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Old 07-19-2012, 12:29 PM   #91
Motoman_AZ
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Subscribed....... Got off my 675 and went with a Ducati also

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Old 07-19-2012, 01:19 PM   #92
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Lion - Thanks for recommending One Week. Sounds like an awesome film.

OneBall - Good luck with your training. I'm envious.

TN3Sport - Thanks for the perspective. Much appreciated.

Motorcycling and training for me were always my time for solitude, my way of living as deeply as I can, my method of proving what I can accomplish on my own independently. I've only done 4 or 5 motorcycle rides with anyone else and in 4 years of training for Ironmans that's about the same number of rides I did with anyone else. And when race day came I wasn't there for a man vs. man battle, nor was I filled with delusions of a top finish: I was there to compete in my own private, self-absorbed, me-against-me event. I judged my success based on how little I had left in reserve at the end of an event, which meant more often than not I ended up in very bad shape.

Unfortunately the boundaries I ran up against each race were always the same, regardless of how my training season went or how I felt in the morning when the gun went off. My muscles, heart and lungs over the years gave me more power and speed with less effort and energy, but it never seemed to translate into better times. Certain limitations just seemed completely immune to conditioning: broken fingers that I never regained much function over always made for a painful swim, a fractured vertebrae in my spine caused no small amount of agony at race-pace in the aero bars; nausea, vomiting and headaches (which also happened a lot during training) surfaced around the 6 hour hour mark; and a combination of speech, coordination, and consciousness issues followed. It sounds awful, but it was the only experience I had ever known. And far from being averse to it, the pain and discomfort proved to myself that I was racing at-the-limit, giving everything I had. There was a truth and honesty in agony that I could not acquire in comfort. Ironman, in all its torture and pain, was my rapture.



Lost a good 10-12 lbs during the race:





But I'd always recover and then do it all again. Cozumel (Thanksgiving 2010) was different. The dizzying gravitational disturbances and ‘motion’ hallucinations I first experienced during the swim—and the agonizing pressure I had felt during the run--became incessant. By Christmas I could barely move or drive and ridiing my Triumph was an impossibility. New Year's Resolution was either to find a doctor who could make me better or find a nice quiet place to kill myself.

And here's a good lesson for anyone: NEVER listen to a doctor who tells you nothing is wrong, which is exactly what the doctors were telling me. It was my sports doctor (Dr. Blue!) who saved my ass.

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Old 07-19-2012, 01:45 PM   #93
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And so after the diagnosis I realized the conditions of my average race had caused intercranial swelling and disrupted the flow of spinal fluid, which can result in herniation and death. The one event that had provided my life with so much meaning was ironically the one thing that had nearly killed me. But it also aggravated my condition to the point where it was diagnosed. Ironman was proof that nothing worthwhile was ever easy and I applied what I learned in triathlon (start at the beginning, take each section in stages, keep moving and do not stop until you cross the finish line) to what was going to be the biggest challenge of my life.

I won't go into the details of all the stress and tears and really, really terrible emotions that result when you're told you might be a vegetable and/or should start saying your goodbyes. Writing your will when you're 40 is not an easy thing to swallow and when I think about those days I still feel the emotions as if it was happening now. But two things kept me going through it all. My will to fight through it with courage:




And the woman who loved me through it all. Her confidence, concern and incredibly positive outlook were invaluable and made a massive, massive difference.



Two weeks later, success:



I was fortunate enough to go under the knife of rockstar neurosurgeon Dr. McDermott at UCSF and came out of the surgery in a lot of pain, but his mad skills meant I didn't need to re-learn how to tie my shoes, I could walk in a straight line again and, most importantly wasn't a vegetable and wasn't dead!

I was on my 675 again and even did my first run exactly 30 days after surgery. Unfortunately once I came off Dexamethazone the party ended and since then it's been a major struggle. Still not sure what's causing some of the issues I still have, but each month is better than the last and if you can ride a motorcycle life can't be all bad now, can it?
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Old 07-19-2012, 01:51 PM   #94
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Great scott! amazing story, never trust a doctor, always get a 2nd 3rd 4th opinion.

