Crossfit Phenom

Crossfit Superstar Talayna Fortunato

Crossfit Superstar Opens Up About Injury and Recovery.

Talayna Fortunato has been an athlete since she could walk.  Gymnastics since the age of four, a scholarship to Southern Utah University  and then a stint on the track and field team in her final year, Talayna is no stranger to hard work and dedication.  Upon graduating from PT school and landing her first job, Talayna began a new adventure, adding Crossfit into her life.  “My first workout was Angie. I used a band and did it in 11 minutes and change. I could barely straighten my arms after but I was hooked!”  She says on her killer blog  The rest is history.

After getting used to the “strength work” she came in 14th place in the Regionals in her first year.  Then she won the Southeast Open in 2011, coming in 4th place in the Regionals, and just missing a slot to the Crossfit Games that same year.  In 2012, she blasted the competition at the South East Regionals and followed with an unbelievable performance at the Crossfit Games.  That year she beat Kristen Cleaver by six seconds on a final “Fran” workout to earn the podium, behind Annie Thorisdottir and Julie Foucher. Crossfit Overhead Squat

In 2013 “mental burnout” and an old ankle injury hurt her, but she was still able to win the South East Regionals.   She managed a fifth place in the Games after a third, second and first-place finish in the last three workouts despite her pain.  In 2014 things got tougher for her and after an impressive second place in the South East Regionals, illness and injury took its toll on Talayna.

That’s when she decided to make 2015 her year to heal and rebuild.  Opting for ankle surgery and a back to basics approach, she’s now  focused on better recovery and mobility.  “My attitude towards recovery 5 years ago was basically waiting until I wasn’t sore anymore. Now I know there are many more aspects to recovery. There’s general fatigue and CNS recovery, muscle soreness recovery, and also other soft tissue recovery that requires adequate progression to keep up with muscle growth and training volume. I take recovery as a whole now focusing on nutrition, sleep, mobility and rest.”

“I had heard from a runner friend how good Dr. Dan was and since I was coming to a plateau with my ankle after surgery I wanted to try him out.”

Crossfit Injury Treatment

Getting to the bottom of some mobility issues lead her to Vital Wellness Center.  “I knew I might do more damage by continuing to try to train around this obstacle as I was seeing compensations and injuries elsewhere like my opposite quad. I had heard from a runner friend how good Dr. Dan was and since I was coming to a plateau with my ankle after surgery I wanted to try him out.” But Vital Wellness Center in Fort Pierce, Florida is a three-hour drive across the state from Talayna’s home. Was the trip worth it?  Talayna says that she found the combination diagnosis using Selective Functional Movement Assesment (SFMA) and treatment with Active Release Technique (ART) very effective.

“[Dr. Dan] identified some issues through the SFMA that I already knew I had and some I wasn’t aware of as well. The ART was especially helpful as the muscles in my lower leg were very tight and having a hard time adjusting to the new ROM in my ankle. I’ve had ART from different people before and Dr. Dan has a unique ability to feel structures and separate adhesions without causing significant pain. Things feel freer and movement is easier.”

In 2016 Talayna placed fourteenth in the Crossfit Games Southeast Region Open earning her a spot to the Regionals in Atlanta.  The Southeast region (and the Atlantic regional competition) proved to be insanely competitive and although Talayna held on to third place after day one she finished in twelfth place.  While she won’t compete in The Crossfit Games this year, Talayna has proven herself to be a force to be reckoned with and still one of the best in the world.  Just this week Sports Illustrated ranked her among the top 50 Fittest Female Athletes!

On a personal note, working with Talayna Fortunato is an honor.  I have had the privilege of treating elite athletes from a variety of sports and Talayna’s drive, intelligence and perseverance are second to none.  She is a model for all Crossfit athletes seeking enduring success and longevity in a sport that has become unbelievably competitive.  Congratulations Talayna on your continued achievement and recognition.  And, thank you for letting Vital Wellness Center be part of your team.

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