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The Joys & Pleasures of Cycling on Trails



 
 
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  #1  
Old March 13th 14, 05:21 AM posted to rec.bicycles.soc
EdwardDolan
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Posts: 538
Default The Joys & Pleasures of Cycling on Trails

Here is a report that Blackblade, who prides himself on being a risk taker, should surely appreciate. He, like all idiots, never thinks it could happen to him, and, even more idiotically, would probably accept an accident like this for himself if it came to that. Would you? Best to read this and find out for yourself just how stupid you are.

http://www.thestarpress.com/article/...nclick_check=1

IU strength coach Morris overcomes accident to resume career

Mar. 5, 2014 6:51 PM |

Tom Morris is an IU weightlifting coach who was severely injured in a mountain bike accident a couple of years ago. / Submitted photo

Written by
Zach Osterman

Age: 34
Position: He works with Indiana’s men’s soccer and women’s basketball teams as the strength and conditioning coach.
Resides: Bloomington.
Personal: Grew up in Jeansville, Pa., a two-hill mining town two hours from Philadelphia. Oldest of three brothers. Father died when he was 16. “It was almost like he was a weird combination of a best friend/father figure/older brother all rolled into one,” younger brother Cody said. Marr
Family: Christa Morris grew up a mile away, in Tresckow. They started dating when he was in ninth grade and she was in seventh grade. “She wouldn’t leave me alone,” Tom said, grinning. They were married in 2006 and live with their boxer Tyson.
College: Tom and Christa went to Penn State, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and a master’s degree in education and health education, then moved to Philadelphia, where Tom worked for a year as a strength coach at La Salle. In 2005, he started at IU.

BLOOMINGTON * The Memorial Stadium weight room is laid out like a maze, but Tom Morris has memorized all of its turns, corners and angles.

Indiana’s 25,000-square-foot performance center, which opened in 2009, is one of the largest weight rooms in college athletics. For Morris, it’s a laboratory where he prepares 18-to-23-year-olds for the rigors of Big Ten men’s soccer and women’s basketball.

When Curt Miller, Indiana’s women’s basketball coach, arrived in Bloomington in the spring of 2012, he quickly pegged Morris, the veteran strength and conditioning coach, as critical to turning his program around.

But less than two months after Miller was hired, Morris was taken away from the team for an entire season after a catastrophic mountain biking accident.

“What he’s meant coming back is just unbelievable, and nothing’s changed,” Miller said. “In fact, he’s probably more inspiring than ever.”

That inspiration, and Morris’ hard work with Indiana’s women’s team, has helped cue a season of unexpected success. Winners of just six games two seasons ago and carrying a roster that includes seven freshmen, the Hoosiers are 18-11 entering the Big Ten tournament today at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Miller’s turnaround has come faster than anyone expected.

“How can you have a bad day working for Tom Morris?” Miller said. “It would be very selfish.”

Terrible accident

Ants crawled across Morris’ body, but he couldn’t feel them.

Thursday, May 17, 2012, was a picture-perfect spring day. An avid triathlete and adventure racer, Morris had a break between morning and afternoon lifts. So he grabbed his mountain bike and headed to Wapahani Mountain Bike Park in southwest Bloomington.

Hours later, he was discovered on the trail, paralyzed from the chest down, the result of a crash he still can’t explain.

“I hit something,” he said. “I don’t know really what that was.”

Lying alone on the ground, Morris couldn’t reach his phone. His hands wouldn’t work.

More than three hours after he crashed, two people found Morris. An ambulance took him to Bloomington Hospital. Later, a helicopter spirited him to IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.

Morris had dislocated his C6 and C7 vertebrae, pinching his spinal cord between them. At Methodist, he underwent emergency surgery.

The terrible truth of spinal cord injuries is that there is none. Nerves trace back from arms and legs and fingers and toes. After a spinal injury, there is no way of knowing which ones are dead and which ones are just waiting to be restarted.

“Nobody really writes the script on how you’re supposed to do it,” Morris said. “You could go through it two, three, four years of your life and never see any results, or you could be there for 3-4 months and see a lot.”

Morris worked tirelessly at the Frazier Rehab Institute in Louisville. He regained use of his arms, his chest and torso. But not his legs.

Morris spent a year shuttling between Bloomington and Louisville. Christa, his wife, had to balance a busy schedule working in academic support for the IU football team with taking time off to commute to and from Louisville.

Eventually, Morris was confronted with a life-changing decision in a year full of them: Was it time to move back to Bloomington?

“I think he felt as if, ‘If I leave this rehab setting, I’m almost saying, OK, I may not walk again,’ ” said Eric Norman, a college friend. “I could tell he was really struggling with that.”

Was he ready for work again? Would his presence create awkwardness? Was leaving Louisville tacitly giving up on ever walking again? Morris struggled with these questions.

Then he made up his mind. Last May, Morris moved back to Bloomington and went back to work at IU, coaching athletes as he had for years, just from a wheelchair.

“Emotionally, it was all over the place,” Morris said of his decision. “I just figured, ‘You know what, I’m ready to start living again.’ ”


Back to work
Not long after he returned to work, Morris arrived for an early-morning lift with the women’s basketball team. He got inside and situated, only to realize that he’d left something in his car.

