In the fall of 2004 I had a personal trainer that was also a close friend. We discussed goals and the first was obviously to lose weight and be more fit. A second secret goal was to do a marathon. I enjoyed doing the cardio portion of the weight training. I lost 20lbs and felt great about myself. I didn't seriously pursue running at the time. I was in grad school and just trying to get my research to work. I also was trying to balance school/lab time with friend/life time. And I really enjoyed partying.
So much so that a year after starting the personal training ( September 17, 2005 to be exact) I went out to celebrate a friends success on her qualifying exam. We were at a local bar and stayed till closing time, always a bad idea. The bar was located on a corner and I drove out of one exit as someone else was pulling out of the other. I made a left handed turn after waiting for the light and a car. And then my car stopped. With a bang.
The person pulling out of the other exit crossed the center line and hit me. It was a cross between head on and T-boned on the drivers side. I believe I was knocked out. I remember someone at my door trying to get me to get out. But my legs were pinned by my dash. My door also would not open. I don't know who but someone pulled down my window sash(?) and pulled me through the window. They tried to stand me up to walk but my legs wouldn't hold me. I still don't know if they carried me, dragged me or helped me walk to the curb.
I was taken to the local hospital and met there by my parents. I was found to have a broken knuckle on my left ring finger, broken rib, and a left broken knee. A tibia plataeu fracture to be exact. I also had whip lash, a deep puncture and cut on my knee, cuts on my shoulder and gash on the back of my head. I had bruising pretty much all over my body and had problems remembering words. My right calf was swollen, hard and still feels weird sometimes. The pictures really don't do the injuries justice. I remember holding a remote or a conversation was difficult.
Recovery was long and painful. I spent 2 weeks living in a lazy boy. I was in a wheel chair for two months and then used a walker for a couple of weeks. I had a fancy cane for a couple of months and got to park in handicap parking for long while. It came in handy when I went to concert with a friend. Got to park right by the door. I used crutches for a short while. They led to a lot of funny stories. My sister let me fall head first into a row of movie seats once. Rehab lasted two months and I walked with a limp for a year. I have multiple scars and my right calf still tingles.
My parents, doctors and I were doubtful as to what I would be able to do. I still have pain sometimes in my knee and finger. And my rib that was broken gets misaligned sometimes. Combine this with the fact that I was diagnosed with a form of rheumatoid arthritis in 2008 and me running at all is a miracle. I started off slow with a 10k challenge by friends and worked my way up but the marathon was always on my mind. With a marathon in my pocket I am thankful for the ability to run. My parents love and care. My sister and friends for keeping it as fun as possible. Doctors that knew the best course of action was to let my body alone. I'm also thankful, in a weird way for the accident.
Would I appreciate and savor the run as much as I do if it hadn't happened?