children training under the care of the extraordinary staff @ CrossFit Brand X – Ramona.