Rebecca Lorch, First place at Nationals and what it took.

In 2011 I shattered my femur in a motorcycle accident, splitting it halfway up the bone and breaking my condyles into 2. I was immobilized and not weight bearing for months.

In 2012 I realized my leg had healed incorrectly, and I was left with a huge curvature that would affect my ankle, hip, and the rest of my body had I opted out of corrective surgery. My femur was cut apart and put back together again with an external fixator, which stuck out of my leg for 3.5 months, again, immobile and non weight bearing. In 2013 I had this removed and began a very long path to recovery.

Doctors told me my range of motion (at just past 90 degrees) was even more than they’d thought I’d get. I wouldn’t be able to run or squat and should just get over it. I was told I should be happy I was able to walk.

After being told so many times I couldn’t do things, I decided to take my progress into my own hands and got into powerlifting, Where I had a slow progression of squatting my bodyweight to a very high box to eventually squatting 298 at a National Meet in 2016. All I knew is that I wanted to go in every day and push past the pain to be a little better than the day before. I now squat 300+ pounds for reps, pull 405, and can run, jump, and do everything else I was told I couldn’t. My bad leg complicates some training, and sometimes my coach has to work with me to find new ways to do things or swap exercises when something is too painful, but we always get it done.

In 2015 I had done my first strongman competition. I made it to the national level in 2017 but unfortunately faced a broken ankle the following year, preventing me from competing for a year, and due to the poor care provided from workers compensation, I was left with permanent nerve damage in my right foot, causing numbness and often burning type pain. Again, I overcame bit by bit until I was able to compete again.

I never imagined being first place At Nationals, I just wanted to do my best. The moment I realized I had won, I literally fell over in tears. Remembering what it felt like to not know if I was ever going to walk normally again, to being the best in my class in a sport that requires so much strength and athleticism, is still surreal to me, I am so happy and I am looking forward to my future in the sport.

-Rebecca

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