Hudson jogger struck by car in 2015 finds her stride doing CrossFit
Tina Adams underwent her 19th surgery this year and has come a long way since the violent collision
For Tina Adams, the phrase, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" is no cliché. Adams is living proof that not giving up is half the battle.
"I kept my head up high the whole time and look where I am today," she told CBC Montreal's Daybreak.
Adams, now 24, had her life turned upside down after she was hit by a car in 2015.
Then a student at John Abbott College's police technology program, she was out for a jog in Hudson when she was struck by a car and left in critical condition.
The driver has since pleaded guilty to impaired driving and will be sentenced in January.
Listen to the interview on Daybreak:
Her list of injuries was extensive: a cracked skull and traumatic brain injury, fractured spine, blood clot in her head, two punctured lungs, fractured ribs, internal bleeding, hip and pelvis completely destroyed on the right side, burns from electric wires that fell on her and nerve damage in her legs.
After undergoing a total of 19 surgeries, Tina Adams went from fearing she'd never be able to walk again, to becoming a self-described CrossFit "badass."
She started working out at CrossFit De La Cité in Vaudreuil about a year after her accident.
"There was one point where it was just not getting better. And then, it's like, 'OK, I have to go out and I have to start doing things. And that's when I decided to start coming to the gym," she said. "Even though I was in a wheelchair or on crutches, I was still coming."
She'd always been active and found that even though she couldn't do all the same things as before, getting to the gym in the morning helped create a routine for her.
On days when she wakes up especially stiff, Adams says working out helps her to warm up her muscles and stay loose throughout the day.
"After a while, I kind of got used to it. But it will never be 100 per cent."
Adams will be giving a victim impact statement at the sentencing of the driver who hit her, 25-year-old Jordan Xavier Taylor.
"I lost a lot throughout this. I gained a lot, like, I met a lot of people, but I lost my dreams of becoming a police officer," she said. "He's going to get what is coming to him."
After three years, Adams is now trying to focus on moving forward and graduating from John Abbott. With her injuries, she's no longer in the police technology program, but she hopes to find another career path that keeps her active.
She said it's been difficult and that her brain injury makes it difficult to concentrate and study.
"Honestly, I opened my books and I was tearing up," she said. "It's so overwhelming for me."
For the time being, Adams says she's taking things one step at a time.
"I've always been a strong person, and I notice how much I'm able to handle, because of everything I've handled since this happened to me."
With files from CBC Montreal's Daybreak.
Editor's note: Since the publication of this story, Taylor's sentencing hearing has been postponed to January. This story has been updated to reflect this change.