“Sometimes you have to wear the halo”

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The Boston Marathon took place yesterday, five years after the terrible terrorist bombing. It’s inspiring to see the city and the runners come back with so much enthusiasm, even in the relentless freezing rain).

For one particular runner, Tim Don, the race meant even more. Tim is the world record holder for the Ironman triathlon, who had broken his neck just 6 months ago while riding his bike, warming up for the IRONMAN World Championship in October 2017.

The bike accident caused a hangman’s fracture in his neck (the same break that happens when a person is hung by a rope). For many it would have been the end of a career, but not for Tim. His doctor’s gave him 2 choices:

  • Have surgery and fuse his neck, but drop out of further Ironman competition.
  • Or put a halo on his neck, so that he had the best chance of full recovery and continued competition.

The halo created excruciating pain literally screwed into his skull and yet he chose that path, so he could keep doing what he loves. He didn’t want to just get back in the race; he wanted to continue to win.

He got quite restless while sitting at home in recovery, so he decided to enter the Boston Marathon as a short term goal, and start training (up to 20 hours a week) while wearing this halo! This took immense courage. It caused further pain, head swelling, bleeding, and screaming. Tim was literally experiencing blood sweat and tears as he convalesced and trained.

But it was worth it.

Yesterday he ran in the Boston Marathon and actually beat his 2 hour and 50 minute goal by 18 seconds! He didn’t take the easy way out, he chose the path less travelled. It took vision, determination, and ability to push himself into unchartered waters.

We can all learn a lesson from Tim’s amazing journey.

Remember Tim as you are dealing with the chaos of spring and the crazy weather that half the country is dealing with. You are not alone. Stay true to your vision.

Remember Tim as you are confronted with recurring people issues that require you to make tough decisions. Don’t take the easy way out.

Remember Tim as you gather the courage to lead your company forward into uncharted territory. Be determined in your vision.

And above all, enjoy the journey!

All competitors get knocked down; it’s the great ones that get back up, over and over gain.

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