The Day My Life Changed

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It’s crazy to think that 10 years ago my life changed for ever.  No, this wasn’t the day I realized I was tired of being fat, and tired of being the brunt of my friend’s jokes, that was about three years before to the day in question. 10 years ago, July 31st, was the day I got hit by a car while riding my motorcycle, and the day that changed my life forever.

It was July 31, 2008, and I had just recently finished rebuilding my 1981 Honda CB 750K. I got the engine rebuilt, replaced all of the old chrome, side panels, rebuilt the gas tank and got a new custom paint job on it. In fact, it was only my second ride riding my bike after waiting all summer to get it back on the road.

It was a beautiful day, about 30 Celsius, and I was on my way home from work early to go golfing.  I was 3km from my apartment when I was going through an intersection when a young woman, coming from the opposite direction, turned left in front of me and cut me off. She hadn’t seen me going through the intersection and I ended up T-boning the front fender of the car.

I was immediately launched off of my bike and sent flying over the car. The driver didn’t stop driving and therefore she hit me out of mid-air with the car and sent me through the air in the opposite direction.  I hit the car with the left side of my body, mainly on my left hip, and I changed directions in mid-air and was sent flying to the right, through the intersection. I ended up going about 25 feet through the air, landing on my wrists and right hip on the pavement (after trying to land on my feet and that not working) and came within 6 inches of hitting a telephone pole. I didn’t break any bones and I didn’t have any severe road rash, it all ended up being severe trauma to the soft tissue in my body.  I was taken to hospital by ambulance and released about 4 hours later, after being treated.

HRM Police Report

GO #08-112001 – Motorcycle/Motor Vehicle Accident – At 12:44 p.m. police responded to the intersection of Oxford and Coburg Road, Halifax, in relation to a vehicle/motorcycle accident. The 24-year-old female driver of a car turned left from Oxford Street onto Coburg Street colliding with a motorcyclist who was traveling on Oxford Street. The 27-year-old male driver of the motorcycle was transported to the hospital, where he was treated and released. The driver of the vehicle was charged with ‘Failing to Yield to Traffic When Making a Lefthand Turn.’

As I was being wheeled out of the hospital, the first officer that was on scene had hung around to see how I was doing, which I found out was mainly because he couldn’t believe I was alive.  He told me that when he arrived on the scene, and first saw my bike, he immediately assumed I was dead and couldn’t believe it when he came over and saw me kicking and bitching.  He said he’d seen many accidents in his career, but with the shape my motorcycle was in, he didn’t understand how I was able to walk (hobble) away from the crash.

When I got in my accident, I was in the best shape of my life (at the time).  I had just finished losing my 100lbs, I weighed 175lbs and was at about 9% body fat.  I was running every morning, training in the gym 6 days a week, playing softball, beach volleyball, indoor volleyball, hockey and I felt amazing.  Life was good.

After the accident, and for about eight months, I wasn’t able to do much of anything and this affected my whole life and my lifestyle.  I really got down in the dumps and the whole thing started to affect me in a bad way.  I started feeling sorry for myself and this lead to me eating like shit and I ended up putting on about 25lbs.  During this time I wasn’t a happy person and I was in a very bad place mentally while trying to deal with everything.  (Word to the wise: If you’re ever in a traumatic experience, don’t ever think about the “what ifs”, they will drive you nuts!)

At the eight month mark, and against doctors orders, I finally said “fuck it” and started going to the gym again.  The pain was intense, but I didn’t care.  I didn’t actually want to be there, but I did it anyway.  I was sore, out of shape and self-conscience, but I sucked it up and made myself go and workout.  I needed to get myself back to my positive lifestyle that I once knew and I needed to do it fast because I was on a downward spiral to a bad place that I had been to before and didn’t want to return to.

The workouts weren’t what they use to be, and there was pain there that wasn’t there before, but I kept at it.  I was seeing a physiotherapist three times a week, a chiropractor four times a week and a massage therapist three times a week, but I still managed to get to the gym three times a week on top of that (and work a full time job). I had to change my workout regime completely and learn how to do modified workouts due to severe hip, back and wrist pain, but I did it and in the long run it was for the best.

It’s been 10 years now and it took me a long time, a lot of work, a lot of patience and a lot of support to get back to a place where I feel happy about myself, but I got there.  10 years later I still do massage, and chiro for my back, hips and wrists because I deal with a pain that will never go away, but you know what… I’m alive, I’m happy, I worked hard to get back to a life that makes me happy, I have a great wife and two amazing kids, and I have a great career that allows me to treat people with chronic pain and teach them how to move their bodies. I’m very fortunate.

