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Thread: Returning after weightlifting accident

  1. #1
    I Wanna Taco johnnyo_99's Avatar
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    Returning after weightlifting accident

    I need some help and perhaps I'm beyound help but let me explain my situation...

    Several years ago I was in a powerlifting meet...on my final bench attempt I stalled midway up while pressing, bar started to come down and because of two inexperienced spotters my face broke the fall of a 275lb barbell...couple months later I had 3 titanium plates in my head to keep my eyeball from falling out of my head...(BTW the federation picked up the tab for the medical bills...)

    it was a truly unfortunate event and one that I know is very rare...however my wife was there the day it hapened and she has more scars from this incident than I do. And thats my delimna, because of this freak event my wife is scared to death of me competing again (or even me using a plain ole bench without safety bars). Its been nearly 3 years since it happened and I for the first time told her i want to compete again...she quickly vetoed my plea..I respect her decision buts its hard for me to let bonehead spotters side line my very short powerlifing career...

    any words of wisdom out there?

  2. #2
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    Ouch! That sucks big time.

    To me, the wife is more important than lifting, but I don't pretend to put my values on other people. Plus, it's a two way street; your wife should also value your wishes. But I definitely wouldn't go against her. Perhaps you could compete the squat and deadlift until she becomes more comfortable with the idea of benching again. Just be safe.
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  3. #3
    big on TONING dynamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnyo_99 View Post
    I need some help and perhaps I'm beyound help but let me explain my situation...

    Several years ago I was in a powerlifting meet...on my final bench attempt I stalled midway up while pressing, bar started to come down and because of two inexperienced spotters my face broke the fall of a 275lb barbell...couple months later I had 3 titanium plates in my head to keep my eyeball from falling out of my head...(BTW the federation picked up the tab for the medical bills...)

    it was a truly unfortunate event and one that I know is very rare...however my wife was there the day it hapened and she has more scars from this incident than I do. And thats my delimna, because of this freak event my wife is scared to death of me competing again (or even me using a plain ole bench without safety bars). Its been nearly 3 years since it happened and I for the first time told her i want to compete again...she quickly vetoed my plea..I respect her decision buts its hard for me to let bonehead spotters side line my very short powerlifing career...

    any words of wisdom out there?
    TITANIUM FACE CAGE! or you could sit down with her, and be respectful, tell her how much this means to you and how you are willing to compromise, but you this is something you need (or really want) to do. There are meets for just single lifts too ya know. You dont need to bench if thats what it will take. You could always do dips and over head presses and bent over rows to compensate for your lack of benching but of course you'd need to actually bench to get better at it. I would just talk to her. If you really want it, and you are patient and calm about it she'll come around. A few months of discussion is nothing when you've been on the sidelines for the past 3 years anyway.
    Last edited by dynamo; 07-22-2011 at 09:10 AM.
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  4. #4
    JERSEY IRON Brian C's Avatar
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    Along with the others said, about sitting down and talking respectively to her, Im not sure what your training habits are or if your a solo lifter or train with a crew. My suggestion would be to find a group to train with and guys you can trust to spot you. Have your own spotters at the meet. There really isnt anything else you can do that I can see. You just have to respect your wife in that the reason she doesnt want you to compete is that she cares about your wellbeing. It had to be very traumatic for her to witness that accident. I never had an accident at this magnitude, but I can relate in loved ones not supporting you in this sport. My wife finally does, but just about every other family member i have is totally against it because they just dont understand the sport. Be patient with her because its just not worth the marrital problems. If you have to, drop competitve benching, and stick to squats and pulls. And maybe as time goes by, she will lighten up about benching again. Best of luck and let us know how it goes.
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  5. #5
    I Wanna Taco johnnyo_99's Avatar
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    thanks for the words guys. I do train alone for the most part, I have a training partner but his work scheduled often conflicts. i still bench all the time and its better than its ever been. I use a power rack with the safety bars set appropriately. i have moved away from geared lifting and lift raw now.

    I am going to slowly bring the subject up at opportune times with my wife more and more. she knows I love powerlifting and she would be good if I did Deadlift only meets, but I like the experience of a full meet. She's actually been really good through all this and still supports me, but doesn't understand why I would still want to do a meet after what had happened. I do know a group of guys I used to train with in Dallas, if they could spot for me during a meet that might be on option to help ease her concerns. I have noticed now that some benches have a built in safety bars to protect the head from this type of thing. I know elites pro bench has it and Texas Strength systems has one on their bench. I think if I knew the meet would have this safety device my wife would feel even better...so maybe I'm answering my own question here!

    My word of advice, always use your own training partners to spot you, they have a vested interested in your well being and know how you lift! Plus, check to see if the bench has built in safety spot bars - its not worth it to go through what i did!

