March 4, 2012
Against Doctor's Orders: Lindy Barber
By Cindy Young & Daniel Barnett

Barber was diagnosed with Spondylolisthesis, Scoliosis, Spina Bifida, a fractured L-5 vertebra, and a warning to "never squat again. I'm never going to be able to compete again."

“Competing in the Open alone was a goal for me less than a year ago. My goal now is to complete all of the workouts.” This might sound like a lot of athletes going into the 2012 Open, but for Lindy Barber this is testament. Less than a year ago Barber age 23; was told by her doctor to “never squat again.” Thankfully Barber did not let that stop her.

Lindy Barber competed with the CrossFit Louisville East team in the Central East Regional in 2010. The team placed 7th, missing the Games by one spot. Almost one year later and three workouts down, during the 2011 Open, Barber was sitting firmly in 3rd place within the entire Central East Region. The fourth week of the Open would change that during a back squat mishap costing Barber her spot, and her season.

“I was disappointed, shocked, frustrated, and honestly just really upset,” she admits. “Being three weeks into the Open last year I was doing well, and I never thought that something else was going to inhibit me from finishing.”

Barber was diagnosed with Spondylolisthesis, Scoliosis, Spina Bifida, a fractured L-5 vertebra and a warning from the doctor to, “never squat again. I'm never going to be able to compete again.”

From that moment, ice packs and walking down the street was the only training Barber would be doing for the 2011 season. Her main focus during this period was eating a healthy diet. True competitors find a way to get better while feeling helpless. Lindy Barber is a competitor.

Barber definitely fought and climbed from short walks to big weights. “Once I started to feel better on my lifts again, and to get my lungs back for met-cons, I knew there was no way I was not going to at least try competing again. Competing is the fun part,” Barber says.

With her diet in check and her CrossFit recovery in full swing, Barber astounded all by scoring 401 repetitions during her first “Fight Gone Bad” post back injury. In six short months, Barber’s recovery has not only placed he back to full functioning capacity, it has placed her in contention for the title she feels was she was robbed of in 2011. Barber knew that she needed to get the weight bar on the bar too. Once again Barber is hitting new PR’s including a 285-pound deadlift, 175-pound clean and jerk, 135-pound snatch and a 210-pound front squat – a far cry from ice packs and doctors offices.

Throughout her recovery, Barber drew from others for strength. “My boyfriend was extremely helpful in gradually getting my confidence back in my lifts,” says Barber. “From the time that I broke my back until today, I have honestly had nothing but support from everyone around me. Everyone has been so supportive and been willing to celebrate my little accomplishments with me along the way. Without all of their help and support I do not think that I would be where I am today.

“The doctors told me that I would never be able to squat again, and that lifting ‘was just not for someone like me,’” Barber says.

After the first two weeks of the Open, Barber is tied with Michelle Kinney for 4th place in the Central East. She logged 113 burpees on 12.1 and 91 reps on 12.2.


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