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Graceful I Ain't

By Scott Simpson

February 22, 2010

I bet on average that I trip/slip and fall, or crash, at least once a month. I?m not kidding -- I am that klutzy.

I fell again this week while running. Actually I was almost at a standstill when I went down and somehow landed very hard on my right calf. I have been very wisely avoiding my usual ravine route because its ice covered and have been sticking to the dreaded asphalt streets. However, a full bladder necessitated a visit to the wooded ravine and I very slowly and gingerly made my way a few metres over the ice path toward a tree when my feet went out from under me.

As I usually do after I fall -- but this time after writing my name in the snow in yellow -- I continued with my run and man-o-man did my calf hurt. I convinced myself that the best therapy for it was running so I continued to trot along, up hill, down dale.

I got home and sat down for a few minutes to eat and then stood up to walk and was greeted with immense pain -- it felt like my calf muscle was being torn away from my body. It was only for seconds but seemed like minutes -- ever notice how time slows down in direct proportion to pain? I could barely walk and struggled up the stairs one at a time like the very young and very old. Getting up in the night to go pee was laboriously painful as stiffness would set in. I know have a large and temporary black and purple tattoo bruise forming on my calf but at least I can run with minimal discomfort.

Sometimes I think I am cursed for participating in sport when traveling: I broke 3 ribs in a mountain bike crash in Australia. I was sick and passed out and woke up in the back of an ambulance at Ironman Wisconsin 2004, and the following year I spent 2 hours laying on the side of the course trying to stay conscious. At the 2006 World Triathlon Champs in Lausanne, Switzerland I crashed at the end of the bike and after the race the medics wanted to take me for x-rays (I was like, ?Dude, I just ran 10k, how could my hip be broken? Just treat my road rash and let me go?). Then at the 2008 World Champs in Vancouver I crashed with another guy going downhill at about 45km/h and skidded on my left side to a stop and more road rash. The other guy was knocked unconscious and I got another ambulance ride. It was more then 2 weeks before the wounds stopped oozing and I could get in the pool but couldn?t run for 6 weeks. My left hip still has edema fluid and sticks out more then my right. This past summer in Copenhagen I failed to unclip my bike shoes at a stoplight and fell over, but that hardly seems to count -- no blood, broken bones, unconsciousness.

Who wants to come race and travel with me this summer? Paramedics preferred.

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HIV+ Triathlete: Til I Drop

Scott Simpson

Scott Simpson

Scott Simpson is an HIV+ triathlete, student and inspirational speaker avoiding real work so he can find more time to train and learn. A former party boy, Scott has gone from the fictional national drinking team to the real Canadian national triathlon team and is current provincial long course champion in his age group. Scott is also founder of, and inspiration for, the Race for Dignity, which is both an annual spinathon in Toronto and annual school campus events coordinated by Dignitas Youth chapters. Cumulatively, they have raised almost a million dollars for the medical humanitarian NGO Dignitas International, contributing to over 11,000 people living with HIV/AIDS gaining access to ARVs in Malawi. Scott is currently training for Ironman Louisville 2010.

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