Austin Naylor lived and breathed motocross. He was a severe competitor, and although he had suffered numerous accidents, they’d all healed properly sufficient. Then every little thing modified on August 10, 2013, when his bike mis-shifted, he hit a triple bounce within the incorrect gear, and he got here up brief.
“I went to the track just like any other day,” he says. “I was doing my routine, not really focusing because I’d been riding so much and knew the course and jumps. Then I came around a hill and faced the biggest jump on the track. I was in the wrong gear, and my mind didn’t even catch up until it was too late and I was in the air. I landed on my feet and knew instantly that they were broken.”
From that time on, Austin’s life modified ceaselessly. To transfer ahead, he needed to take a severe take a look at his well being and his bodily coaching, which had been completely centered on his sport. This is Austin’s story.
Were you at all times into bikes?
I grew up in a motocross household. It’s humorous, as a result of we lived 2 seconds from the seashore however had been at all times driving to the desert. My dad owned his personal filth bike when he was youthful and put me on my first bike once I was about 5. It’s in my blood, for certain. When I used to be youthful, I would get pulled out of college on Fridays to exit to the desert and camp out with family and friends. It was among the best recollections of my life.
It’s a little bit scary at first, however when you study to embrace the adrenaline rush, you wish to get higher at it. I assume it is like what Arnold says concerning the pump—there’s nothing else just like the loopy euphoria it brings. You simply wish to do it repeatedly. It’s undoubtedly addicting.
Lightness means pace in a sport like this, I think about. Did you want critically cardiovascular health to compete at motocross?
Yes, however you additionally need to be sturdy to trip filth bikes. Ultimately, it is a cardio sport, since you’re attempting to go for 20-30 minutes gripping and holding on as exhausting as you’ll be able to. Lots of people assume it is very easy—you twist the throttle and the bike simply goes—however it’s a must to understand that you simply’re holding on to this 250-pound machine that is attempting to tear out from beneath you. It takes each muscle in your physique to manage it.
Still, I used to be largely centered on cardio once I was youthful. I by no means actually lifted weights. I might at all times go run, however after my run I would go decide up a cigarette and a few beer, watch TV, and name it a day.
So although you had been a severe athlete, you were not the epitome of match.
Yeah. I bought into consuming in highschool, and after I went to mechanic college I began smoking cigarettes—one thing I used to be completely towards initially. When you are round a bunch of men, you are taking a puff right here and there, and earlier than you already know it, it is a behavior. I used to be simply a pack-a-day smoker and would purchase 4 or 5 packs on weekends.
It was uncontrolled, however I by no means actually thought I used to be uncontrolled. I nonetheless held a job, went to high school, and paid my payments, however I wasn’t residing a wholesome life-style—although I assumed I used to be completely match and in form.
What was your life like on the time of the accident?
Right earlier than the accident, I used to be residing life pretty much as good as I ever had. I would began lifting weights, so I used to be at my peak bodily conditioning, and I used to be driving probably the most I would ever ridden. My racing was getting higher and higher, and I used to be going to attempt to and make it within the pro-amateur ranks. I would had a number of accidents earlier than—I’ve damaged my collarbone, shoulder blade, a number of ribs, fingers, toes, and suffered a bruised lung—however my accidents all healed superb till August 10, 2013. That’s when my life got here crashing down.
I used to be doing my routine on the monitor, identical to some other day. When I got here round a hill, I simply occurred to face the most important bounce on the monitor. I used to be within the mistaken gear and went flying about 80 toes and doubtless about 15 toes excessive. I landed on my toes and knew they had been each damaged. I crawled off the monitor, and had my brother and buddy decide me up and put me into their truck. I did not need them to spend cash on an ambulance. We drove about 25 minutes, and I immediately went in for surgical procedure.
I used to be on the verge of dropping my proper foot, however fortunately I had a household pal who bought me therapies in a hyperbaric chamber—2 hours a day every single day for a month and a 1/2 in an enormous, clear tube. It stimulates your blood to pump further oxygen into the tube so that you get extra white blood cells to stimulate blood movement, and it saved my foot.
However, as my proper foot grew to become higher, my left foot, which by no means totally healed across the staples, bought a bacterial an infection. I needed to have a picc line put in—that is principally a man-made vein that goes to your coronary heart to pump antibiotics straight into your blood. I had a house nurse come each different day for a number of months as properly.
How had been you dealing with all of those struggles personally?
