A Fight to Live

By Various

In CrossFit, HD Videos, LEO/Mil

April 20, 2013

Video Article

In 2010 on the streets of East Oakland, Calif., a gang member shot Fremont police officer Todd Young in the pelvis. He suffered injuries so severe that doctors thought he would die.

Young woke up after 19 days in a coma. The shot to his iliac artery had also taken out 40 percent of his bladder and left holes in his intestines. He found himself with a colostomy bag, a catheter and tubes in his stomach, which was split open from surgery.

“When my nightmare began was when I woke up,” Young recalls. “The actual shooting itself, the gun fight … that wasn’t haunting me. What was haunting me was my body won’t work.”

With his mind ready but his body unable, Young asked himself what he had to do to get mobile again. After 51 days in intensive care, he started rehab to learn how to walk again. When he was supposed to go to a live-in rehab facility, he refused. Instead, he told his department he wanted personal training—specifically, CrossFit. When he started, he was on crutches.

“Before, he wasn’t even able to walk. Now we have him out here on this track and we’ve got him doing miles for time,” Young’s personal trainer says.

Young says he hopes his story saves someone’s life.

“I’m hoping that a cop that’s in the line and gets in a gun fight, that it helps them to have a stronger will to live and drive,” he says, “so if they do get injured they can fight their way through it—because it is possible.”

Video by Carey Peterson and Jason Smith.

10min 16sec

HD file size: 326 MB
SD wmv file size: 123 MB
SD mov file size: 147 MB

Please note: For smoother viewing of HD videos, please download the entire file to your hard drive before watching it (right-click and choose Save Link As...).

Additional reading: Applying CrossFit to Police Recruits by James Keller, published Aug. 20, 2012.

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5 Comments on “A Fight to Live”


EC S wrote …

WOW! Hero, indeed.


wrote …

The will to live is greater than anything else. Thank you Officer Young and to his trainer, Melanie, great teamwork!


wrote …

His trainer, Melanie Wade, is herself an inspiration! She helped Officer Young and countless others get into great shape. She mentioned "hero WODS" for survivors which would be great since there are people that get into crisis that actually make it and now are living their lives! Too bad her name wasn't mentioned!


wrote …

Officer Young. You are an inspiration to police officers everywhere. I wish I could bottle that attitude and force feed it to my recruits in the academy. Stay strong.


wrote …

Awesome story to share! I think every recruit in the academy should see this video and be familiarized with Todd's story, so that they understand that surviving the fight is just the beginning, and the key to winning every fight is making sure your physical conditioning and mentality is locked on and good to go.

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