Hello! I am Dominik, an athlete with over 25 years into several sports disciplines (predominantly endurance running, tennis, triathlon) who has suffered a horrifying accident. That’s how my story would begin if we went out for a run and if I could share my humble thoughts on enthralling performances, breathtaking willpower and a radiant sports career. Different thoughts, not the usual ones.
Awe-inspiring ones, captivating ones, that could energize and vitalize you as a fresh breeze of air would. Those in the mind of a truly heartfelt PhD aspirant, foremost a linguist, simultaneous interpreter and translator fluent in and teacher of five languages who attempts to speak a couple more every now and then when he still remembers their beautiful multidimensionality; a down-to-earth fella with no time for empty bla-bla’s.
The crash at 85,7km/h (53mph) on a downhill cycling section of an Ironman-Triathlon (3.86km [2.4mi] swimming, 180.2km [112mi] cycling and 42.195 [26.2mi] running) and what happened just afterwards required a touch of decency, passion, determination, motivation, effort, willpower, never-say-die attitude, discipline and integrity, one could say.
That’s why I helped the athlete involved in the accident who was under shock right after. Unable to accept my offer to take my heavily damaged but still intact bike to continue, I decided to hug him before continuing myself in the race. With still many cycling and running kilometers/miles ahead, the later diagnosed three broken vertebrae as well as deeper flesh wounds as first thought on my arms and legs—believe it or not—went totally unnoticed. Possible reasons for this may be found under the adrenaline running through my veins which may have carried me through, before I, suddenly, begun to see the stars, once I reached the finish line and stopped. It was just then, when one of my good friends drove me to the nearest hospital and took care of me with his family. Everyday. For almost two months, as I was allowed to leave to be housed with his family.
The healing of the deep and bloody flesh wounds was supported by unbelievably competent nurses and medical doctors on a daily basis. The contusions and fractures were healing as well, which I would never have believed. How can broken vertebrae heal? So unimaginably smart and strong is our amazing body, if very special circumstances allow a stable restoration, which in this case has been truly literal.
I am grateful and honoured that people found my story inspiring and considered my humble minority for such unique recognition moments, being fortunate to be a nominee and recipient of Fair-Play recognition awards from the International Olympic Committee, Pierre de Coubertin International Fair-Play Representation and other international authorities. Indebted to all the people that have supported me, I decided to share my insights being an avid listener, a nature lover, a passionate vegan (almost 100%) but also a travel enthusiast; too a transparent and easygoing person as probably many would say.
Not considering myself to have been part of the elite of the sports I practiced so ambitiously and enthusiastically for so many years, I am friends with top athletes and World-Champions in several sports disciplines who always are happy to share moments to have a nice laugh and fill me with inspiration. I continue to practice my sports with an undisputed professional approach, although my back still tends to hurt in certain positions (especially in the aero-position on the bike, while swimming and sleeping) and my weight is still crazy high for an ultra-endurance athlete (80kgs/176lbs) especially after the long hospital stays with no movement at all being imprisoned (no drama) in a tight full body corset.
Tragic it may sound, let me tell you as an encouraging side-note once again that the human body -is- truly amazing, so please try to take advantage of the many opportunities you have to spend at least a couple of hours out somewhere practicing sport(s) you love on a daily basis. Just ask yourself if health is a priority for you. Or, if a couple of hours out of twenty-four are too much.
Please, feel free to message or follow me over here via the contact form, e-mail (management (at) dominikkozanda (dot) com), Facebook or Instagram anytime you wish. I take my readers’ thoughts seriously and am always happy to help, if I can and time allows it. Of course, it would be much better if this could happen whilst we share a long run, a squash match or surfing moments somewhere together.