Athlete Again

By Hilary Achauer

In The CrossFit Life

October 25, 2012

PDF Article

Dylan Rivera struggled with a painful nervous-system disorder for most of his childhood, missing out on the physical challenge of sports. Then he found CrossFit and rediscovered the joy of athletics.

Dylan Rivera was always an active child. He played soccer and baseball and spent much of his childhood outside kicking around a soccer ball. One day that all changed.

“When I hit fifth grade, my health turned for the worse. All of a sudden, I dropped one day. I couldn’t walk without excruciating pain. My entire body was in pain,” Rivera said.

He went back and forth between hospitals and doctors for over three years. While he waited for doctors to come up with a diagnosis, Rivera was in a wheelchair, on heavy medication that made him into a zombie. He was finally diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), a nervous-system disorder that relays pain signals to the brain. When Rivera was a senior year in high school, his dad started CrossFit.

“He kept trying to convince me to go, but my lazy ass wasn’t about going at all. I actually even asked him why the hell he did it. I thought CrossFitters were crazy and I would never do that!”

Finally, in February 2012, halfway through his senior year, Rivera gave in and tried his first WOD, Fight Gone Bad.



3 Comments on “Athlete Again”


wrote …

This is simply amazing! So cool!


wrote …

Nice Job Dylan! I´m sure you´ll be an amazing trainer.


wrote …

I had RSD as a preteen and after nerve blocks and a few years of some blood vessel dialators I had roughly 13 years of remission (still needing to keep my leg warm during season changes). I started crossfit in April 2012 but then I have sprained my ankle twice in the last year and flared back up the (now) CRPS. Meeting with neurology in a few weeks and hope to get released to wod, either modified or after a block or two.

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