From Injury to Fitness PRs…ooh rah!

Published by Karin Junge on

Injury Rehab success story

An injured Marine gets back on his feet

Nick Swaggert    |   United States Marine Corps Reserve   |   Cargill Fitness Center Member   |   4/30/19

I am a member of the United States Marine Corps Reserve. Our hallmarks are being expeditionary in nature and part of America’s force in readiness. This means that physical fitness is a key priority in both maintaining personal health AND professional competency.

In June of 2016, I suffered an injury that was described by the orthopedic surgeon as “World Class.” I was climbing a ladder when its structure failed causing me to fall 15 feet and resulting in a broken ankle. This severely limited my total physical fitness and mobility. Following an MRI and six months of physical therapy I still suffered daily pain and reduced flexibility and mobility.

Nick S

Compounding this challenge was the wonderful birth of my daughter in April of 2017 which further limited my ability to exercise as time quickly was a premium. The ensuing year and a half was marked by repeated starts and stops in physical fitness as I couldn’t find a rhythm that worked or exercises, like regular running, that didn’t cause ankle pain and discomfort.

Fortunately, I started working at Cargill in September of 2018. We have a wonderful fitness center on campus and a flexible enough work environment to attend group fitness classes in the middle of the day. Each class has unique movements and variation that challenges different muscle groups. At first, my ankle was a little sore with the diverse movements, but over time the muscles strengthened, and I now rarely feel pain following a class. Additionally, I’ve been lucky enough to meet a great group of people, from the instructors to the class regulars that motivate and encourage me to push myself. If someone misses a class, you can be assured that an email will be sent checking up on them.

Nick’s Email to his Workout Buddies and Instructors:

May 3, 2019

Hey Team Workout,

I took the Marine Corps Physical Fitness Test today. It consisted of a max set of pull ups, 2 minutes of crunches and 3-mile run.

Thanks to your encouragement and challenging me, I set PRs (personal records) in pull ups, crunches, and had my best run time in four years!

My results:

  • 22 pull ups
  • 124 crunches
  • 21:13, 3-mile run

I finished 4th out of 160 Marines in total score!