CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Judy Godsey may look like your typical gym rat, but what you can’t see is the work it took for her to get to where she is now.
“I think they’re kind of amazed that I lived,” she told NBC Charlotte.
Godsey's talking about the doctors that took care of her after a horrific car crash in 2001. She was driving to the grocery store when a speeding vehicle T-boned her car.
The crash left Godsey with a traumatic brain injury. Doctors didn't think she'd survive.
“At first they didn't think I was going to live through the night,” she said. “When I did, doctors didn't think I'd ever be able to take care of myself or my kids.”
But Godsey doesn't give up. Motivated by her husband and three young children, she started to move, talk and even walk.
“The first step was so much pain,” she said. “It radiated through my body, but I had to take the second step.”
Around a year after her accident, Godsey was finished with physical therapy, so she hired a personal trainer. It’s a move she said made all the difference.
“I didn't have any strength,” she explained. “Just moving from three pound dumbbells to five pound dumbbells, that was huge.”
Now Godsey's blown past that goal, and found a passion for deadlifting. Her personal record: 255 pounds.
“Usually the eyes get wide, the mouth drops open and they say, ‘Is she going to lift that?’ And we say, ‘Yeah, she's going to lift that,’” trainer Paul Sklar told us.
He’s the co-owner of Prescriptive Fitness and has been training Godsey for the past three and a half years.
“When people see what she's able to do coming really from nothing, to where she is now, it's really unbelievably inspirational," Sklar said.
So inspirational that Godsey has started sharing her progress on Instagram as “JudyDeadlifts”. Each post is complete with an uplifting message -- meant to get others moving.
“I realized that I could reach some people and say don't give up,” Godsey said.
She even makes trips to do pushups with the firefighters of Engine 16. That’s the engine that responded to her crash and rescued her.
Godsey's story is one she wants to share to show others the power of fitness and the resilience of the human spirit.