I was so excited to write May’s little article I could hardly wait! I know many times we write about topics that will help improve our patient’s health, or insightful information to help give our patients advice and educate them, but I wanted to change things up a little this month. Though I was unable to be out on the course for the 2018 Boston Marathon this year, I promise I was there in spirit checking all my patients and friends progress, and keeping track of the race, while doing much over day paperwork. It’s call multitasking folks J. I guess if I was going to pick a year to have to miss, this was certainly a good one in regards to the weather, and coldest temperature to start the race in years, if not ever.
While I was away that weekend, I actually had a moment to sit down and read the newspaper. That never happens, ever! I usually keep up with the news or current events through my patients, friends, and family. In the sports section in the New York Times, I came across an amazing and beyond inspirational article, and wanted to share my feelings and thoughts about it this month. The article gave me the chills reading it. The title of the article I read on that Sunday before the 2018 Boston Marathon was, ‘It’s Pure Torture. But It Works.’ I shared the link on my FB page, and I am sure if you go the New York Times website, anyone can find it online.
The article was about a professional triathlete, Tim Don. For those of you who do not recognize the name, he is the world-record holder in the Ironman, setting that record at almost the age of 40, in Brazil, 2017. He had obviously qualified for the World Championship in Kona for 2017, and was there on his last training ride 2 days before Kona, when he was hit by a utility vehicle. Needless to say, the Ironman World Championships in Kona, and his goal to win it was quickly put on hold. The article itself goes into much more detail about everything. Tim had what was called a “hang-man’s fracture”. It is a fracture of the C2 vertebra in the neck, NOT GOOD, not good at all! Reading the article, I am just amazed that he is alive, let alone not paralyzed. The surgeons gave Tim 3 options, the third option being the best bet if he were going to try and return to any type of professional career after recovery.
Get ready folks, as this is the part that amazes me even more then him not dying or being paralyzed that tragic day, I think…Tim’s fracture somehow was stable, and option 3 was for Tim to be put in a halo device for 6 months. It is a metal device that is secured to one’s skull by way of 4 titanium screws (that have to be screwed in to the skull)! There are 4 extended pieces that come down to set around his lower neck and shoulders. The doctor in the article describes it as a “mid-evil torture device, but it works”. WTF! He had to basically be still for almost 3 months until he could start moving around and trying to do anything. I cannot begin to imagine how painful all of those days were, let alone after devising a return to training plan that he started to embark on after those few months with is former physical therapist that come from overseas to work with him.
All of this said, and to start trying to sum up a much longer story, though amazing at the least, Tim had set a goal to compete in the 2018 Boston Marathon, and even better, in hopes to have a finishing time of 2 hours and 50 minutes or better! NO WAY! I was sitting there thinking and shaking my head reading this article, how is this even possible? I immediately shared this article on social media, and tried to send it to everyone I knew that was running the Boston Marathon this year. I was hoping people would find this as inspiring as I did, and help to get them through a less than ideal day, 4/16/2018. And guess what folks, Tim Don finished in just under two hours and fifty minutes. I followed his story all morning, along with our new American Female Boston Marathon Winner as well. I know these were beyond less than ideal conditions for 2018, but just 5 years since the marathon bombing, talk about maybe one of the most memorable marathons possibly.
I was amazed at how Tim’s body could handle what it did. I do not go into detail about the amount of pain Tim must have been in, and the article only touches on just a fraction on what I am sure he was really experiencing. But, Tim’s mind set and determination were unbelievable. It also helped that he was in tremendous condition, but also goes to show that if the body is healthy and taken care of properly, the ability for a better or even full recovery is more than possible.
As I was thinking about the article after reading it, I feel this concept plays into in a lot of what I do on a daily basis for work. I am always trying to help educate my patients how to take better care of themselves with chiropractic care and Active Release Techniques (ART), PT, and acupuncture. Whether it be different ways to exercise, stretch, roll, recover or heal, about nutrition, supplements to take etc., I am always trying to impress upon patients how important it to take care of their bodies, as we only get one! Many or most times this is in regards to a patient coming in seeking help after some type of injury, but in reality it is just important to take care of our bodies just the same regardless of injury, actually more important. If we all put more emphasis on the “preventive” and “maintaining” part taking care of our bodies, I truly feel we will all be much further ahead in life, and we will all be able to bounce back so much faster in regards to a minor, moderate, or even major injury in regards to Tim Don’s case.
A little side note before concluding this month’s story: Tim Don’s next goal is to race another ironman late spring or early summer to qualify for Kona in the fall of 2018. GO TIM!!!