A Marine stationed in Iraq in April of 2003, Delgado was injured in a vehicle accident that left him with limited capabilities in both of his legs. Doctors said he'd be lucky to ever walk again. Upon returning to the U.S., he did not immediately adopt a healthy lifestyle. At his lowest point, Delgado weighed more than 230 pounds, his cholesterol was dangerously high and he went out every night.
Last year we met CrossFit athlete Hector Delgado. (watch the full interview here).
After being introduced to CrossFit, he has been able to turn his life around and continues to feel stronger everyday. “I can do a lot more now with my limitations than when I was an able body,” he says. “And mentally, I don't look at an obstacle in life as ‘I'm not sure if I can do this,’ I try to figure out a way I can do this.” (Learn more about his transition into CrossFit in this Wall Street Journal article.)
We caught up with Delgado after Open Workout 12.1. His score: 76 full burpees. Here's what Hector's been up to this past year:
TRAINING & THE OPEN
What do you focus on in your training?
My training is targeted towards endurance and gymnastics. I’m limited when it comes to lifting so I capitalize on my abilities.
Where have you seen improvement?
I have definitely improved my strength with the bench press and seated shoulder press. I would like to continue to improve my strength and lifting abilities in the next year.
How has the CrossFit community helped you become a better athlete?
I’ve received tremendous support and encouragement from my peers across the community.
How has CrossFit improved your day-to-day?
It has improved my quality of life, both physically and mentally. The increase of mobility allows me to lessen obstacles everywhere I go. Unfortunately, life gets in the way of CrossFit.
Tell us about your plans for The Open.
I hope to have a good time and raise awareness that there are disabled CrossFitters within the community. This will open the door for the possibility of creating an adaptive division.
What have you been involved with in the field of adaptive sports?
I was recently invited to the Olympic training center in Colorado Springs. Veterans' Affairs wants to collaborate with the Olympic committee to start using adaptive sports as a therapeutic tool for veterans’ readjustment. It was an honor to be selected due to my CrossFit background.
I also attended the CrossFit/Again Faster's Adaptive Summit for wounded warriors at CrossFit Alamo (San Antonio, Texas.) Performing WODs with other wounded warriors was a great experience. (Check out this inspiring video on the weekend here).
You recently received your CrossFit Level I Certificate. What do you plan on doing next?
I have hopes of working with other disabled athletes and possibly becoming an affiliate.
Weight: 150 lbs
Height: 5’ 6”
Occupation: Counselor/Outreach worker for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans with the US Department of Veterans' Affairs
Afilliate: CrossFit Stonybrook & CrossFit Hoboken
Cindy: 23 rounds
Bench press: 250 pounds
Death by pull-ups: 19 rounds +19