Athlete living with spina bifida shows nothing holds her back

Misty Diaz has completed more than 65 Spartan Races - but when she was born, doctors never thought she'd be able to walk. Now she's inspiring countless others with her movement #SpinaBeautiful.
6:38 | 08/22/19

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Transcript for Athlete living with spina bifida shows nothing holds her back
up at something. And that's my focal point. As soon as I turn to the left even just like a hair, my whole bench is off. So it's just like life. Thank you. How do I begin to describe misty? Misty is just completely shattering what we expect the human body to be capable of. If I were in her place I mean I would hope to be like her. I got it. At 4 foot 4 inches tall, misty Diaz bench presses more than 100 pounds. She dominates in both the gym and on the Spartan field, completing more than 65 Spartan races to date. I'm just confident. These are some of my most recent obstacle course world championships. She is an absolute force, but when she was born, doctors never thought she'd even be able to walk. I had most of my organs on the outside of my body. Misty was born with spina bifida. Spina bifida means split spine. So for my case, my spine was completely exposed at l5. What did the doctors tell your parents when you were born? To let nature its course. What'd your parents say about that moment? Do whatever you need to do in order to keep our child alive. They flew me to Fresno children's hospital, and then they couldn't figure it out. So they flew me to UCLA hospital, and that's where I had every operation. How many have you had? Twenty-eight. What was it like growing up and having to just go into operation, after operation, after operation? I was never able to make friends. I was having to do home schooling and I kept getting sick. And kids around that age were going on dates, going to prom, going to homecoming, like, whatever. I never got to do any of those. I never got to go to homecoming. No one ever asked me out. But misty says her parents never focused on the things she couldn't do. They pushed her to find everything she could do. They did a really, really good job at making sure that I was independent. Making sure that I didn't make any excuses. She just would be like. I'm not going to be here so I'm not going to reach that for you. How would you get that? At the time, I would literally cry and throw a fit, and she's like -- you don't understand as a mother it was like the worst. I just wanted to grab it for you. She's like, but I know you can do it. And misty says she's still figuring it out everyday, finding ways to fund her races around the world. To date she's signed up and completed more than 200 endurance races in places like Malaysia and Japan. Come on misty, you can do it! But not long ago, these medals seemed impossible. Take me back to the time where you had that twenty-eighth surgery. What happened? I went to UCLA with a overnight bag just to get me through the night. And I was supposed to be released that day. I was there for ten days, and I was given morphine two to three times a day, and then when I left I -- I was still bleeding. Like, I was still severely in pain. So in order for me to cope I kept refilling my prescription. I was losing everything, and I lost my house, I lost a Lotta my stuff. Salvation Army came and picked up a lot. What was the turning point? No one was gonna help me. I just was, like, "I am too young for this." Misty started off by just walking, and quickly that walk went from a run to a full on sprint. And I thought I'd sign up for a 5k, so I went online and I found one, and I showed up in a purple tutu and Payless shoes. And that was it. I just kept showing up to races, and then I slowly got everything back. I got a job at a better job. I got a car and a better car. I got my dog back. I got my own apartment. I got a better apartment. The gym is now a part of misty's life everyday, often doing pull ups right by her side is her boyfriend Chad who she's been dating for five years. I was just randomly watching the news. I saw a story on her, and then I messaged her, I said, "Hey, weren't you-- just on TV?" We started talking, so. So then it progressed. I thought she was beautiful, and I thought she had a really, like, positive story. Life together is sweet. But sometimes the outside world can be cruel. People, like, point, and sometimes you just wanna go to the grocery store. It's, like -- that's, like, walking down a runway and having people just stare at you when you're just trying to get from point a to point B. Misty says, now her goal is to show the world that spina bifida doesn't define who she is. I skateboard on crutches, and people are like -- People don't understand, you can do anything. She's working with brands to help make their products adaptive. And she's out with her own lipstick line. It just brings confidence, the strong out in me and the warrior that I am. My overall goal is to create some type of cap per, you know, lipstick, mascara, blush for someone who has dexterity issues, quadriplegic, elderly, to be able to hold the product, and be independent to put makeup on. Independent and beautiful, inside and out. It's why misty helped launch the movement, hashtag spinabeautiful, working to be a role model on Instagram. The bigger picture is that so many people who are adaptive, who have spina bifida, are just crushing life. People just like herself to show them how badass an adaptive life can be. I think the biggest battle of my entire life, is just having acceptance within myself. You know, years later. Simply just standing in front of the mirror and saying, "You know what? You are beautiful, you are strong, you are confident." Are you ever scared for the future? Scared of -- I'm starting to -- yesterday I was looking at Chad. I was like, okay, I'm getting a little older. I'm like, "I don't know how long I'm gonna be, like, running. Like, let's be real. But I'm having fun, and I -- you know, I wanna look back. I'm gonna be old. I'm gonna be a cute, little old lady with red lipstick, and I'm gonna be, like, "You guys.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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