If you have the opportunity to sit down with Angie Rodriguez and hear her amazing story, do it. Angie, who grew up in Castle Rock and now lives in Parker and co-owns Twenty Mile CrossFit. She has two girls. Angie had been involved in CrossFit for nearly a decade and was in great shape when a tragedy occurred in her life. She described the horrible events, as well as so many people who made such a difference to her along the way.
Angie was with some friends in Colorado Springs in March of 2016 and was walking in a cross walk when a drunk driver hit and ran her over. The driver then backed over her to see what had happened and ran over her a third time as she sped off. An off-duty EMT stopped to help Angie as she went into shock. Angie heard the ambulance and remembers being freezing. She woke up in the hospital with a tube in her throat and a splintered memory of the event. She had suffered many injuries: deflated lungs, seven broken ribs, a torn shoulder, a dislocated hip, injured knees, no use of her left hand, and almost lost her foot.
Doctors told Angie that being in great shape helped her to survive and eventually get back to health. She had a very long road ahead of her, but she felt so much support from her church, from the community, and from the gym.
She had dinners brought to her family for months. Friends and family took care of her girls, people brought Easter baskets to her girls, and so many other countless acts of outpouring love from the community. Angie says she knows that God was watching out for her and her girls.
Due to her many injuries, she had to live at a rehab center for months. The Center at Northridge in Westminster was just opening and Angie was their first and only patient at the time. Because of this, she was able to spend extra time with trainers and nurses. She was well taken care of and felt so loved. She became close to the nurses and staff.
She attributes the mindset needed for recovery to her fitness experience. She knew how to set goals and see progress little by little. She remembers how it took her ten minutes when the nurses asked her to scoot to the end of the bed, but she knew she could do it. Eventually she was able to go home, first in a wheelchair, then using a cane. She would go to visit the gym to see people and slowly began to try small exercises, like lifting with one arm or deadlifting 6” off the floor. Then she began doing modified moves and slowly increasing levels. After multiple surgeries, physical therapy for nearly two yeras, and continued slow progress at the gym, she reached even better health than before the accident. Angie attended her first powerlifting competition and holds the state record for her age and weight!
Looking back now, Angie says she wouldn't change it. She talks about how so much good has come from her experience and sharing her story. She has learned about faith, family, forgiveness, prayer, friends, and strength. She showed her girls how to work through something as they walked through it with her. She was incredibly grateful to see how much people loved her and her family. To experience that kind of love was such a blessing. She reflects on her mindset and perspective of gratitude. She decided not to let this define her and not to focus on the negative.
Angie says to start each day with purpose, fall in love with the journey and, "Just don’t stop. If you are told that you won’t be the same, that you can’t..., if you fail a million times, just don’t stop. Keep going. You don’t know what is on the other side of not stopping, and once you get there and see it, it’s probably better than what you thought it would be. Inspiration is the best mark you can leave on another human. You don’t know who is watching you, so don’t stop. Someone may be depending on you to keep them going!”