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  1. Neetu's Avatar
    Feel better soon!
  2. Plasticweld's Avatar
    That is a great story Clark, thanks so much for taking the time to share it.

    I have Always believed that adversity creates character. I am sure John would probably agree. While wouldn't wish is painful ordeal on others, I bet he is thankful for experience.
  3. clark's Avatar
    Bob -- your amazing story reminded me of another one that people might find heartening. I was in the RCAF in the early 60s. During my service I met an RAF munitions specialist seconded to the RCAF for a few months to set up some specialized training for our boys. To my discredit, I can't remember his name (I'll call him 'John'). He had been a tail gunner on a Lancaster bomber doing bombing runs at 18,000' over Germany in 1943. An ME-109 equipped with 20mm cannons shot off the entire tail section of the Lancaster. John was unhurt at that point, but his parachute was in the main part of the plane (the chest-pack parachutes got in the gunner's way when operating the machine gun). John tumbled out of the tail section and fell 18,000' into the biggest haystack in all of Germany.

    He broke virtually every big bone in his body, damaged numerous internal organs, lost his hearing for a month and was blind for a long period of time (he couldn't remember how long).
    German officials gave him a certificate confirming the fall, authenticated by his empty parachute harness. German doctors were intrigued by his case. He was in hospital over a year, and doctors performed so many operations, John lost count. They invented surgical procedures, developed other therapies never done before--John became a living laboratory for inventive surgery! EVERY hair on his body fell out, never to return.

    The months rolled by. He was treated well. Now the real story begins. About a month after he started ambulatory exercises, he tried to escape (stole an ambulance and made a run for Allied lines). Didn't make it. Returned to hospital. He tried to escape four more times! They finally chained one of his ankles to his bed. The nursing staff made up a humorous mock certificate for him, poking fun at his tenacity and dedication to duty. John and one of the nurses fell in love. Two years after the end of the war, they were re-united and got married.

    When John was recovered sufficiently to longer need hospital care, he was transferred to a 'soft' POW camp. Germany was a bombed-out shambles, security was slack, and one night John and three other men escaped. He was returned to his astonished unit a few months before Germany surrendered. His entire Lancaster crew had been registered as 'killed in action'. I saw John's German certificates, which were framed above his bunk.

    John refused to give up. As far as he was concerned, he had a job to do and was determined to get back to it, despite his injuries. John was 19 when his plane was shot out of the sky. I hope a few Millennials are reading this. . . .


    Quote Originally Posted by PiP
    Well done, Bob! We must never give in and give up. Setting ourselves goals is important... and what is more important is to set S.M.A.R.T objectives as to how we will achieve said goals.

    I am heartened to read this and it has made me even more determined to succeed.
  4. Plasticweld's Avatar
    Kevin, you would be a good one to ask. I have been looking at the clipless system for pedals. They often refer to mountain bike style shoes with the toe clips. Is this something you use. Do you practice bike style trials riding to get over logs and rocks for where you ride. I read a ton of stuff and so far my head is spinning with conflicting opinions.

    I personally love to pick goals where failure is likely. Better to aim really high and miss, than just half way up the mountain and miss. Epic failure is much more acceptable in my mind. I was always surprised at how hard I could push myself past the point of exhaustion and still keep going. For the couple of Ultras I did not finish, I had mentally given up. One because of heavy rain and deep mud, the other was because I convinced myself I could not make the cut off time. I did not want to run another 8 hours only to miss the cut off by a few minutes and DQ. I kick myself for not finishing both of those races and failing verses quitting.

    Do you still train for any boxing?
  5. Kevin's Avatar
    Motivation...
    one way for me is picking rides. There's nothing worse than being way out there and having to 'crawl' to the finish miserable, because I wasn't in shape for it. Some months-ago I did a group ride on the SART. I knew it was coming. Kind of like all my boxing matches I didn't want to get my ass kicked so I got myself ready.

    It's great when you ask your body to do something, practice the thing, and when it comes time for a test, your body says "Okay". Love it.
  6. Plasticweld's Avatar
    Kevin, I have been in many close calls, I have escaped death narrowly many times over the years. This was the least exciting, no drama, no cool story to tell about what I was doing. One minute I was up, the next I was down...no story there.

