News / Halifax

'It’s just what you make it': Halifax woman inspires in viral CrossFit video

Lindsay Hilton keeps active despite having no arms or legs, whether it's on the rugby field or in the CrossFit gym.

Lindsay Hilton poses for a portrait at CrossFit OnSide in Halifax on Sunday. The rugby player and CrossFit athlete is the star of a viral video on Facebook.

Zane Woodford/Metro

Lindsay Hilton poses for a portrait at CrossFit OnSide in Halifax on Sunday. The rugby player and CrossFit athlete is the star of a viral video on Facebook.

After a viral CrossFit video and years on the rugby field, a Halifax woman without limbs shows you can’t count out those who “don’t quite look the same or walk the same.”

Lindsay Hilton has always been active, including playing rugby for years with Mount Allison University and the Halifax Tars. Looking for another challenge, she landed on CrossFit this September after winning a month membership at a local gym through a burpee contest.

“It’s just what you make it … every workout can be scaled and adapted,” Hilton said Friday about the high-intensity fitness program.

A few weeks ago Hilton asked those at CrossFit OnSide to take a video during her workout to check out her form, and knew the gym owners might share it but had no idea it would end up on the official CrossFit Facebook page.

The views began rolling in when it was posted last Wednesday, and by Saturday the video of Hilton lunging across the gym with a bar then switching to pull-ups had been seen over 6 million times, with over 57,000 shares and 5,000 comments.

 

"One of our awesome adaptive athletes crushing 16.1!" —Jenny Mulock, CrossFit OnSide

Posted by CrossFit on  Wednesday, March 9, 2016

“It’s kind of crazy … I definitely was not expecting that many people to see me do that workout,” Hilton laughed.

Many of the comments mention how inspiring Hilton is, with one man sharing how his depression about an injury melted away when he saw “this amazing woman killin it.”

While CrossFit may seem like a difficult sport for Hilton, she said there’s always a way to pursue what you want to do and there are lots of resources from adaptive athletes online. Although it’s a “work in progress,” weightlifting hooks and Velcro straps with a chain that’s attached to a bar do the trick.

Encouragement is great, but Hilton said she’s often surprised by people telling her she’s inspiring because she doesn’t feel like she’s accomplishing a great feat - and “my form’s not awesome.”

Lindsay Hilton trains at CrossFit OnSide in Halifax on Sunday.

Zane Woodford/Metro

Lindsay Hilton trains at CrossFit OnSide in Halifax on Sunday.

However, Hilton said she hopes young people with missing limbs or other disabilities see her do everyday things as well as sports, and think “’I can do that as well,’ and then the message gets passed on.”

Hilton’s sister-in-law, Katie Hilton, said she’s proud to know Lindsay and she’s never encountered another person "quite like her.”

It’s important to recognize people like Lindsay because when things get rough and you feel like you can’t push through, she shows there’s always a way to achieve anything if you put your mind to it, Katie said.

Lindsay Hilton poses for a portrait at CrossFit OnSide in Halifax on Sunday.

Zane Woodford/Metro

Lindsay Hilton poses for a portrait at CrossFit OnSide in Halifax on Sunday.

Lindsay also received the International Rugby Board’s Spirit of Rugby Award in 2012, and Katie said she’s a wonderful ambassador to sport and the province.

“Don’t count out people that maybe don’t quite look the same, or walk the same, or talk the same,” Katie said.

“My sister-in-law is proof that there’s amazing things happening around here.”