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Share Your Impossible: Crush It

Today’s post is brought to you by FrictionLabs blog reader Loralei Bongiorno. She shares her "a-ha!" moment when she realized climbing wasn’t just an activity, but a passion.

My husband and I began climbing in 2009.

I really started to appreciate the sport when we went to see the sport climbing Lead World Cup in 2010, but I wasn't really putting in my all. I was going along with it because my husband enjoyed it. We became members at Earth Treks in Golden, Colorado, in 2013.

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My "a-ha!" moment was when I completed my first V4. I know what you're thinking.... a V4?? (Pah-lease) But for me it was a huge step, and I felt like I could conquer the world!! So I kept pushing myself, in bouldering and sport.

Jan 31, 2016: I took a major fall on a V3 warm-up. I thought, Okay, I see bone . . . yep, broken.

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Had surgery the same day, and was told I won't need another surgery. At my follow-up almost 10 days after, my new ortho said we need to go back in, as the two screws didn't completely do what was needed and the bone had settled incorrectly. I was not told about the severity of my injury until that day—the impact dislocated my ankle, crushing the medial malleolus, pushing the lower fibula through the skin, which severed the outer ligaments. [During my] second surgery, I received a custom plate and five screws. Four months later and I was released to start climbing again.

Now, I am starting easy, still in physical therapy, and no bouldering for the remainder of the year . . . but I am so psyched to be back on the wall, even if it is just 5.7-5.8 routes right now. Building up to where I was!! Strong and proud!! (The climbing pic was not when I fell, but the hospital pic is . . . and, yes, my shirt says "Crush It." No pun intended).

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