Everyone seems to have their own story or reason they run. A few people I know got into it as a result, or because of weightless, some people because they thought it would be a less expensive sport to get into (the joke is on them). But everyone seems to have their own reason as to why they started, and enjoy running.
I have always been an athlete, in middle school I even ran cross country, I was not the best but I did enjoy it. High school I played soccer and swam. With soccer i did a lot of running and sprint work as part of training. When I hit college, that kind of stopped, I was not playing any organized sport the first semester I was on campus and started to put on a few pounds. I tried out for the soccer team, and if I would have done any running over the summer I would have made it. One of the last things we did for the open tryout, I think there were 3 of us left at this point, was a 2 mile run. I saw i ran it in about 18 minutes and knew I had no chance. By spring semester I missed the aspect of being on a team, so I joined the rowing team. This did keep me in shape for the rest of college, even though I was not eating the healthiest, the amount I worked out kept me from adding on the pounds.
However after graduation I did not really do anything for about 8 months, the most I could say I ran was many a 2-3 mile jog in a week. I knew I wanted to give Rugby a try, but I also knew I would not step on that field without health insurance, so that had to wait until I found a job with benefits. Once I found a job with benefits, I joined the Pittsburgh Rugby Club. This got me back into somewhat of a workout schedule, 2 practices and at least one match each week during the season. But I still was not really working out all that much on my own. That all changed with an incident 4 years ago today.
The Pittsburgh Rugby Club was playing the Detroit Rugby Club. If you remember spring 4 years ago you will remember that it was a really rainy spring. It was in the second half of the B side game. Detroit had the ball, My teammate was going to make a tackle and I was running in support. Instead of making a tackle, The Detroit player was hit then swung around…his hip into my shin. This occurred in a very muddy area of the field so at this point my foot was basically buried in the mud. When I was hit, my leg had no where to go so the Detroit player basically went through my shin. I knew my leg was broken before I hit the ground, the sidelines said it sounded like a shotgun blast. Both bones, well 4 because they were broken in half, were sticking through the side of my leg. We are lucky enough to have an orthopedic surgeon, or one of his fellows, at all of our home matches. He was able to somewhat clean off the area and splint it up the best he could under the situation. While we waited for the ambulance, and we did wait for about 45 minutes, Dr. Sam was on the phone with the surgeon on call at Mercy letting him know what was heading on. It took about 45 minutes for the ambulance to get to the field, and I’m not exaggerating much on that, Dr. Sam later told me that he was about the call in a life flight as he thought if I waited much longer I may bleed out of the field. One thing that I am happy about with this is that I never saw the actual injury, other than x-rays, and I do not believe any pictures exist of it.
When I saw the surgeon in the ER, the first thing he told me was a worst case, as he had not yet seen the x-rays, and this was the possibility of an external splint and a few weeks in the hospital. Lucky for me he cam back a short time late and said that I was lucky and it was a clean break, I should be out of the hospital in a few days. The Surgery went fine, and I now have a to this day I still have a rod through my Tibia and a few interesting scars on my leg. I spent the better part of a week in the hospital because they were worried about infection due to the muddy conditions which I broke my leg in. But those 5 days in the hospital gave me some serious time to think, even if it was because of the drug induced state. I was laying in a hospital bed with a broken leg, at the time I weighed 275-280lbs., and looking back I can honestly say I was not exactly happy with the shape I was in. Something had to change, I was thinking to myself that if I were in better shape, I probably would not be sitting in the hospital bed.
(to be continued tomorrow)