That's a great sewing job, ya think he'll fix my leather jacket for me?
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Old 07-19-2012, 05:23 PM   #95
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Enjoying your report and pics.

All the best for the future.

Cheers,

JM.
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Old 07-19-2012, 07:36 PM   #96
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Did the surgeon successfully remove the brass knuckles and skewer while he was in there??
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Old 07-19-2012, 09:07 PM   #97
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Brass knuckles are still there, just in case. The heart is there, too, but that's out of my control.

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Old 07-19-2012, 09:36 PM   #98
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So late afternoon was great yesterday so I decided to do some exploring on the outskirts of Boulder.



Beautiful scenery, perfect roads and light traffic. It was almost too peaceful to drive like I should have.






But, these were new roads to me, so I wasn't out trying to set any TT Course records. But nor was I exactly driving like a grandma. Came up and around a corner and had "oh shit!" moment. The road just ends like it did at Bonneville. No warning, no sign. Just dirt and gravel. I was looking well through the turn so saw it as soon as possible and both my sphinkter and ABS did the rest.



If I hadn't had ABS perhaps this picture would have been a viral "first Panigale crashed" pic. Sorry to disappoint.

Coming back I came across a cyclist who'd just gone down:



Road bike dude (Caleb) lowsided (it happens on bicycles, too, only you're never wearing armor). The DOT worker who saw it estimated he'd been doing about 30mph downhill. Could have been a lot worse. Other than a really nice road rash on his left hip most of the damage was on the backside of his arms and legs. He was too bad off to be amused by a "can I take a picture of your bloody arms and legs" question, but I still snapped a couple shots.



He wasn't just in pain. He was definitely out of it, though. Didn't see any major damage on his helmet, but he was struggling to talk. Wasn't sure if he was choked up or had a head injury. There was no cell service, so I got his wife's number and drove 5 miles out to get a signal. I was thinking--damn--if this was a motorcycle accident the guy would bleed to death before a call could even be made. Gave her directions to the spot, then went back to confirm with them that I'd made contact and she was on her way.

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Old 07-19-2012, 10:20 PM   #99
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Today went out for a ride and saw a nice fire road...



...which made a perfect backdrop for an approaching storm:



Enjoyed the open space, went 'home', garaged the bike, walked to a restaurant, ordered grilled salmon, two Hendricks and tonics and am currently sitting here listening to Carissa's Wierd's Songs About Leaving, while sipping a glass of Infinite Monkey Theorem, contemplating about how everything in my life led to this exact point.

Also thinking of how many commas I've used in a sentence without being obnoxious. ;)
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Old 07-19-2012, 10:36 PM   #100
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Forgot about this pic I took in Utah after seeing "dangers of sleeping" signs. I guess I was too tired and the connection between memory and attention had been severed.

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Old 07-19-2012, 10:59 PM   #101
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Awesome story bro.....! Way to "Carpe Diem" it all.
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Old 07-20-2012, 03:46 AM   #102
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Quote:
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... I snapped a shot of it, but figured there's a limit to what people want to see.
No there isn't!



Great writeup!
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Old 07-20-2012, 09:57 AM   #103
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I am LOVING this RR. Way to overcome adversity man. I don't naturally have that "I want to torture myself" triathelete mentality, but then again, I'm not sure if people are born that way or not...

I would definitely like to learn to push myself more than I do in life though. Very inspiring, keep posting!
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Old 07-20-2012, 10:52 AM   #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AntiHero View Post
...which made a perfect backdrop for an approaching storm:


WHOA! the only thing that picture needs is a chick in a bear skin bikini and a bottle of Schlitz! awesome!
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Old 07-20-2012, 11:05 AM   #105
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WHOA! the only thing that picture needs is a chick in a bear skin bikini and a bottle of Schlitz! awesome!
And the absence of those ugly wires. Man, seems every time I have the perfect shot there is a powerline in the freakin' way. Wish they'd bury them suckers.
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