December 20, 2018

What Brought Me to The Mat: Damian – A Guest Blog

I have always considered myself to be an active person; it is the one characteristic that I feel describes me best. I love playing golf, going to the beach, playing sports, chasing around my kids …

At least when they were younger – they are now 21 and 20.

That changed dramatically on July 5, 2017.

Both kids were home for the summer, and my wife and I packed up the car for some fun in Florida. We went out to enjoy some of the natural swimming holes that dot the state. This particular swimming hole had a rope swing.

I was up for a little adrenaline rush.

I have used a rope swing before – I was fairly familiar with how this should go. A nice swing, then a back flip and land in the cool water, right?

Not this time. I made a critical mistake.

As I grabbed the rope and leapt from the platform, I did not notice the slack in the rope. A few seconds in, the rope tightened and was ripped from my hands.

I was now in a free fall, well short of where I needed to be to land in the water.

The good news was that I entered the water directly vertical and landed on both heels simultaneously, which I learned later was the exact and highly improbable way I needed to land to ensure my survival and non-paralysis. I like to say, “I stuck the landing and got ‘10s’ from the judges.”

The bad news is that my life changed forever as my heel bones shattered upon impact.

My family and some good Samaritans got me out of the water, and we made the long drive to a hospital. From there, I went through multiple surgeries over the course of 10 days.


I gradually recovered function as I healed. Post-op splints gave way to casts, which gave way to boots, which gave way to sneakers and a cane, and then finally walking unassisted.

I was determined to get back to the life I led before my injury.

A huge part of my recovery involves Titanium Yoga, thanks to my wife.

In my first class, I felt the healing of my body, mind and soul. Quickly, I lost my worry about looking stupid and being unable to do it, thanks to the professional instructors. I allowed the healing of yoga to envelop me. It invigorated me, despite the severity of my injury.

I owe so much to my wife Karen for introducing me to Titanium Yoga and Ashley. I have embraced the holistic healing of yoga and the journey to recovery, and I love practicing!

Thank you to Karen, Ashley, Alan and all the great teachers at Titanium Yoga.

You mean so much to me.

I’ll conclude with a quote from a favorite artist, Frank Orrall, lead singer of the band Poi Dog Pondering:

“You should wear with pride the scars on your skin; for they’re a map of the adventures and places you’ve been.”