Not sure if there has ever been a thread of this nature, but I would like to know what has been everyone's worst injury they have had to overcome.
I was recently reading an article about Ed Corney, who suffered a heart attack and stroke, as a result of shoulder surgery. For a time, he was in a wheelchair, but he eventually ditched it and was able to return to the gym. Not an easy feat, especially considering his age. Of course, I'm sure he takes it easy now.
I've also noticed people on this site, who have had to overcome difficult hurdles, in order to attain their current physiques and lifestyles. People who are phsycially challenged, yet have refused to throw in the towel. These are people who are a deep well of inspiration and bravery.
For myself, my most difficult injury took place when I was 18 years old. I started lifting when I was 16, and was very active in high school athletics. Unfortunately, there was a time when I ran with a wild crowd; and as a result, I suffered a gunshot wound to my heart. A .22 calibur bullet was lodged in my left ventricle; and I required emergency open-heart surgery to remove it. In addition, my spleen had to be removed, and my diaphragm requried repairing, via surgery. I was a complete mess and was on life support the first day out of surgery. Fortunely, there was no serious damage, and I was given the OK to resume physical activity within six weeks.
It was the most difficult injury of my life. I had dropped 20 pounds in a week, and my muscles had wasted away. On top of that, recovering from surgery was quite painful, considering my sternum was cracked open and I had over 150 staples from the bottom of my stomach to the top of my chest. It looked as though I had a giant zipper along the center of my torso.
Of course, being that young, there was less fear in me than there would be today. Immediately after six weeks, I began to jog very lightly, but could only run half a mile (I could previously run 3.8 miles in a little over 20 minutes). I went from doing over 100 push-ups to a measely 20. No doubt, it was quite easy to allow depression to set in, as I didn't quite know if I would ever be the same.
Eventually, as I took my time and paced myself, I was back to running a couple of miles (though never with the same speed as I could before the injury); and I was up to about 60-80 push ups within a few months. I had also started working at UPS, 6 months after surgery, unloading trucks during the hottest times of the day. But once again, I was very young, and my body was able to bounce back very quickly. Within a year of surgery, I was back to lifting weights again. And within 2 years of surgery, I was benching well over 300 pounds.
Since my surgery, I sometimes get arrythmias and palpations; but I know when to take it easy, by not pushing myself. Of course, if they were life-threatening (which is not the case), I probably wouldn't be working out at all. Probably just participate in moderate activity.
I haven't had quite the same wind that I did before surgery, but I was still able to capture an amatuer boxing title in 1996, when I was 24 years old. I went from having excellent cardiovascular conditioning, before surgery, to just good conditioning, after surgery. Mostly, my chest locks up, due to the way that it was put back together, and I'm sometimes not able to get a full breath when I exert myself. Other than that, I'm okay. :-)
Since then, I've had an emergency appendectomy and a blown pectoral. But those injuries were nothing, compared to what I went through when I was 18. Of course, now that I'm older, I'm not sure that I have it in me to come back from an injury of that magnitude today.
Please feel free to share your worst injuries, how they challenged you, and how you have overcame it.
Thread: Comeback: Your Worst Injury