“Never let someone tell you what you Can’t do. Then, do whatever it takes to accomplish anything that you want.”
On March 19th, 1987 I knew my life had changed when I was hit head on at approximately 80 mph. My head went through the windshield as I wrapped around the steering wheel and my knee went through the dashboard. With severe head, neck, low back, hip and knee injuries, I suspected I would not be playing football anymore, but it was worse to hear the only recommendations were surgery and drugs; and they couldn’t predict a positive outcome. I was left with parting comments of the surgeons describing the things I would “never be able to do again”. As a previous athlete, I decided this was unacceptable, and said “the only thing I never do is see you again!” …and so it began. I never did have the surgery and began to heal slowly with cycling and under the care of my Chiropractor.
Years later, realizing that if Chiropractic was the reason I could walk, I had to ask myself, “Why am I not a Chiropractor?” I went back to school to become the Doctor and help others, especially when faced with bleak choices and few options.
Eventually, in 2008, a friend challenged me to race in a local Triathlon…one of those late night bets hanging around a fire pit. I did it, a little fearful at first right before the initial horn, until that exuberant feeling of crossing the finish line when I finally began to erase some of the pain from the previous 21 years. I was HOOKED. I began learning, training and growing. Eventually, my body responded and I started to ask…”What else is possible?”
Yes, there are still pain and some physical limitations since I was born almost 3 months pre-mature with one hip not fully formed, the accident injuries, including over 60% nerve loss in a portion of my right leg (makes it tough to run)…but I began to believe in more.
In addition to the physical limitations there have been emotional limits for many years. My father had an accident the year I was born in which his head went through the windshield 3 times during a 5 car collision. This, we believe, was the start of a brain tumor which claimed his life at 44 years old. This was very un-nerving for me as I grew older since it was the same spot on my head that was injured in my accident. As a result, in 2011, it inspired me to gain better control of my own health, and ultimately, I completed my first (Half) Ironman 70.3 (Vineman) before my 44th birthday…then another, (CA 70.3), then another (Vineman) again. I competed in a total of three 70.3 races in that year of being 44 years old, in arguably the best shape of my life.
Currently, 34 races since I began in 2008, I still have this feeling of being unfulfilled. I never thought the words would come out of my mouth, but I now believe I have to finish a Full Ironman. This is not a want, this is now a need. I suspect that my body will eventually show its wear and my window of opportunity is here, now. I expect to complete my first Ironman before I turn 50 years old.
My latest project has already begun in enabling others to learn and understand how to utilize this type of physical training to improve their health. I love giving back, particularly with my weekly volunteer work with Operation Rebound and the Challenged Athletes Foundation by working on our military amputees and several confined to wheelchairs. I love sharing my knowledge and helping them, many of which were injured or lost a limb in fighting for our freedoms. Ultimately, my focus will shift to helping others experience the thrill of multi-sport and how it can help enhance their “Performance for LIFE”. Hence, Tri-Doc.com is born.