Athletes & Celebrities

Obstacle Course Racer Defies Spinal Condition

Misty Diaz refuses to let physical limitations get in her way.

Overcoming Obstacles

Reebok-sponsored adaptive athlete Misty Diaz was born with a condition called spina bifida (or split spine), where her L5 vertebra was damaged and her organs were on the outside of her body. Diaz has had 28 operations to help her become the runner, lifter, and obstacle course racer she is today. She’s completed more than 40 Spartan Races, earning eight “trifectas” (conquering the three main course lengths on separate days), plus she’s run more than 110 races, including the Zion and New York half-marathons. To build the strength necessary to power her crutches through any terrain, Diaz employs a variety of training styles. “I love working out my upper body by doing rope climbs, pullups, sled pushes, dips, pushups, using battling ropes, and flipping tires,” says Diaz.

SEE ALSO: How To Train For Your Obstacle Course Race

In September 2016, she looks to do the impossible yet again by finishing the Red Bull 400, an international event where the objective is to climb a ski mountain with a 36-degree incline at a nearly 7,000-foot altitude. “I love climbing hills and obstacles; it’s a great escape from the sitting at-a-desk-everyday job!” As Diaz travels the country achieving her fitness goals, she meets kids and adults with spina bifida and offers advice along the way. “Use your life and story as an opportunity to help others. Be loud about your progress and goals. Never give up.”

Misty's Training

Concept2 SkiErg: Rounds: 3, Distance: 500 meters

Rope Climb: 3 climbs

Dumbbell Concentration Curl: 3 sets of 15 reps

Barbell Curl: 3 sets of 15 reps

Triceps Kickback: 3 sets of 15 reps

Triceps Pushdown: 3 sets of 15 reps

Pullups: 1 set of 20 reps

 

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