Iron Disaster

Posted: July 4, 2017 in Injuries and Owies
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In four days’ time I was scheduled to be competing in my second full Iron distance triathlon in Hudson Valley, New York but just three short days ago this happened:

Yeah.

I was on my last training ride, a “short and easy” 100k spin with a buddy when we attempted to cross the metal bridge across the Welland Canal in Port Colborne on our way back home.  I’ve crossed this bridge several times before and I know to slow and be careful except on that this particular pass, it was slippery having rained the night before.

I was already half way across when I felt my back wheel begin to slide out from underneath me and then, suddenly, it wasn’t there at all.

Boom…crash…

And there was blood…lots of blood.

I immediately felt my Ironman dreams slipping away from me as my bike continued to slide across the metal grating.

Except that my body did not slide.

No, it hit – hard – and stuck.

It was like landing on an iron, life size cheese grater.

Fortunately, thanks to the quick reactions from my riding partner and the kindness of a few passing motorists* an ambulance was called and I was quickly on my way to the Emergency Room at the Welland Hospital to get stitches and x-rays, which showed two bone fractures to my left hand that likely absorbed the brunt of the initial impact.

While the prognosis was not good but I have remained hopeful over the past few days that everything would work out and I would somehow still be able to pull this Ironman thing off and compete.  After all, despite all the bruising and required stitches, I still seemed to have all the mobility and flexibility in the necessary parts required for swimming, biking and running.

Maybe this wasn’t over yet.

I emailed the race director to see if racing with a fiberglass cast was allowable and it was.

Okay, good.

There was still hope.

That’s something  at least, right?

But today’s visit to the plastic surgeon confirmed my worst fears in that the trauma to my left hand was severe enough that to even attempt a triathlon, much less an Iron distance one would be complete folly.

My 2017 Ironman dream is officially over.

To say I’m disappointed at this point is the understatement of the century.  After last years’ cancellation and then again this year, it seemed like the Ironman gods were not necessarily smiling on me favorably.  Now it just seems that for whatever reason they have decided to specifically target me for their wrath and it totally sucks.

They say that “everything happens for a reason”  or that “when a door closes, another window opens”  but truthfully, I’m finding it very difficult at the moment to find the positive in this whole situation.

Part of me is still thinking that maybe I’m being a bit hasty in my decision and I should quit being such a sissy, suck it up and get it done.  I mean, I’ve already come this far, right?

I’ve sacrificed.

I’ve endured.

I actually left my job in part to accomplish this goal.  Might as well just get it done and deal with the rest afterwards.

Except that what I can’t justify risking are the other commitments that I’ve also made this summer, namely riding and swimming with Hailey.  If I were to go and do something significantly more detrimental to my already uncertain condition and jeopardize those opportunities, I’d never be able to live with myself so we made the decision together as a family to pull the plug on this years’ Ironman adventure.

I’m sure my perspective on this whole thing will change in the coming days, weeks and months (hopefully towards the positive) and, maybe, I’ll even attempt this whole Iron Madness once again in the future but, for the time being – my quest to be a 2 x Ironman is on permanent hold.

*And no thanks whatsoever to the lady who slowed down, leaned out the window to look at my arm before making a face as if she had just looked directly at the Ark of the Covenant in ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ and loudly proclaim “Oh my GAWD!  That’s bone!”, before simply driving off again.  Not cool, lady.

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Comments
  1. I am so sorry for you. It must be so hard to give up on something you have looked forward to for so long. On the other hand (no pun intended) would you be happy participating, knowing you couldn’t perform anywhere near 100% due to pain and fear of further damage? Wishing you a quick and easy recovery and a good summer with K&H.

  2. Jeff C says:

    You lived to tell the tale buddy! Imagine if ye gods had decided that said car driven by said lady shalt pass by just as you went sprawling instead of moments later? ’nuff said ….enjoy your war wounds my friend!! and don’t forget, third time’s the charm 😉

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