|"They'd never tried anything this radical, but|
they figured, why not? I was dead anyway."
"When they found me, my brains were on North Broadway, my guts were on North Broadway, and my leg was mostly torn off." Did it hurt? Nah. He was in a coma for the next four weeks. He says he died. They gave his mom 600 reasons why he should be dead. When he came to, after a month of morphine, they told him he should expect some mental retardation. Mom asked, "How would you know the difference?" Every survivor needs a wise-ass who loves him. Chester has a good one.
They had to tuck his brains back in to his head and stuff his guts back into his belly. They rebuilt his leg from scratch, drilling steel inside the soft tissue that remained. He told me he works out every day. The docs said his physical fitness was the only thing that saved him. "When I run, I look like Joe Cocker, drunk!" he jokes, but he by-God runs. He finished this morning's race just 5 minutes after I did. Just about the same time I ran the race a year ago. And I had both my own legs.
On his Facebook page, he says he harbors no negativity toward the man who almost killed him 600 ways. "All it does is eat you up and does nothing positive at all, as fear or worry, or jealousy; they are all negative emotions with no discernible value except to take you down, and not forward." Chester is a man who is moving forward.
I don't know this guy. But I really want to know him better. We "friended" today on Facebook. He is a genuine hero to me and an inspiration. It's going to be really hard to give up on my next long run when I remember a man who is training for a 10K after having himself spilled out all over a city street.
Running brings out some amazing things in people. And sometimes, amazing people come out to run. If you're lucky, you get to meet one.
I was lucky today.