Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Motivation

"You will never walk without a limp, your days of active sports are probably behind you."
This is what I was told 17 years ago this fall. Not very good news for an 18 year old. 

Sitting in the surgeons office, he read the results of the arthroscopy detailing the extent of the damage to my left knee. Further surgery would not be recommended to replace the torn ACL, remove torn cartilege and repair of the medial and colateral ligaments. Not good. The following 5 months were spent in a drug and alcohol filled pity party

I sought out a second opinion, and the surgeons in Rossland BC felt I was an excellent candidate for the repairs required. The surgery procedures were scheduled and 3 operations over 16 months took place. Almost 4 months on crutches and countless hours in physiotherapy, the rehabilitation began. Everyone knows the trials of an extensive rehab schedule, the loss of strength, weight gain, feelings of despair. It was at that time that the physio mentioned that I should look at buying a bike, it would be good rehab.

It was 8 years after the last operation that I finally decided that I needed a new challenge. With the help and support of friends, I started a basic running program. I then entered three triathlons the following spring. Since 2002 I have completed 11 triathlons, 2 Ironman races, 6 half marathons and 2 full marathons. I have also raced in the Transrockies the last 2 years, highest finish was last year, 12th in our age group. Last year I also raced in 11 road bike races. 

Am I motivated to race this weekend? You bet I am. Every time I get on the course I think of where I was in my life. Sitting on the sidelines, watching the events, looking at the athletes faces, wishing that I could share that experience. 

"You'll never walk without a limp." Well buddy, I wish I would have sent you the finish photo of my first Ironman race as I crossed the line with my kids. I wasn't limping then, and I don't plan on limping across the line at Lethbridge either.

I'll use the one finger salute as I cross the line, first place or last place. 

Have a great day and I hope to see you guys this weekend at the race.

Slayer Dan

4 comments:

Thomas said...

Here here, great story!

In the immortal words of Flava Flav:

"Don't believe the hype"

mgodfrey said...

Slayer, as always incredibly well written. Look forward to the race this weekend! Michael

Darcy G said...

Dan,

Great story. I've never had knee surgery, but being a scrawny lightweight kid, I was normally picked last for team sports in school. I never considered playing hockey (too small), football (too small), and was terrible at baseball (vision problems). Sure, I ran cross-country and track, but they aren't the 'cool' sports. (Well, I wasn't exactly 'cool' in high school anyway. Ask Jared Green.)

So, whenever I hear the voices of high school past telling me "you're un-athletic", I take a look at the podium shot of last's year's Norquay hill climb, or dig the medal out of my dresser drawer and look at it.

RobLukacs said...

Dan...you're 35?!?!?! You're like a fossil to me!

Jokes aside, that's an awesome story. It's always good to hear people who have faced challenges like that and how they come back to kick some serious ass. You're definitely among that crowd because until now I would never have known you were once told "you'll never walk without a limp." I can't say I've seen you walk more than the average bear, but you sure can dominate on a bike!

Can't wait to see ya in Lethbridge! I'll try my very best to keep up to you.

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