A common misconception about paralysis is that parts of the body that don’t work are just limp. Quite the opposite *Morris’ legs spasm unexpectedly and uncontrollably.

That morning, one of his legs unexpectedly jumped, and as he went to pull it back onto his chair, he clipped a curb, tumbling over.

As he assessed how he was going to go about getting back into his chair * it happens from time to time –* Morris saw the IU baseball team walking toward him.

Here was Morris’ greatest fear made manifest.

He never wanted to be seen as needing special help or attention. But would co-workers, much less the athletes he worked with, see it that way?

“He doesn’t have any weaknesses,” said Taylor Agler, a freshman guard on the women’s basketball team. “I don’t think there are limitations.”

That got put to the test right away. Two of those baseball players came over to him and asked if he needed help.

“I don’t usually take much help, but I was like, ‘This is gonna be a pain to get in, and I need to get back downstairs,’ ” Morris said. “I said, ‘Just pick me up, throw me back in the chair.’ ”

Morris expected to hear from Tracy Smith, IU’s baseball coach, just to make sure he was okay, but no one ever mentioned the incident.

“Those guys didn’t say a word,” Morris said. “That silence, that just, nothing * it was awesome. It was just incredible to have.”


A new routine
Morris still rehabs at Indiana. His strength and conditioning interns have helped devise ways to use the equipment in IU’s weight room to replicate much of what he was doing in Louisville.

Bloomington rallied around Tom and Christa through a variety of fundraisers. A GoFundMe page raised $26,360.

Football coach Kevin Wilson made it clear that any time off Christa needed, she could have. Men’s basketball coach Tom Crean visited the Morrises one night when they were still in Indianapolis, watching a Pacers-Heat game on TV with them in their room.

“It’s overwhelming,” Christa Morris said. “To say thank you, we can’t say it enough for people to understand how much it meant.”

Morris never had to sacrifice life for the sake of living. He’s been able to return to his wife and his dog, Tyson, and his job * all the things that became even more cherished when they were suddenly taken away by a bump in the trail Morris never saw.

“He truly is my Superman, for what he has endured,” said Debbie Morris, his mother. “There should be more Tommys in the world.”

Well, life goes on but there is no gainsaying the fact the riding a bike on a hiking trail is extremely dangerous. You dismiss a report like this at your peril.

Mountain bikers are barbarians and have no right to be on any trail used by hikers – unless they want to get off their god damn ****ing bikes and walk like everyone else. When they crash and injure themselves, I rejoice! If and when they manage to kill themselves, I say good riddance to bad rubbish! Death to mountain bikers!

“Tread softly! All the earth is holy ground.”
~ Christina Rossetti (Psalm 24),
from "A Later Life: A Double Sonnet of Sonnets"

Mountain bikes have wheels. Wheels are for roads.

Trails are for walking. What’s the matter? Can’t walk?

Ed Dolan the Great
aka
Saint Edward the Great


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  #2  
Old March 13th 14, 11:23 AM posted to rec.bicycles.soc
Blackblade[_2_]
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Posts: 214
Default The Joys & Pleasures of Cycling on Trails

Here is a report that Blackblade, who prides himself on being
a risk taker, should surely appreciate. He, like all idiots, never thinks it
could happen to him, and, even more idiotically, would probably accept an
accident like this for himself if it came to that. Would you? Best to read this
and find out for yourself just how stupid you are.


You are, again, talking nonsense. The odds are that this WON'T happen to you BUT it MAY ! If it does then you have to deal with the consequences ... as this guy does.

You could fall over in the bath, the street or down your stairs ... there are thousands of deaths from those causes, worldwide, every year. The odds against it are very low though. So, Ed, are you going to forswear those activities too ? You never know, it could be you that it happens to.
  #3  
Old March 13th 14, 10:28 PM posted to rec.bicycles.soc
EdwardDolan
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 538
Default The Joys & Pleasures of Cycling on Trails

"Blackblade" wrote in message ...

Edward Dolan wrote:

Here is a report that Blackblade, who prides himself on being
a risk taker, should surely appreciate. He, like all idiots, never thinks it
could happen to him, and, even more idiotically, would probably accept an
accident like this for himself if it came to that. Would you? Best to read this
and find out for yourself just how stupid you are.


You are, again, talking nonsense. The odds are that this WON'T happen to you BUT it MAY ! If it does then you have to deal with the consequences ... as this guy does.


You could fall over in the bath, the street or down your stairs ... there are thousands of deaths from those causes, worldwide, every year. The odds against it are very low though. So, Ed, are you going to forswear those activities too ? You never know, it could be you that it happens to.


One who takes risks for mere thrills deserves any injury or even death if it comes to that. What the rest of us risk in the normal course of going about our lives is not comparable. Apples and oranges - as usual with you.

Mountain bikers are barbarians and have no right to be on any trail used by hikers – unless they want to get off their god damn ****ing bikes and walk like everyone else. When they crash and injure themselves, I rejoice! If and when they manage to kill themselves, I say good riddance to bad rubbish! Death to mountain bikers!

“Tread softly! All the earth is holy ground.”
~ Christina Rossetti (Psalm 24),
from "A Later Life: A Double Sonnet of Sonnets"

Mountain bikes have wheels. Wheels are for roads.

Trails are for walking. What’s the matter? Can’t walk?

Ed Dolan the Great
aka
Saint Edward the Great


 




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