A lot of people have asked why I run, and find it hard to accept my response: because I can. It demonstrates that a good answer requires context such that it can be understood. I was approached by our internal comms team for me to write my story, which later appeared for a whopping 3 whole days on the front page of the global intranet. My claim to fame was dramatic, responses unexpected and generally the feedback was incredibly supportive.
Here it is, in all its glory.
From a broken back to Ironman – my journey
In November 2009 I was involved in a rock climbing accident while training to become a Search and
Rescue volunteer. I fell some 5 metres, sustaining spinal injuries to my coccyx and some of my lumbar
vertebrae. I spent a week in the Auckland City Hospital emergency department before diagnosis could
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My wife has a specific winter coat in mind for me… In fact, she’s imagined me for years gallivanting about, in all of my awesomeness, wind blowing through my hair (though I would guess when she’s imagining this, she’s not seeing today’s receding hairline but the full mane of yesteryear), in a wool peacoat. Well, this is to be the year that my wife has chosen for me to receive said peacoat at Christmas. After which, she’ll be able to see me exit the car after pulling into the driveway after a long winter’s day at the office and quote Pam from Archer (“Sploosh”!). Ah, I can hardly wait indeed!
Unfortunately, as you may well know, I am a cyclist. Not any-old run of the mill cyclist who rides down to the ice cream shop and back at a measly twelve miles an hour… No, not I! I am one of those hair on fire guys who all of the kids on their mountain and BMX bikes try to chase as I fly by… It’s almost as if I were firing rocket-propelled rainbows out my ass. Nor do I opine as to how difficult it is to hit 25 miles a week on my bike. No, I’m the guy who does that in an hour, on a Tuesday afternoon. I’m pushing 200 miles a week on top of my full-time job.
This means, as one might guess, that I’m not a fat fellow. Not even a little bit, though I’ve finally learned how to keep a little meat on my bones after that second year. Ah, it is good to be me…
Except when I go shopping for street clothes. Skin-tight Lycra? No problem. Street clothes cut for someone who doesn’t lead his life from the couch? F@ckin’ forget about it. Joy of joys, I went shopping with my wife an kids last night so we could get me set up with the proper coat and it was maybe five or six coats in before I was able to find one that was properly fitted around the waist. For the love of God and all that is holy, do you have any idea how hard it is to find clothing for a 6′ tall man with a 32″ waist? Good God in Heaven!
So, long story short, we finally found one that doesn’t make me look like a skin-flint – made by Nautica… Rejoice! For we have found the almighty jacket! I can hear the “splooshes” already! I look at the price tag… $250. Two Hundred-Fifty Dollars! The others, made for the rotund class, were between $100 and $150. Well, thankfully I looked up at the rack and they were on sale, half-off.
All’s well that ends well I suppose, but keep this in mind, if you’re thinking everything is sunshine and parades once you lose weight, you’re sorely mistaken.
On the other hand, everyone should be lucky enough to have my problems.