Injury: A single, catastrophic event that can mean months of downtime.
As a runner, racer, everything I’ve been in my life, this is the first time I’ve ever been injured to this degree. Injuries are the epitome of suck. They are emotional beyond belief, even if people don’t share it outright.
I want to give a little background about myself, just so everyone is on the same page. I’ve been doing OCRs for about 3 years and started training with Yancy Camp about 6 months before my injury. My goal was this year to start competitive and truly see what I could really do.
The Hard Fall
Bonefrog Challenge was the first race of my 2019 OCR season. I was ready and wanted to run. I missed my wave but ran and caught up (thankfully I wasn’t running competitive). My pace was a 10 min mile on average at that time – my personal best showing me my months of training had been paying off. Blazing through obstacles, I got to rope climb. Climbed up, hit the bell, was coming down and that’s when it happened. My grip slipped and I started falling. My grip couldn't reset as I fell. I fell about 5-6 feet breaking my tibia and fibula and some of my ankle. EMS rushed me to a trauma center, where the doctor looked at everything and shared it’s going to be a long road.
“What happens next?”
“Where do I go from here?”
“Dammit, if I had just skipped rope climb.”
“Dammit, if I didn’t suck.”
Once I truly regained enough consciousness, all of these thoughts ran through my head. I had races lined up, I was to be running again 2 weeks. The disappointment, feelings of failure, and everything flooded me. I also didn’t have my phone for at least a day, due to just having everything transferring back and forth. I had my support network there to help as best as possible. Even with the support, however, there was still a feeling of helplessness.
“What if I never run again?”
“Is this the end of my OCR competitive attempts, before it even really started?”
My goals for this year were shattered by this. My plans were to run Tour de Butte and Worlds Toughest, and truly push the limits to try out some 24-hour races. I had plans to run Toughest South again, and this time go for 30, hell maybe even 40+ with another 4 hours added on. I wanted to see if I could even come close to a podium with other racers out there in Texas.
The Start of a Rise
When I got my phone finally, and tears started welling up. The overwhelming support of the OCR community, Lone Star Spartans, and friends were just what I needed at that moment. My coach, Yancy Culp, even reached out and had words of encouragement for me. I have realized, thanks to everyone, I can’t let this stop me. The next few months will be more of a mental game than anything else.
The OCR community is one of my bedrocks and is truly amazing. I’ve had people who are pros send me messages encouraging me to get better and get back out there on Instagram. Lone Star Spartans, as a group, keep encouraging me to not give up. My friends keep telling me they will push my ass in a pool and make me swim once I can safely. I have a pep squad of people who are constantly trying to make me realize a key fact. I’m still in the best shape of my life and they are going to push me to my limits when they can.
The Feelings – the Ups and Downs
Something people don’t hear or see is how much suckage there is from being on the sidelines like this. Jealousy – I am jealous of getting to see people at races in a way. When I saw all my friends running at Warrior Dash, I was jealous and happy for them at the same time! Such a mix of emotions, it was a hard weekend. As I congratulated people for their podiums and races, I was behind my screen crying because I wanted to be there so bad.
I wanted to be up and moving! I wanted to run! So much has been taken away from me by this injury. I can’t cook right now. I can’t play with my son all that well. So many things I could do so easily before that now I can’t. The suckage, the feelings of failure and disappointment are too real. My son asked when I will be able to walk again. “When can we go to the park, Papa?” “When can you chase me around Papa?”
The suckage is temporary.
Despite all of these feelings of negativity, I persist. I am working on my upper body and grip. I will do what I can, and do my best at it. Whether that's watching TV with my son or trying to play with him with toys he brings close by me, or let him watch me play video games. Despite these negative feelings I have, I know they are temporary. While the injury permanently changed my body, my recovery is temporary and I will be back up and moving. I will be back at races.
I push because the community I have behind me helps me. They motivate me. Seeing all the races, despite that jealousy for not being able to be there or run, pushes me. They motivate me to not give up. Seeing videos of people like Blind Pete, Superman, encourages me to say I won’t stop. My friends, family, a lot of people are behind me to push me forward. So – I persist and you should too. I encourage anyone else in this boat to do the same. Don’t give up, find that community and motivation, and persist as well.
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