When multiple concussions finally took me off my racing bike forever in 2010, I was lost. The competitor in me was left with a decision that was gut wrenching, but inevitable: quitting the sport that I loved. That was hard to reconcile. I was diagnosed shortly thereafter with Post Concussion Syndrome. My symptoms were absolutely horrendous and I faltered when they were at their worst, wondering if I would have the strength to see this particular battle through without taking my life. I had known significant adversity before, but the misery and intensity of these prolonged post concussion symptoms were unlike anything I’d ever experienced, including symptoms from previous concussions. I found myself physically unable to continue to coach my team, and I retired completely from the sport in October of 2012, closing my race-oriented business and ceasing race team operations.
With the help of my wife, kids, great doctors who were well versed in concussion, and some well-placed advice from survivors of TBI, I was able to lift myself out of the darkness and rediscover the competitor within. I resolved to help myself as well as others.
My racing background ultimately proved invaluable. The same work ethic and lessons that I learned on the BMX track and then preached to my riders were easily translated into working towards recovery. I am not out of the woods yet, but I am making progress.
Today, I’m dedicated to furthering awareness of the dangers of concussions, particularly those in youth and high school sports. I’ve done public speaking on the subject to Coaches, Physicians, Athletic Trainers, School Nurses, and Concerned Parents. I’ve been known to troll the concussion hash tag on Twitter and dispense accepted NASP information on concussion healing protocol to athletes who are tweeting about their concussions and don’t know any better. I am resolute that I will increase awareness within my own small sphere of influence, hoping that it catches on and multiplies outward. I will do everything in my power to try to help protect my kids and your kids from the dangers of concussions and their subsequent mismanagement. There is a lot at stake. It’s incredibly important to me that the mistakes that I made with my concussions, which led me to this place, are not made by anyone else.
Finally, I hear from a number of people who are fighting their own battles with post-concussion syndrome. It’s important to understand that with time and the right doctors, you will get through this. The misery is sometimes unparalleled, but you can and will get through it. Be strong.
Thank you for your interest in The Knockout Project,