    I bought what they call a cyclocross bike. I it is supposed to be for riding multiple kinds of terrain. I watched a few vids on it and figured if I had to go one way or the other it would be more towards the trail kind of riding. The 70 miles we did was on the Mohawk Valley trail system. it runs along the Erie Canal, crushed stone or pavement, not what you would call off road really. It connects in spots in town so there is always a section it seems that involves dealing with traffic and city streets up there.

    Russ and I did the down hill biking at a ski resort. I rented a mountain bike for that, one with real front and back suspension and disc brakes. I have a mountain bike but it was nothing like that one. That was a blast, I had some pretty serious get offs, tested my helmet multiple times and tore so skin off. That was fun.


    I still have to figure out what I am going to do for riding too stay excited about it. I have to stay in shape and I always love some type of goal.
  7. Gumby's Avatar
    Wow! Hearing the whole story is very inspiring! Sounds like you 've passed that strong will and ethics on to your children, too. Wonderful! So glad you are still here with us.
  8. Darren White's Avatar
    Dear Bob, I am just so glad we still have the chance to exchange emails
  9. Kevin's Avatar
    "Dear Bob,
    I'm glad you were not crushed by some random falling tree."

    "Dear Bob,
    Im glad you were not crushed to death by a random falling tree..."

    Our bodies are amazing. Wow! Another close call. So it's been the machine that almost ate you, and now the tree that almost squarshed you. Dang!
    I thought before, maybe it was a motorcycle wreck. You had mentioned you were laid up but I didn't know how seriously... Like how many injuries at once.

    70 miles on the bike?

    Good. You're body still works. Excellent.

    I know a lot of guys that used to run, have switched to cycling because of ankle, or other joint issues. The pounding is hard. I guess that is one issue- the lack of stressing the bones which promotes density- even with college-age cyclists ( and swimmers too) so that's a drawback (something to be got around,and which can be) but better that than not being able to exercise.

    I ride off-road ( no cars; fewer people, lots of nature) but road biking is a lot of fun. Especially with others. It's cool when you all can get to where you put it up into the big ring and just keep cranking. Our bodies are amazing.

    Keeo at it. You are an inspiration.
  10. Stygian's Avatar
    That was very inspirational. I hope you have a speedy recovery.
  11. MzSnowleopard's Avatar
    Awesome, this is an incredible story. Thanks for sharing inspiring story.
  12. PiP's Avatar
    Well done, Bob! We must never give in and give up. Setting ourselves goals is important... and what is more important is to set S.M.A.R.T objectives as to how we will achieve said goals.

    I am heartened to read this and it has made me even more determined to succeed.
  13. Plasticweld's Avatar
    Thanks guys for all of the encouragement and support. I was able to walk around out side today for the first time, and I seem to be healing rather quickly.

    The time I spent in the ICU was unique, I shared a room after the fourth day with two different room mates at different times, one who was going to be moved to a long term care in which most likely he would never ever leave and another guy who had toxic blood poisoning and was given a 2 percent chance of living.

    I had my wife or daughter with me most of the time, neither of the other guys had any visitors. I had a flood of people who came to see me, each offered tons of support and relief from boredom. It was easy for me to have light at the end of the tunnel.
  14. Phil Istine's Avatar
    Glad to hear you're on the mend, Bob.
  15. Firemajic's Avatar
    I am so thankful to read this post, this is a fabulous day! Hugs and continued prayers for you and your family...
  16. H.Brown's Avatar
    Get well soon Bob, thinking of you and yours
  17. Kevin's Avatar
    Intensive care?! Heal up ( I'm sure you will). It's good you have good people, and are good people- who attracts good people...
  18. Darren White's Avatar
    Always here for you, and you know it Bob, I have a huge virtual hand
  19. Gumby's Avatar
    Yes, so much truth in those words. You are much beloved by those who know you.

    Matt 7:15-20. You are known by your fruits, bob. So glad to see you recovering!
  20. PiP's Avatar
    You are a special person, Bob. We are all so relieved you are okay.
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