July 12th and November 19th, 2014 could have easily and almost did change my entire world.
In July I suffered a terrible cycling accident that shattered my collar bone, collapsed a lung and broke a rib. This came just 3 weeks shy of competing in my 2nd Glengarry Highland Games. I was in the shape of my life, strong, lean, and ready to improve on last year’s results. In a split second it was all taken away and I am still rehabing my shoulder 6 months later with minimal strength training. Still only cleared to lift 2lbs with my right arm. Many say I was lucky to not sustain and head or back trauma and they are right, but I am still frustrated. It still robbed me of a lifestyle that I had adopted 7 years ago when I discovered the joys and benefits of weightlifting. I was known as a big strong guy. Now I’m broken, but thanks to the supports of my wife, family and friends, not beaten. In the early days of this injury I was very depressed and my wife, Celine, showed me over and over how much she really cares about me and nursed me through the dark days. Friends and family would see the happy side but she was there when they left and my sunny disposition was gone and I was angry at what was taken from me. I can never repay her for all she did, from taking care my my wound to the hugs, kisses and words that kept me from staying in that dark place.
Just as things were getting better I lost my father to cancer on November 19th. My dad was the person I looked up to and admired the most in my entire life. He just got it, he got people, he lived each day, he was funny and he was a warrior. His demeanor while battling Chronic Lyphositic Leukemia(CLL) despite all the setbacks was nothing short of amazing. I was with him everyday the last 3 weeks of his life and have missed him everyday since he left us. The dark place my wife saved me from was back and this time seemingly closer. Could I be dealt a crappier hand? Again, demons were battled while trying to be strong for my family. Many days were a struggle but the love and support from Celine, my family and my close friends got me through.
While I do feel like the “real” Dan Allaire is back, I lost my way for too long. Things I worked so hard for I let slip. I gained weight, got sick for the first time in over 5 years, didn’t care much about how I looked or ate, avoided the gym and never thought twice about it. It wasn’t just me who was suffering, it affected those around me.
Now as I look back there are many things I would change, but looking back is the wrong way. I need to look forward and see what I can do to really come back. One of the things was to write about this, put it out there, so I can leave it behind and look forward. Try and remind my wife how much I love her everyday and what she means to me. Hug my kids and love them with all I have. Take care of my mother now that dad is gone and be a good friend. Getting back to the things that defined who I am like hitting the gym, eating better, helping my community and spreading as much positive mojo as possible. I need to be the same man my father was so my kids have a good example.
Those two events that almost changed me are behind me now as I look forward and make the right choices to excel at living life to the fullest since I only get one shot at it.
I hope this can help someone else near the darkness come out and see the love and support that surrounds them to stay positive and move forward full steam.
My father is with me each day as I tackle each challenge of making 2015 and beyond matter.