Monica Caban is as tough as they come swimming, cycling and running her way to the finish line in 2011 to become an Iron Man.
As she was excitedly training for her next competition last October, the Harlingen woman's life was nearly cut short.
"I just remember it sounded like a train coming and then a crash."
An 82-year-old woman had slammed into Monica on her bike flinging her body 30 feet.
"I just remember waking up and seeing clouds and felt grass around me and my friend that I was riding with was screaming Monica because she thought I was dead."
Once in a San Antonio hospital, Monica in excruciating pain in her back and no feeling in her feet, was given a grim prognosis.
"It did not look well and that my actual spinal cord had been severed."
Eight months later, this Iron Man is visiting friends in Harlingen and proving she's a woman made of steel.
She has defied the odds stacked against her and is able to stand up and move.
"I'm up to 1250 meters in the pool, and doing strength conditioning and physical therapy 3 days a week."
Monica says there still isn't much feeling in her legs so her braces stabilize her as she moves.
Her motivation? Every other runner and cyclist out there. She's making strides in raising awareness about sharing the roads safely.
Don't let the tough exterior fool you, Monica has had dark days in the past 8 months and has undergone more surgeries for complications within her body that came about after the accident.
"I went into the hospital around Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and after the surgery they said you have to be on bed rest for a month."
The mother of two soldiered on and is self sufficient at home and will soon start driving a car again with a special device.
Monica feels blessed to have this type of strength, but says it's the people around her that are inspiring.
"I'm determined that I will walk again, I will run again and I will do another Iron Man again, I just have to pick which one."