In the last couple of years, I've understood coming back from an injury. First it was a running injury when I slipped on ice tearing my left meniscus in my knee. After surgery I was only laid up for 6 weeks. Then a bit later I broke my leg in a short fall and then while walking to my car on crutches, slipped on the ice re-fracturing it while it was healing, all the while not knowing I had torn my right meniscus also. Nothing could have prepared me for a mountain biking accident. A slow motion accident when I caught my handlebars on a tree branch. My front wheel spun, catapaulting me into a dry land diving accident. In the end, I had multiple cervical fractures from C4 to C7. The season had started out amazing and ended with surgery, pain and partial paralysis. By July I was back in physical therapy with Dan Chitwood. I could lift a total of 5 lbs. Day after day of pain of reteaching muscles and nerves to work together. By August I could do a pull up, and follow my friends up climbs I used to do as an after thought. The thought of it being frustrating was always there, knowing that I used to do more pull ups with my left arm than I could do with two. I was also infinitely grateful, knowing that my fractures should have either killed me or left me a quadrapalegic. I had a new lease on life. Friends helped more than they would ever know. I kept fallowing them on routes, lifting weights. Kids and a wonderful girlfriend, Kristina supported me. By November I was cleared to start to lead. At first it was scarey. I did things I knew, but atleast I was climbing, out with friends. My January,. I was working on things I had failed on before my accident. I was skiing (mostly at night to get photo's of the Milky Way from a pass on the local mountain).
I ran my first race in two decades and surprised myself by taking third in the Masters division, which was doubly sweet as my girlfriend also took third in the womans masters division.
First race in two decades
Don't know what life will bring. I know I was given a second chance. I don't feel a large portion of my hands anymore, which makes life interesting, but in the long run I am grateful of how lucky I was.
If we get lucky it's to come back and see the world from a unique perspective. I've had several accidents and for them am a richer man. I'm glad to be reminded of this from reading your article. Keep on trucking my friend!