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Wellness

What Happened To My Body When I Struck My Head On A Motorcycle In California

I’ve never been afraid of anything. I’m afraid of motorcyclists… I mean I’m afraid of everything. Because my dad was an avid motorcyclist, my brother and I spend much of our time on the road with him and his motorcycle. I’m terrified. My doctor says it might be a sign I have Alzheimers. It might not. That’s why I need an MRI.

I’m not the only one. One in nine motorcycle riders, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, will suffer a head injury that could result in a brain injury, brain swelling, bleeding or a stroke. Head trauma is the leading cause of death among bicyclists. Of the 100,000 deaths on our roads, most involve motorcyclists. In fact, one American dies every nine minutes because of a motorcycle accident. The odds are against us. My father, who raced motorcycles in the 50s and early 60s, used to take me and my brother on motorcycles to see old motor clubs go down together. We would race each other at 250 miles an hour and the thrill of the challenge was so great that I never tired of it. After he retired from his engineering career, he went racing full time. He had a heart attack and never raced again.

He thought the same thing I’ve heard the doctors say: that the damage caused by a head crash could last a lifetime and that my chances for survival are very grim. I know that the odds are against me but I’m an athlete.

There’s a famous quote by the late, great, Chuck Norris:

“…if you believe you can beat the odds, do it.”

Now, that’s true, of course. It’s something I say to myself, often. But it also holds true in the world of competitive sports.

It’s a message I want to impart to all of you who want to be world class or world-class at something. Be smart. Be fearless. Don’t quit. Don’t give up. Do what you love and do it so well it’ll become your life. It’ll be there when you need it.

My heart goes out to all of my fellow cyclists out there. I want all of you to know that no matter what happens to you, you are in my prayers. I have faith that you will be at least on the good side of this life and that you’ll have a big smile on your face no matter who your opponents are.

The other day I was thinking about the most important part of this equation: The people you have in your life who love you unconditionally. My brother, who has just finished his first motorcycle race, says that’s the most important piece. It’s that simple. For me, it’s the most important part. But it isn’t. And I know that’s a hard thing for us to realize but it is true.

I love you. Thank you for being there for me. Thank you for understanding. Thank you for being my teammates. It means the world to me how much I trust you. I’m proud to call you my brothers.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I have faith that we can accomplish anything we put our minds to.

Until next week, Happy Holidays.

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