22 COMMENTS

  1. This gave me chills — for you, of course, and the horrible recovery.

    But (and I hope you won’t be offended by this) also for the other driver.

    I was in a t-bone crash about 2 years ago…in which I was at fault. I was on the way home from a 5:30am spin class, and it was rainy. I was only 1 mile away from home when, out of nowhere, I found myself spinning spinning spinning and then stopping.

    I’d been slammed into at high speed while making a left turn at a stoplight.

    It *was* my fault, and I was ticketed. I’d had a green light, but failed to yield to an oncoming car. There were some mitigating circumstances — she did not have her headlights on despite the dark and rain; she was ticketed for speeding and also for failure to have car insurance.

    We were both OK, although shaken up. My car was a near loss, and I spent 2 months riding my bike to work while waiting for the vehicle to be repaired. I learned some BIG lessons that day.

    So yes, I cringe for both of you, because I was not drunk, distracted or otherwise in the wrong with my crash, but I easily could have killed myself or the other driver due to a momentary lapse.

    Thanks for sharing this…

    • That sucks that you went through that! Accidents are no fun!

      That being said, I have to say I don’t feel too bad for her and for a few reasons.

      #1 She straight up said “I didn’t see him”. I think the stat is “69% of motorcycle accidents are caused by other vehicles not seeing them.” That’s a HUGE number! People need to be aware of motorcycles on the road.
      #2 There were no factors due to weather that affected this.
      #3 She was a university student who was home for the summer driving daddy’s $50,000 Mercedes with 3 other girls in her car with loud music playing.

    • I am glad you posted this comment.
      A a girl I knew in college was in an accident when she was 17 years old, where technically she was at fault in the left turn scenario, and the driver of other other motor died.
      However, it was found that the other driver had been drunk, and witnesses claim my friend had enough room/ time to turn, but the drunk driver sped through anyway.

      Every year the family of the drunk driver sends harassing letters to the girl calling her a murder. And consequently leaving her extremely depressed.

      Obviously its an upsetting situation for all involved. It is important to remember that it is so easy for something to go wrong while driving, and to always remain attentive behind the wheel.

      Furthermore, forgive ‘wrongs’

  2. Wow, man…I remember reading that you had a pretty bad motorcycle accident…but holy sh*t!

    Glad it wasn’t worse (and you know, that you’re not dead), and that you’re back in a happy place.

  3. Damn dude. That doesn’t sound fun at all. And by fun I mean it sounds like it really really sucked.

    I’m glad you had a hot nurse and that you’re alive to tell your tale.

    Stuff like that can really open up our eyes in a hurry.

  4. Wow. All I could think about while reading that was “HOLYFKNCRAP.” Glad you’re okay from that.

  5. Wow, that is so scary. I am so glad you are okay! My uncle just had the same thing happen to him. People need to be a lot more aware of motorcycles.

    Whitney

    • Thanks! And yes, they do need to be more aware of motorcycles. I think the stat is something like 69% of all motorcycle accidents involve another vehicle and the driver saying “I didn’t see them”

  6. My wife must never read this if I want to get a motorcycle some day.

    That is some messed up stuff. You ARE lucky to be alive. You must still be here for a reason. Thanks for sharing your story. It makes me understand where you are coming from.

    Also…maybe you forgot something like “and once I got healed I got right back on a motorcycle”? If not…seriously don’t tell my wife this story.

    • I’ve been back on a bike once. I won’t lie… It was the most amazing and most terrifying thing I’ve ever done, but I NEEDED to get back on the bike. I don’t currently have a bike now and I’m not sure when I will again… I do long to be on a motorcycle every single beautiful sunny day that Mother Nature gives us, but nfortunately, at the same time, I’m not selfish enough to put my family through that. You see, having a motorcycle was a big deal in my family to begin with. There was a severe accident when I was younger involving my aunt’s husband where he totaled my dad’s bike and he hit his head and was in a coma for three months and he is now far from the man he use to be. Borderline mentally retarded, actually. So when I got my bike in the first place, it was a VERY large deal in my family.

      For now, I’ll sit and dream of the day I get back on a bike and occasionally go sit on one at the dealership (Seriously, I do this: http://twitpic.com/1hsr8n).

      I’ll NEVER tell anyone not to get a bike. I will however tell you to be careful because most motorcycle accidents involve the words “I didn’t see them…”. Ride safe, my friend!

  7. It just shows that persistence pays. Thanks for telling your story.
    I’m a survivor of a heart failure 10 years ago, and it’s only because of my determination that I’m still on the green side of the sod.

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