Dear Kid with the Pit Bull and Skateboard,

Hi!  Remember me?  I’m the biker who was travelling in the opposite direction on the Southington bike path when you thought it would be a good idea to have your pit bull pull you on your skateboard.  Remember how your pit bull lunged at me as soon as he saw me?  Remember how you lost control of the skateboard and couldn’t control your dog?  Remember how I swerved to avoid hitting you and your pit bull?  Remember how because of my swerve I got t-boned by the bike behind me, had my wheels taken out from under me and smacked straight down on the asphalt?  Remember how you walked away without a scratch? 

I thought you might be curious to know what happened after you walked away.  Well, after making it home, I couldn’t move my left shoulder so we went to hospital to have x-rays.  There were no breaks, but there was a dislocation and lots of soft tissue damage.  A follow up appointment with the orthopedic doctor revealed that I partially tore ligaments in my left shoulder and that the really large bruise that had formed on my upper left leg was actually a partially torn iliotibial band (in case you didn’t know, that’s a big tendon that runs from your hip to your knee).  Now I’m looking at twelve weeks of physical therapy and possible surgery on my shoulder pending the results of an MRI. 

Here’s a picture of the what my leg looks like.  I wish you could see how swollen it is as well.

When you decided to have your pit bull pull you on your skateboard, I bet you didn’t know that I was signed up to race in Ironman New York City on August 11, 2012.  I bet you also didn’t know that I’ve been training for this race since last November and that I’ve spent hundreds of hours training and thousands of dollars in race registration fees.  Guess what?  Because of my injuries I won’t be racing on August 11th.  Heck, I don’t even know if I will be able to race Ironman Florida on November 3, 2012.  The tricky thing about a tear to iliotibial band is that if I don’t let it heal properly, I may not be able to run ever again, so I just need to wait and see.

I bet you’re also curious about how I feel about this.  Well, first of all, there’s the pain.  My upper left leg pretty much throbs all the time and if I happen to roll onto my left side while sleeping, I wake up in screaming pain.  My shoulder feels fine most of the time, but every so often I’ll move my arm in way that causes sharp pain.  In addition, I have really limited movement to the left and to the back of body.  Mentally, I’m having a really tough time.  I spent a lot of time and effort preparing for Ironman New York and I’m still struggling to deal with the fact that I won’t be racing.  I’m also having a really hard time dealing with the fact that I don’t know how long it will take my iliotibial band to heal.  Essentially the healing process is a known unknown (I know I need to go through the process but I have no idea how long it will take).  I hope to have more answers once I start physical therapy and get the results of my MRI but for the moment I’m in the dark. 

I hope you’re doing well (actually I’m sure you’re doing well because despite your stupidity you didn’t suffer so much as a scratch).  Thanks for all your concern and I’ll be sure to keep you updated on how I am doing.

Lots of Love,


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Kelly Burns Gallagher

mccarter english employment litigator / oiselle team runner / coeur sports triathlete / sonic endurance coach & race director / writer / dartmouth '02 / emorylaw '05

1 Comment

Jaye Fiecke · November 23, 2012 at 8:36 pm

Oh no! I’m so sorry that your accident prevented you from racing! I can kind of see in the picture that your leg was swollen. I hope that the physical therapy has helped your leg recover. How were the sessions? Were you able to race Ironman Florida after all, or were you advised to let your leg heal instead?

Jaye Fiecke

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