10 Things I’ve Learned From 10 Motorcycle Crashes

6. Choose Your Friends Wisely
When I crashed last year, Jon’s wife Nikki changed my grossest bandages. Sean made sure to keep me in tacos, Mark picked me up and took me on field trips in his car so I could get out of the house. Mollie and Sam made sure I had a roof over my head and food in my belly. Another friend also named Mark drove me to the hospital while I bled all over his car. And pretty much everyone I know had to put up with months of slack and flake and gimpiness. I’m still friends with the people who understood and helped and I’m not friends with the ones who didn’t.

7. The 15 Minute Superman
Want to know how much you’re truly capable of? Hurt yourself in a life-and-death scenario. You’ll learn whether you’ve got fight or flight and the adrenaline that kicks in after makes possible feats of survival you’d have never thought possible. You’re much stronger than you think, you can deal with much worse problems. You can overcome. Knowing where your limit truly lies will make you a more confident person in everyday life. You will learn who you truly are.

8. Skip The Pain Killers
Narcotic pain killers are one of the worst crimes perpetrated by our health care system. They don’t actually do a great job of killing any pain, but they do poison your mind and body, making you weak, sick, constipated (don’t laugh, it sucks), screw with your mind and possibly lead to addiction. As soon as possible, I’d rather man-up and deal with a little pain than be mean to the people around me and destroy my body. Depending on where you live, more natural solutions may be possible, use them, they work.

The scar that remains to this day.
The scar that remains to this day.

9. Wes’s Guaranteed Physical Therapy Method
Get your butt out of bed and go to the gym. You’re going to want to work out your entire body, focusing on the large muscle groups with compound lifts. And yes, you’re going to want to concentrate on the injured parts too: just do so safely. Be smart, listen to your body and don’t hurt yourself further. I started back this time barely able to bench the bar and had to add like 125 lbs of assistance in order to do a pull-up. But I was doing bench presses and pull-ups and using my body. And my body responded by healing itself.

Even if you have a cast on your arm, you can still work out your legs and use some of the back and ab and shoulder machines. Doing machine squats and other big lifts like that helps trigger body-wide, hormonal responses, building muscle and strengthening bone.

Eat super healthy, too. Give your body the tools it needs to repair the damage.

And just get out of the house and be active. It doesn’t matter if it takes you three hours to do something it took you thirty minutes to do before, you’re doing it and you’ll get a little better at it every time.

10. It’s Not Worth It
As you might know, or might surmise from the above, injuring yourself stinks. You really don’t want to do it. The toll — financially, psychologically, on your relationships and to your work — is more than you’ll ever know, until you’ve done it. So don’t do it. You don’t need to be the fastest guy on that group ride or get where you’re going precisely on time. Nor do you need to be the coolest looking guy at the party or save cab fare on the way home. Motorcycling is always going to be dangerous, it’s always going to be risky, but it’s a lot more enjoyable when you’re overcoming that danger and managing those risks than it is when you’re laying in a hospital bed.

Related Links:
Safety Starts Here: A Beginner's Guide To Motorcycle Gear
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Ride Safer: 10 Common Motorcycle Accidents and How To Avoid Them

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