  6. #6
    illinois fattest lifter theBarzeen's Avatar
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    Wow man, that sounds terrible..... I can understand why the Mrs. would be a little worried about seeing you compete again. Obviously this is a decision to be made between the both of you, but I can offer my $0.02.... take it or leave it.

    1: don't be afraid to ask a meet director to use your own spotters for anything. I have never had one say no. Usually just " well, if they touch the weight you'll get reds".... which isn't an issue with good spotters. Then you should also do the courteous thing and offer help to any other lifters that need it. For example, at the 2010 APF state meet my wife competed Saturday and the spotters dropped her with a 400# squat. They just weren't paying attention. So, on Sunday I asked every good lifter I knew in the area who wasn't competing that day to come out and help. At that time I was working on my first 900 squat and wanted people I trusted around me. I was happy I did after the guy before me lost a squat forward and ended up sprawled out on his stomach with a 850 across his back..... after that my guys offered to help anyone out who wanted a spot. It's not that the meet director didn't do their best to get good spotters, the guy pays and feeds his spotters and is a decent guy...... it's just hard to find a bunch of spotters who are used to dealing with that kind of weight....... so, ask nicely. That could help.

    2: you can buy face-saver racks for a bench that you zip tie or duct tape to the bench..... they stick out 6" from the uprights and basically just stop the sort of accident that you had from happening...... buy a set and bring them to the gym/meet...... I'm sure that the meet director will be okay with this, especially given what happened to you..... again, ask nicely and I can't imagine why anyone would say no.




    3: it's awesome to hear that you are pushing to get back to competing after such a bad accident. That says a lot about your character. Good luck.
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  7. #7
    I Wanna Taco johnnyo_99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theBarzeen View Post
    2: you can buy face-saver racks for a bench that you zip tie or duct tape to the bench..... they stick out 6" from the uprights and basically just stop the sort of accident that you had from happening...... buy a set and bring them to the gym/meet...... I'm sure that the meet director will be okay with this, especially given what happened to you..... again, ask nicely and I can't imagine why anyone would say no.
    thanks, I sent an email to EliteFTS to see about getting one....

    Quote Originally Posted by theBarzeen View Post
    3: it's awesome to hear that you are pushing to get back to competing after such a bad accident. That says a lot about your character. Good luck.
    i appreciate that, I was back lifting 3 months after the accident...going to take more than that to stop me
    Last edited by johnnyo_99; 07-22-2011 at 12:55 PM.

  8. #8
    Cardio bunny Alex.V's Avatar
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    Bar smashes face, almost kills you, and what do you do? Chomp at the bit to get back under it.

    I have nothing to add other than... you are the man. Period, full stop.
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    Senior Member larsen540's Avatar
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    WOW man.... I agree with the posts to just talk with your wife. You should get back involved with PL I am glad to see that you are not letting the injury stop you from your goals. Also bring your own spotters. Or use trusted spotters at the meet. Lift off guys and such. Just hang in there and I am glad your not letting this get the best of you.
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  10. #10
    Super Moderator vdizenzo's Avatar
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    Congrats on wanting to go after it again, that takes balls. The way I see it is if you got in a horrible car crash your wife would probably not tell you never to get in a car again. Life throws us some unfortunate twists. I respect relationships a great deal. I love my wife with every fiber of my being. However, she knows powerlifting is not something I do, it's who I am. Best of luck.


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  11. #11
    I Wanna Taco johnnyo_99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vdizenzo View Post
    The way I see it is if you got in a horrible car crash your wife would probably not tell you never to get in a car again. Life throws us some unfortunate twists.
    good analogy, its definitely been a process and its made me a smarter and more dedicated lifter as a result...
    Last edited by johnnyo_99; 07-23-2011 at 01:29 PM.

  12. #12
    I Wanna Taco johnnyo_99's Avatar
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    spoke with my wife, we had a great discussion and went much better than I thought i would. after she made sure that I had adequate life insurance she agreed that I could compete again (JOKE!).

    we made a deal that i would have my own buddies spot for me and I will only lift at meets ran by reputable meet directors. she doesn't understand why I do what I do but she will support my decision. However, if I get hurt again she will sell all of my weightlifting equipment ! (not a joke! haha)

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnyo_99 View Post
    spoke with my wife, we had a great discussion and went much better than I thought i would. after she made sure that I had adequate life insurance she agreed that I could compete again (JOKE!).

    we made a deal that i would have my own buddies spot for me and I will only lift at meets ran by reputable meet directors. she doesn't understand why I do what I do but she will support my decision. However, if I get hurt again she will sell all of my weightlifting equipment ! (not a joke! haha)
    It's very cool that you two were able to come to an agreement on this. Good luck with the meet and I have no doubt you're going to SFW!
    Last edited by StLRPh; 07-26-2011 at 08:46 AM.
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