Just thought I might share some of the questions and answers that were not aired on the tv. =)
1) Was the decision to get back to running after your accident a tough one and did you get any support?
I don’t think it was a tough decision. As a matter of fact, it was a natural decision for me. On the day I did my first walk and was told that the session had ended, I told my physio that I wanted to go for another walk because these are my first steps back into running. Running is my motivation to go through all the gruelling rehabilitations.
The impression I got was that all my friends, team mates,coach and family members wasn’t against me attempting to run again. However, they were not totally supportive at the beginning probably because they didn’t want to give me false hope. I guess the most important thing was that I did not give up on myself. I kept faith. So when I became better and all, I could sense the support was no longer a “show” but it became genuine. The first people who showed that to me were my girlfriend, my uwa tri team mates and my coach.
2) Was it difficult to make a comeback despite the fact that you had competed in the Kobe Marathon?
It sure is a difficult process. It was even tougher knowing that I was actually training well for Gold coast 2014. At times I feel blessed to be able to run again, at times I feel so disappointed having lost all I once had. I had to acknowledge the fact that currently I am not able to run a sub 3 hour marathon and I had to be at peace with the situation. I try to use the Kobe experience as a goal for me to work towards. I often visualise myself running on the race course, trying to beat my personal best and to feel the adrenaline of racing again. In fact, I have told my Japanese friends that one day, hopefully soon, I will be back racing in Kobe. So at this point of time, I would not consider this a comeback yet. The best is yet to be.
3) Is the training and competition part of your therapy?
Well, some of the medical staff told me how “unrealistic” my goals were and that I should be contented with being able to walk. So training and competition were not part of the hospital’s therapy session. But i refused to agree. So my answer would be “Yes!” training and competition are part of my therapy.
Because I am an exercise physiologist, my physio and myself have great mutual respect for each other. She allowed me to plan my cycling workout during rehab and I take every one of these sessions seriously. I work as hard during my rehab as I would be while competing. I would often cycle till I wet the bike, doing extra sessions on the bike. I even blacked out a couple of times from pushing my body to its limit. I always competed against the “yesterday me”, making sure I gave my all every single session. I hold on 3 phrases everyday when I do my rehab:
1)”Always challenge yourself” – Grant Landers
2) “My race begins during my training” – Zac Leow
3) Nil Sine Labore (nothing without labour) – Victoria School
4) Besides proving your doctors wrong, do you think you will inspire others like yourself to take on such a challenge?
I guess I have not considered myself as an inspiration. I think I represent that little bit of resentment in every patient, the bit that wants to tell the doctor that “hey. I can do better than what you think”. Every patient has their own challenges and in fact everyday is a different challenge. I remembered the days when standing up to use the toilet felt like the biggest challenge of my life! I guess when hardwork meets opportunity, great things do happen. If you don’t try, you will never know if today is your lucky day. So i hope others will give it a shot at overcoming their challenges. Nothing to lose, but everything to gain.
In the video, it says:
28-year old Zac Leow is another inspirational runner who hopes to beat the odds. The avid runner was partially paralysed from a spinal injury due to a cycling accident in 2013.
Doctors said he will never walk again, but Zac is not accepting that as he tries to complete the half-marathon.
He said: “It is more of a process. To me, the whole idea is to get back to where I was before I got into my accident and in fact. I want to better myself.”
I wish to make some amendments to the report. Doctors told me i will not be able to run, let alone race. They did say that I was able to walk. This is the least I could do to deliver some justification to the medical team back in Perth.
I would also take this opportunity to thank my family, girlfriend, unihall mates, UWA staff and friends, UWATRI team mates and coach, singapore friends, especially my VS bros and my band mates, Asics Japan and Hivelocity for their continued support through this tough period. and you know how i will end this post don’t you?
my determination has no equal.
Nil Sine Labore.