I used to be fairly depressing within the hospital, and I undoubtedly went from my highest level to my lowest. For the primary few months, there was no excellent news—it was months of listening to “Sorry, this isn’t healing” and “We’re sorry, this is infected.” Hearing that on a regular basis destroyed me! For 5 months, I sat in mattress with my toes up and type of withered away. I misplaced hope.
Recovery was numerous work—extra than simply slapping a forged on it, which is what I used to be used to earlier than. I nonetheless cannot do numerous what I used to. I beloved skateboarding—that was one in all my largest passions, too—however I can not try this anymore. I can not wakeboard or rock climb. I haven’t got very a lot ankle mobility in my proper ankle and really feel ache nearly 24/7, however my left is best and might deal with a little bit extra.
The 1 good factor is that I can nonetheless throw on boots and go motocross. In my eyes, that is actually all that issues. I attempt to keep optimistic and comfortable. I’ve each toes. I can stroll and nonetheless do my favourite pastime. I could not have requested for greater than that.
Was restoration easy crusing from there?
The accident was in August, and I first stood on my toes in December. I bought crutches initially of January. The timing was dangerous, although, and due to an insurance coverage deductible fee, I ended going to bodily remedy 2 weeks in.
But at first, the ache was additionally simply an excessive amount of. I developed dangerous consuming habits, and I went proper again to smoking cigarettes and consuming beer. At my heaviest, I would at all times been round 135, however after sitting at house after the accident, I weighed 173 kilos. That might not be loads for some individuals, nevertheless it was for me!
What was your wake-up name?
I noticed an image of me with my stomach hanging over my pants button. I assumed, “That’s not me.” I knew one thing needed to change. That lit a hearth inside me that stated, “You’re going to do what you want to do, and nothing is going to stop you.”
You see people who find themselves paralyzed doing loopy issues. I’ve seen guys in wheelchairs doing backflips. For me to have each my toes and be capable to stroll and spend time crying like a little bit child as a result of I can not do what I need—what a joke. I wanted to vary my mindset and deal with making a greater life with what I had, which was greater than sufficient.
How did you modify the way in which you eat?
These days, my meal plan is basically the identical day in and time out. The solely adjustments are that on Tuesdays, Meal 6 is a California burrito, and on Fridays, I’ve a breakfast sandwich for Meal 2 and In-N-Out for Meal 6.
What dietary supplements helped you alongside the way in which?
How did you get again into coaching?
It was exhausting to even wish to take into consideration coaching—not to mention coaching legs! I might go into the fitness center and simply get pissed as a result of I could not press or squat. I used to be anxious individuals had been going to make enjoyable of me for utilizing such mild weight, however I ended caring.
I’ve at all times been a cheerful man, however as soon as I bought into health, I discovered myself in an much more optimistic group. I’ve nonetheless had individuals come as much as me and say, “Yo, bro, you need to hit legs.” I simply snigger and say that I do know, as a result of there aren’t any excuses.
Honestly, if I did not get into lifting, I do not assume my toes could be practically pretty much as good as they’re right this moment. Going to the fitness center robotically compelled me to hold heavy dumbbells round, which helped my toes and legs get stronger.
My left foot is about 70 p.c of what it was and my proper is at about 40 p.c, however I am at all times shifting ahead.
What exercise plan helped get you on monitor?
I repeat this 4-day break up, taking Sundays off as a relaxation day.
Day 1: Chest, biceps and cardio
1 set, 15 reps
1 set, 10 reps
1 set, 6-8 reps
1 set, 4-6 reps
4 units, 10, 8, 6, 4 reps
Day 2: Back, triceps and abs
Day 3: Shoulders, biceps and cardio
3 units, 8-10 reps
Superset with EZ-Bar Upright Row
4 units, 8-12 reps
Use EZ-Bar. Superset with Side Lateral Raise
4 units, 12-15 reps
Superset with Dumbbell Bicep Curl
4 units, 8-12 reps
Superset with Barbell Shrug
4 units, 12-15 reps
Day 4: Legs, triceps and abs
What recommendation do you will have for others struggling to seek out hope?
I am not going to say that the fitness center goes to repair every little thing in your life, however I’ve by no means seen somebody go within the fitness center and go away sad. I’ve by no means seen somebody enhance their well being and health and never really feel higher.
Whether your issues are fitness- and weight-related or not, it would not matter. Just getting out and specializing in a more healthy life-style impacts every little thing in your life positively.