Tuesday, June 19, 2012

They said I’d never walk again…not without a cane at least

I sat on a bench being support crew at J’s swim race on Saturday and happen to glance down at my watch to notice the date…and then it struck me…around this date 13 years ago is when an Army doctor sat me down in his office and broke the news to me that due to my injuries, sustained during a training event while being assigned to the 1st Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment, my career and an Airborne Ranger Infantryman and soldier was over.
There is nothing "pimp" about canes
The quick skinny for the injury was during an exercise I turned the ankle about 100 degrees, inverted, in the wrong direction, making a horrendous noise in the process. The bone popping, crunching noise was so loud in fact that I was told later that one of my soldiers standing nearby vomited at the sound. Yes, terrible injury but every time I recall that story I laugh (ya, we’re not “right” people). Initially it was diagnosed as a Grade 3 Sprain (the worst you can have without breaking bone) and I went right into a boot…until the swelling came down…and then I started running again. First off, have you met me? Do you read this blog people? I'm not smart people. And secondly no one wants to look injured in front of their soldiers. Come to find out later, after the ankle never got better, that I had broken the Talus and the heads of the Tibia and Fibula, and had run on said breaks for almost 2 months (I apparently am not very smart and have a high tolerance for pain) and subsequently killed the bone tissue at the breaks because of the constant impact.

Flash forward to me sitting in the doc’s office, post medical review, being told me career was over. I was devastated. My world had come crashing down around me. The things I had taken the greatest joy in were now gone. Well, I do love food..so I immersed myself in pleasure through food. It wasn’t until I “blossomed” up to 245lbs a year later, having a difficult time just moving around and in constant pain that a subsequent trip to the doc revealed I ALSO broke L4, L5 and S1. When it rains it pours I guess… The doc broke the news that I needed to start using a cane, be prepared to use it for the foreseeable future and if the wear and tear continued that I should be prepared to get my back fused. Ya…NONE of the options were palatable. I went right to the web, looking for anything I could find about dealing with my back and found TONS of info on strengthening your core and all the muscles around the spine in order to keep it in line and pain free. Best way to do that is become ACTIVE and start to train and eat right. I found a chiropractor, a massage therapist, an acupuncturist, wrote myself a workout plan and got my fat butt back on the training wagon.

Flash forward to me standing by the water now, wishing I had swim clothes to race in and contemplating the route for my long run later today, bummed that I missed in opportunity for a double workout day, regularly racing 20+ events a year, training for my first Ultra and thoroughly enjoying being an ambassador for Polar Heart Rate Monitors and lululemon!

It has been a long, hard road but I’m always moving forward, trying to get better/faster/stronger and I’ll never quit. NEVER!


  1. Amazing where hard work and determination can take you!

  2. The part I forgot was to say that if I can do it, in spite of all my challenges...SO CAN YOU! Get moving!

  3. My brother was diagnosed in elem. School with hip calf perthes. They said he would never walk. He went on to play college football and Run track. Urs is the first story that i can say is as inspiring as his.

  4. Wow! Thank you Alexis! Sadly, my injuries were due to an unrealistic sense of drive and sheer ignorance. LOL Your brother, having to deal with an issue at birth and being such a success is VERY inspiring!

  5. Wow! That is quite an injury, and an amazing comeback. Looking at your picture, now, I cannot imagine that you ever had an extra ounce of body fat on you.

    Congratulations on coming so far and for beating the prognosis! I love to hear about great successes and your's certainly is that!

  6. Thank you Elle! If you click over on the "About Me" tab you'll see the only pic that exists of me at my heaviest. Its been a long difficult journey but I'm happy with my progress thus far.