She came outside to watch me, like most mothers would do. At that age it was always fun to pedal really fast and then slam on the brake to skid the back tire, making long skid marks. As I left the driveway with the bike, right from the get-go I started pedaling as hard as I could, determined to do the longest skid mark I had ever done! So I just pedaled, pedaled, pedaled and prepared myself to slam on the rear hand brake.
As I went to slam on the brake, for whatever reason, the brake line became detached from the bike and got caught up in the chain. This caused the bike to stop immediately, throwing me face first into a manhole cover. In turn, I ended up shattering my teeth, got knocked unconscious and eventually learned that my neck and back would be permanently damaged.
My mom, unfortunately, witnessed the entire event go down. She was the first one to get to me, and being in such a state of panic, she rolled me over, which she now of course regrets doing, and glancing at my face, she told me later, "You were unrecognizable." In a panic, she gently picked me up, cradled me in her arms, and drove me to the hospital.
Once we arrived at the hospital, I remember coming to, and being in pain - so much pain, that according to my mom I was screaming out, "Am I gonna die?" After a brief wait, they brought me in to be seen by doctors, who instantly put me on pain meds and sedatives to assess the damage that had been done. Being only eight years old, and in the state I was in, there is a lot I don't recall due to my body responding to the intense pain and medications. The last memory I have is being in the emergency room trying to look around, even though my eyes were swollen.
In a recent conversation with my mom, I asked her to relate what she remembered about the experience. My mom's words are as follows: "When you first hit the ground, you weren't unconscious too long. By the time I had rolled you over and picked you up, you had opened your eyes. I drove you to the hospital and they got you in quite quickly because of your age and your appearance. You were never the kind of kid that let anything stop you. You always just, you know, kept going. It was only after a few days that you were up and around moving and ready to do whatever. I had to physically hold you down.just couldn't keep you down. Because there was so much damage to your face you had to have surgery on your nose. As well you went for years with your teeth bonded." [Bonded teeth are teeth that have undergone a procedure where a plastic material is applied to the teeth. This plastic material hardens and bonds to teeth (or in my case, what little was left of them) in order to improve their appearance.]
"You finally got veneers in high school. From the time you were very young you had headaches, but you got them more frequently after the accident, probably because of the back and neck problems. As far as it stopping you in your tracks, that only happened when you were on your church mission in Portugal. It never knocked you down or kept you down except for when you were on your mission. Up to that point you had never been stopped. You were probably 10 or 11 years old when you first started going to the chiropractor to try to help with the pain."
Throughout my life, I have lived in a lot of pain. Some would argue that I have lived my fair share already. I had always been athletic, from the time I was very young. After the accident, my thought process would be consumed with thoughts of pain. When would the debilitating headaches occur? How long would I be able to enjoy myself before I had to retreat to a quiet dark place until the headache subsided?
It didn't matter whether I was dribbling a ball or running bases, I knew I would suffer the consequences of pain afterward. It used to really bother me - the fact that the pain was an inevitable result. It didn't matter whether we won or lost or whether I had just finished a workout, the glory was always, always short-lived. The minute the game was over, we would be walking out to our car and instead of being able to enjoy the camaraderie of my teammates or the celebration party because of a win, there was always one thought. The same thought. Yes, the thought that would inevitably come to my mind: "How soon is the pain going to hit?"
There were times when I would risk it, just wanting to be a normal kid. Wanting to go out and celebrate with my teammates, but the thought of inevitable pain was far from fleeting - even when enjoying a win.
As my athletic abilities progressed, training became an important part of my life, as did supplements. I would definitely see an increase in performance after taking supplements, but because of the intensity of the training, I would still have pain afterward. Regardless of the exercises I did, I would end up having to suffer through headaches or neck and back pain post-workout.
There wasn't really anything that helped make the pain subside. Medication had never done anything for me, pain-wise. The pain was always there, always constant, and of varying intensities. Oftentimes I would do a workout knowing that the next few hours following the workout there was the potential of getting a headache that would leave me incapacitated. However, oddly enough, it never deterred me from wanting to train or workout. I always wished that there was something that would take away that pain so I wouldn't have to worry about it.
Throughout my teenage years, if I was in pain I just didn't hang out. At school, during lunch, I remember thinking, "I have basketball practice coming up in a bit. I hope that a headache doesn't start," or "I hope I'm not in pain going into it." Unfortunately, there wasn't a day that went by at basketball practice that I wouldn't have to deal with pain or headaches, during or after. In the back of my mind, this was a weakness, so I never let the coaches know that I was in pain. I just put up with it during practice. Any time I would go to anything, any social event, any outing, the thought that was always in the back of my head was, "Am I going to get a headache before or after, or at all?" And then once I got the headache, the thoughts would then shift to "I hope this is minor," or "I just need to deal with the pain as long as I can," or "What excuse can I come up with so I can leave this situation?"
Fast forward all these years later to January 2010 when I had my first Progenex Recovery shake. I was so used to the pain coming on post-workout, that I just expected it. Only this time it was different. I waited for the pain to come on, and it just never did. I thought that maybe this was simply coincidental.
It wasn't until I discovered Progenex Recovery that I could actually workout and there wouldn't be any pain, and I noticed that I could recover faster. Progenex has not only helped me to be able to recover, but it has allowed me to workout more often and even to workout harder without the worry of being in pain afterward.
Progenex has not only changed my life, but it has revolutionized my training methodology and capabilities. It has not "cured" me, nor would I suggest it being a "cure-all." What it has provided for me is hope. Hope that there are brighter days ahead of me, days that involve less pain and suffering. My life is fitness, and before Progenex, fitness came with a price. A painful price. There is no better feeling than knowing that I can workout and not have to pay that price anymore. Thank goodness it tastes good. However, even if it tasted bad, I'd drink it anyway, simply because I know what Progenex will provide for me.
World Record Holder